May 23, 2012
Doan goes off on referees'Are you freaking kidding me?'
By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
GLENDALE, ARIZ. - When it ended, seconds after Dustin Penner’s shot from the slot ended the Phoenix Coyotes season and sent the Los Angeles Kings on to their second Stanley Cup final, all the frustration came out for Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
It was tough, he would say later, to see teammate Michal Rozsival helped off the ice moments before Penner’s winner in overtime, Roszival favouring his left knee after a controversial hit by Kings captain Dustin Brown.
The Coyotes were incensed there was no penalty on the play and when it ended, Doan sprinted across the ice in the direction of referee Brad Watson. He pulled up by the boards, raising his stick and smashing it against the boards.
For Doan, the non-call on the hit - Brown also caught Rozsival with his shoulder, though it did look late on an off-side call - was a tipping point in the battle with his frustration over the officiating in the series.
“I bit my tongue the whole playoffs. I bit my tongue the whole time this series. I look back in the last two games and I still haven’t found where I got my three penalties. I have absolutely no idea where they came from or what they were calling,” said Doan, whose club fell behind 3-0 in the series and couldn't recover despite winning Game 4. “It’s hard because you don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelieveable and give them all the credit.
“Uncle. Are you freaking kidding me? Uncle. I can’t understand how you miss that. You saw the game. It’s 5-on-3 and they give a penalty to even it up ... the guy crosschecks Marty (Hanzal) twice in the back. He chips it over the boards, it goes over the boards and there’s no call? Marty gets a stick in the face and then the knee? I mean, come on. Like, come on.
“You don’t want to do it because ... I don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelievable and they beat us. Thank goodness their power play didn’t score on all those power plays they were handed. It could have been really ugly. They beat us. There’s nothing else to say about it.”
Brown said he didn’t go out of his way to make contact with Roszival’s knee.
“I saw him cut in the middle. I changed my path to meet him in the middle. I haven’t seen a replay so I don’t know, but I felt like I made contact (with) my whole left side with his left side. My shoulder hit his shoulder for sure. I hit him from toe to shoulder on my left side, full contact. He’s trying to get out of the way and I’m trying to finish my check,” said Brown, who was a dynamic force for the Kings, especially in the early games of the Western final.
“I don’t think ... my first thought is, I didn’t stick my knee out. He’s trying to get out of the way and I finish my check.’’
The league will review the play, but it will be surprising if there’s supplemental discipline because it wasn’t a blatant knee-on-knee hit, though you can understand the Coyotes’ frustration.
They had forward Raffi Torres suspended for 25 games for his hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa in the second round.
“If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for a hit during the play,” said Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, “then this guy (Brown) should be done forever.”
That is the frustration of the moment talking no doubt, the emotion of having their remarkable season ended.
It was an emotionally-charged ending to a hugely entertaining game.
The Glendale fans chanted “let’s go Coyotes” and gave the team a huge ovation after the post-series handshake.
At one point in the third period as the teams went end-to-end as power plays overlapped, both teams where on their feet on their respective benches watching the play.
You don’t see that often in the NHL.
In a fiercely fought game, the teams swapped the lead a couple of times, the Coyotes owning 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Kings roaring back for a 3-2 edge before the Coyotes tied it on a goal by defenceman Keith Yandle with less than four minutes to go in the second.
It was great stuff, but for the Coyotes, it was a bitter end.