The Phoenix Coyotes have won six games in February and have taken at least a point from seven of nine outings. An injury to leading scorer Radim Vrbata is a setback for the team, and captain Shane Doan needs to make the most of top-line time and start contributing offensively.
Doan has four points in nine February games, a stat made even less impressive when it is revealed that three of those points came in a two-goal, three-point Feb, 11 game against the Colorado Avalanche. In four of those games Doan managed one shot on goal or less, which just isn’t going to cut it as captain of this team. Vrbata leads the Coyotes with four goals and 12 points but is currently out until at least Saturday with a lower-body injury. His absence has Doan playing on the top line with Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette, giving the veteran a chance to shoot more and hopefully score more. The Coyotes are currently on a four-day break in their season schedule and are hopefully using that time to figure out why their top offensive players have done little this season.
Goaltender Mike Smith continues to be the main reason this team looks like a playoff contender, with three February shutouts and six of the team’s eight wins. Doan has been a leader for the team in many ways over the past decade, and now is the time for him to step up and once again find his scoring touch. Secondary scoring options on this team are limited which only adds to the pressure on Doan. Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers will show a lot about the Coyotes moving forward, and would be a great chance for Doan to break out with another multi-point game.