Admittedly, Shane Doan looked like a defeated man during his pre-game interview on CBC Sunday afternoon.
But for Hockey Night in Canada's Kelly Hrudey to suggest the Phoenix Coyotes captain "cares too much" is ludicrous.
Now, this is coming from someone who cringes when he hears coaches and broadcasters say a player "tries to do too much," as Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza has often been accused of doing.
Personally, I want guys like that. Guys who do their job and then some. But I also understand that players "trying" to go above and beyond are either neglecting something they should be doing or getting in the way of others working toward the same cause. So I guess I can live with that bit of rhetoric.
But how does someone care too much?
Doan, one of the nicest people in the NHL, was the star of a Coyotes' win that guarantees there will be at least one more NHL game played under the Arizona sun. Goalie Mike Smith was good too, of course, but Doan willed the desert Dogs to victory.
His effort on the first of his two goals, the game winner, was nothing short of spectacular. First he threw his body high into the glass to keep the puck in the Kings' zone. Then he stepped out front and beat Jonathan Quick with a sweet backhand high inside the far post.
The Coyotes are still on the ropes, yes, but they are sure to put up more of a fight Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena. And if the rest of his teammates care as much as Doan, they will bring this Western Conference final back to Los Angeles for a Game 6.
STARTS AND STOPS
In case nobody else reminds you, the three teams to come back and win an NHL playoff series they trailed 3-0 are the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers. And you could probably bet that Boston Bruins fans, a species that has a very difficult time releasing a grudge, are hoping Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have the tables turned on them by the Coyotes ... Six weeks before he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, Doan could probably get a raise on his $4.55 million salary by signing elsewhere, even though he's 35. It's hard to imagine he'll seriously explore the opportunities and stray from the organization that made him the seventh overall pick in the 1995 draft ... HNIC was quick to dig up old footage of Doan riding a nag after Smith, in his post-game interview with Scott Oake, said "Doaner was a horse out there."
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...
He's held the post for six seasons now, a visit to hockeydb.com shows, but I didn't know Jamie Kompon was an assistant coach with the Kings until now. In fact, I had never even heard of him. You? ... At least somebody is finding John Tortorella amusing these days. New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer used the word "comical" when asked for a response to Tortorella's assertion that his Rangers might be better off staying down on the ice when taking cheapshots -- and that Devils were even more guilty of dirty tactics than Brandon Prust was in elbowing Anton Volchenkov in the back of the head. As a result, HNIC's Andi Petrillo immediately dubbed the New Jersey-New York series a "dramedy" ... How can you have any faith in the Devils when their captain, Zach Parise, can't even grow a few strands of a playoff beard?
In case you missed it, Flyers star Claude Giroux had torn cartilage repaired in his right wrist and bone spurs removed from the left on Friday. You heard the surgery was going to happen immediately after Philadelphia's season ended where? Oh yes, in Snapshots, a couple of weeks ago ... Wearing a summery white sports coat, the brilliant Ron MacLean had music on his mind even more than usual, quoting Eagles and Tom Petty songs. I know they were in California, but I'm wondering what he meant when he said the easy-to-look-at Andi has "a lot of pretty, pretty boys that she calls friends." Judging by her reaction, so is she.
DO AS I SAY -- AND DO
Kids received a mixed message from MacLean and the HNIC panel in between periods when MacLean pointed out that "12 seconds" after Mike Richards chirped about being the victim of a slew foot, his teammate, Justin Williams, was given a penalty for interference. "I think that's one of the things he should tone down," Hrudey said of Richards. "I don't think he should tone down anything," said P.J. Stock. "You don't think he should tone down his chirping?" said Hrudey. "Wayne Gretzky chirped a lot, and he's the best player to ever play the game," replied Stock. So the lesson is, if you want to become the best, making sure you also work on your whine?
"David Beckham and I just crossed paths. He smiled and apologized for walking out in front of me. By far, the highlight of my playoff run." - @saraorlesky
Sara is a NHL reporter for TSN.
"I'm trying hard on a gorgeous day to watch Coyotes-Kings on TV but man this hockey is so boring." - @simmonssteve
Steve is a great columnist for Sun Media.