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The Desert Dog Blog: Thoughts on Doan's Hat Trick

Sunday, 01.08.2012 / 5:25 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

For those who don’t believe this old saying, I suggest you look below at what I'll submit as "Exhibit A."

The photo, of course, is of Shane Doan holding the three pucks he used last night to notch his first NHL hat trick in his 1,161st NHL game.

Photo by Norm Hall.
The look on Doan’s face says it all, don’t you think?

I’ve witnessed thousands of high school, college and professional sporting events in my 20-plus years as a sports journalist. Trust me, nights like last night are few and far between. That’s why I know I'll remember much of what I saw on the ice and what I heard in the dressing room after Doan’s dramatic accomplishment.

Here are some highlights from my perspective:

• Doan’s face and body language while the off-ice officials in Toronto watched the video to see if Doan’s last goal indeed crossed the line before time expired. He seemed so calm yet so excited at the same time.

• Doan applauding the crowd as he skated around the ice after being named the Game’s No. 1 Star. “I can hear you guys and thanks so much,” he told the screaming fans during his interview with Todd Walsh. Classic Doan.

Ray Whitney’s admission to reporters that he went to the on-ice officials during the video review of Doan’s last goal and told them: “Look, it's been a long time, 16 years. Tell Toronto that this may never happen again, so make sure that it counts.”

• The joy in Keith Yandle’s face as he told reporters how thrilled he was for his teammate, mentor and friend to finally end his lengthy hat trick drought: “I was so excited," Yandle said. "I can’t wait to see the replay of me skating up the ice jumping up and down. It felt like we won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s how excited I was.”

• Goalie Mike Smith, who has been a teammate of Doan’s for all of three-plus months, telling reporters: “It was just a special moment, you know, he deserves it. He's a guy who's been around the league for so long and he's such a great guy (and) such an amazing leader. It couldn't happen to a better person.”

Photo by Carter Nacke.
• Interviewing Doan after the game sitting amid the scattered hats in front of his space in the dressing room. It was definitely a surreal moment for me, and I'm guessing it may have been for him, too.

• I knew Doan was popular, but the massive response to his feat by people on various social media platforms was astounding. Many fans, friends and even former teammates took time to express their thoughts and feelings on Twitter and Facebook. Well done, everyone, well done.

The details of how Doan reached the milestone with less than one second left in last night’s game are all over this Web site and others across the internet. But for those who still haven’t witnessed what happened I offer the link below for you to see it for yourself.

► Click here to watch Doan's third goal.

Even if you have seen it - live or on highlights - I encourage everyone reading this to click the link above, watch the video, and enjoy the moment. After you're done, I encourage you to watch it again. And again. Why? Because it’s extremely rare to see good things happen to good people.

• In other news, the Coyotes re-assigned forward Patrick O’Sullivan to the American Hockey League on Sunday. I’m told the move comes because center Boyd Gordon, who has missed the past seven games because of a lower-body injury, is expected to return to the lineup at some point on this week’s road trip, most likely on Thursday or Friday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Contact Dave Vest at the desertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
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