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Dog days in summer?

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Shane Doan looks ready to lead the committee.

That the Phoenix Coyotes woke up Monday morning as the Western Conference’s fourth seed is surprising enough, but it’s all the more eye-catching when you consider this team hasn’t really had an offensive leader all season.

A strong team game supported by the goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov is the formula Phoenix employed to engineer its out-of-the-blue – but, of course, not out of the red – stellar season.

But sooner or later you need some goals and Doan is getting back to his productive old self, with five goals and 15 points in his past eight contests. The output is especially welcome in light of the fact leading goal-scorer Scottie Upshall is out indefinitely with a torn ACL.

Doan, long known as one of the best leaders in the league, is digging in when his team needs it most. And that’s given more bite to a pack of pluggers who’ve already gone way beyond where anyone expected they would.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

L10

THE SCOOP

1

2

37-12-6

10-0-0

Ten-game winning streak ties a franchise record

2

1

36-10-9

8-0-2

Play six straight road contests heading into the Olympic break

3

5

34-18-2

7-2-1

Mason Raymond could hit 30 goals this year

4

4

37-14-4

6-4-0

Finished an eight-game road trip with five wins

5

9

33-19-3

8-2-0

Have won six straight, including sweeping a five-game road swing

6

7

32-14-7

4-3-3

Ryan Miller continues to stand on his head, going 2-0 with a 0.96 GAA and .972 save percentage in his past two outings

7

10

31-21-4

9-1-0

After posting just 19 points in 30 games prior to his knee injury, Jason Spezza has a point in each of the four games he's played since returning

8

11

33-18-5

7-3-0

Leading goal-scorer Scottie Upshall is gone indefinitely with a torn ACL

9

6

34-21-1

6-4-0

Defending champs are lying in the weeds, but we can still see their flippers

10

3

30-18-6

6-4-0

Matt Duchene is in the thick of the Calder race, putting up nine points over his past nine games

11

8

35-17-2

3-6-1

We haven't seen the Devils in top form since the calendar flipped to 2010

12

14

27-23-3

6-4-0

Even with its struggles, this team will still have a top-four East seed disappointed with its first round playoff draw

13

15

24-20-11

5-5-0

Given a chance to secure the No. 1 job, Alex Auld has struggled with an .877 save percentage over his past four games

14

12

30-21-3

4-6-0

Tough call on whether to keep Dan Ellis or Pekka Rinne at season's end; both are UFAs and neither is getting wins right now

15

16

26-19-10

3-3-4

Nicklas Lidstrom seems to have rediscovered his offensive touch, putting up six points in his past four games

16

18

27-20-8

1-6-3

Flames are hoping the massive roster shakeup will put a terrible January (4-8-3) behind them

17

23

24-22-9

6-2-2

Great to see David Booth back – and picking up an assist – after missing 45 games with a concussion

18

26

24-22-8

5-3-2

Will big trades over the weekend trigger some action on the Ilya Kovalchuk front?

19

13

25-23-7

6-4-0

It's Jonas Hiller's team now after he signed a four-year extension and the Ducks shipped J-S Giguere to Toronto

20

25

22-21-11

5-4-1

Followed its first three-game winning streak of the season with consecutive setbacks

21

21

27-24-4

5-4-1

After a quick start with his new team, Guillaume Latendresse has cooled, putting up just two points in his past six games

22

17

25-25-6

3-4-3

Were in tough to make the playoffs before leading goal-scorer Mike Cammalleri took this painful spill on Saturday

23

28

19-28-7

6-4-0

Have won four straight thanks to some all-world play from Cam Ward

24

20

25-24-7

3-7-0

If Marian Gaborik gets a hat trick, the Rangers win

25

24

24-22-9

5-3-2

Alex Steen has become a dependable two-way player

26

27

22-26-9

4-6-0

Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger have stepped up their games, scoring a combined 17 points in their past eight games

27

22

23-21-9

1-7-2

One 'W' in their past 11 – and that required a shootout

28

19

23-25-8

4-6-0

With just one victory over their past seven, the Isles could be on the verge of a major downward spiral

29

29

17-28-11

2-6-2

If a change is as good as a rest, the Leafs should be one fresh squad

30

30

16-31-6

0-9-1

The way things are going, you know this team is going to lose the lottery

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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