LOS ANGELES -- Early in the second period Thursday in Game 3 at Staples Center, Daymond Langkow gave the Phoenix Coyotes their only lead of the Western Conference final on a long pass from defenseman Keith Yandle. It was a nice payoff for a guy whos quietly been one of the teams best postseason performers.
On the other end of that goal was defenseman Derek Morris, who made a safe pass to Yandle across the ice to set up that momentary ray of hope for Phoenix in an otherwise dismal series.
We know what you're thinking: So what? The Coyotes still lost. They still trail 3-0, with a possible season-ending game coming Sunday.
Thats all true, but an off day in Los Angeles afforded a moment to reflect on the myriad off-ice issues athletes deal with that get glossed over in a city and fan bases hunger for wins.
Six months ago, Langkow, 35, was trying to hold a family together. His mother, Vivian, had passed away suddenly at the age of 54, and his dad, Randy, was so grief-stricken that D...