Shane Doan set a pretty special record on New Year’s Eve, surpassing Dale Hawerchuk as the Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise record holder for goals scored. His first period tally, and 380th of his career, set the new record, but the veteran added an insurance goal to his total before the night was over.
In a stroke of fate, the record was broken against the most serendipitous team possible: the new Winnipeg Jets. Add in a New Year’s Eve atmosphere at Gila River Arena Thursday night, and that’s a winning recipe for the goal that put Doan ahead of every player in Arizona/Winnipeg’s 36-year NHL history.
Scoring 381 career NHL goals is a big deal in and of itself. In Doan’s draft class alone, only one player has scored more, Jarome Iginla, who sits one shy of his 600th career NHL goal. Patrik Elias, drafted just one season before Doan, has scored 26 more goals than Doan.
Of course, Doan didn’t score twice against his own Winnipeg Jets. That franchise, along with all its alumni and the records they set, now belong to Arizona. After all, Doan himself scored the first seven goals of his NHL career for the former Jets and those goals belong to his franchise tally in the desert. The new Jets inherited the Atlanta Thrashers’ history and records.
It may seem like fate, but the goal was scored on quite a hot streak for the 20-year NHL veteran. In his last five games, Doan has scored seven goals, including two in a 14-second span against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 22nd and three against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 29th. Before December 2015, the 39-year old Doan had only recorded one hat trick in 19 seasons of NHL play. He tied Hawerchuk’s record with the same goal that earned him his second-ever three goal game in the league.
It’s been a fitting year for Doan to score his franchise-topping goals, as well.`
Doan’s role with the Coyotes has slowly but surely diminished over the last few seasons. Although the captain still records considerable ice time, his appearance on special teams for the Pacific Division franchise has contributed to that in a significant way. He spends time in the middle six for Arizona, lowering the speed and skill of his competition in an energy role when skating at even strength.
That’s expected for a player who’s gone from 30 goals in a season to just 14 last year, but Doan wears his new role well.
The Coyotes didn’t boast an easy win for Doan’s iconic night. The club was outshot 37-21, spending some time on the penalty kill and too much time in the defensive zone.
It might have been that aforementioned atmosphere. It could have also been a young and enthusiastic franchise wanting to make their tenured captain proud on a night that he’ll remember forever. It could have even just been that goaltender Louis Domingue was more determined than ever to give injured starter Mike Smith a run for his money during his call-up this season. It could have been fate, or it could have been that the bad rebound on Arizona’s second goal that rattled Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck just enough to win Arizona the game.
Whatever it was, Doan’s record-setting goal (and the subsequent goal) was scored on a night where everything just fell together. What a way for Doan to end 2015.