Kings defenseman Drew Doughty didn’t wish to talk Sunday about some post-Game 5 gloating San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture did late Friday night. Doughty said he really isn’t as friendly with Couture as he is with Corey Perry of the Ducks, seeking to correct the record. Doughty and Perry live on the same street during the off-season in London, Ontario.
Here’s what Couture said Friday:
“Throughout the last couple of years, things have been said on that team that to me, personally, I take it as disrespectful. So it was nice to stick it back to them and beat them in this series. Even this series, someone was saying on their team that they had us right where they wanted us. I wonder if they’ve got us right where they want us right now? So it was nice to beat them.”
A full story will be up on the Daily News website soon, but here’s what Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said Friday about playing more minutes and shouldering a heavier burden if Alec Martinez can’t play in Game 2 against the Sharks:
“I’m ready for whatever if he can’t play. If I need to play 30 minutes, that’s great. If not, I’ll play 25 minutes. Either way, I have to play the same way. I have to be more emotionally involved in the game. I can play better than I did and I can lead us better than I did. The next game, I’ve got to step up and do that.”
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi doesn’t have a vote, but if he did he would cast it in favor of Drew Doughty as the Norris Trophy winner as opposed to Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. Here’s what Lombardi said Tuesday when I asked him why I should vote for Doughty as the league’s top defenseman in 2015-16:
“Not even close. All you’ve got to do is stay up and watch West Coast games, and you’ll know why, and I won’t even have to explain it to you. … You know what the beauty of that position is? It’s the classic case where greatness is the subtleties. And that No. 1 defenseman, what makes him special? Unless you really understand the game and see some of the things he does, you have to study the game, not watch the game, and realize what he does is really special, and has nothing to do with highlights and the points and all of this stuff.
“It’s not the highlight-film position. It’s not supposed to be, and then we turned it (into one) because (of) Paul Coffey. I guess, he pulled it off. But at least Paul Coffey was in the playoffs. And this stuff that (Doughty) plays for a better team? How good do you think we are without him? How about the other way around?”
Key play: Kris Versteeg tapped in a rebound of his own shot off the crossbar for the tiebreaking goal 2:01 into the second period and the Kings regained first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory Thursday over the Ducks at Staples Center.
Playoff update: The Kings can win their first division championship since 1990-91 with a victory Saturday over the Winnipeg Jets in their regular-season finale. The Ducks would then finish second. The San Jose Sharks’ 5-4 loss to Winnipeg locked them into third.
Pivotal performer: Ducks goaltender John Gibson made several quality saves, but none better than a stop with his left leg on an unmarked Anze Kopitar early in the third period. Kopitar slipped behind the Ducks’ defense, but couldn’t beat Gibson from point-blank range.
Between the pipes: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made his 67th appearance of the season and set a franchise record with his 40th victory of 2015-16. Gibson started for the sixth consecutive game in place of the injured Frederik Andersen (concussion).
Quote, unquote: “We want to win without having to score four or five goals,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “We want to win games only letting in one and we were able to do that tonight against a really good team that has kind of owned us this season. … That’s the only reason we beat them, because we played good defense.”
Kings injury update: Defenseman Alec Martinez sat out for the third game because of what the Kings referred to as an undisclosed injury. Martinez also didn’t play in a loss Monday to the Vancouver Canucks and a victory Tuesday over the Calgary Flames.
Ducks injury update: Andersen didn’t play for the fourth game because of a concussion suffered in a victory March 30 over the Calgary Flames. Andersen said he hopes to play in one of the Ducks’ final two regular-season games.
Key plays: Jeff Carter scored twice in the first 6 1 /2 minutes of the second period and the Kings reclaimed first place in the Pacific Division with a 3-0 victory Thursday over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. Carter scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season and later added an assist on Andy Andreoff’s third-period strike.
Playoff update: The Kings (46-26-5, 97 points) moved past the idle Ducks (43-23-10, 96 points) into first place in the Pacific. The Kings have five regular-season games remaining and the Ducks have six left, including a home date Friday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Quote, unquote: It’s going in the right direction,” Carter said of the Kings’ play heading down the home stretch. “We want to finish first. We want home ice. We’ve got five games left here. We know what we have to clean up and we’ll continue to work on it.”
Pivotal performer: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 21 saves for his 39th victory of the season, tying his own franchise record for victories in a season. Quick (39-21-4) also extended his club record for shutouts with the 42nd of his career.
Chart climber: Drew Doughty’s assist on Carter’s power-play goal 46 seconds into the second period moved him past Steve Duchesne into second place on the Kings’ all-time list for defenseman with 316 points. Rob Blake hold the franchise record with 494 points.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty talked Thursday about what it means to play for Team Canada in the World Cup of Hockey next fall in Toronto. He helped Canada win gold in the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and the World Cup is another chance for him to showcase his country’s national game, and on home soil, too.
“Obviously, it’s an honor,” Doughty said. “It’s something you dream of and for it to be in Toronto, in your home country, it’s even that much more special. You look forward to playing teams like Sweden. I think they have one of the best teams there. They have a lot of talented players. They’re a good team. We played them in the gold-medal game in Sochi, so we’ll have a little bit of a rivalry there.
“And, obviously, one against the States. We’ve played against them since we were little kids. That’ll be fun to play against that team.”
Doughty said he expected Ducks rival Corey Perry, a summer golfing buddy, to be named at a later day. Perry wasn’t among the 16 players selected Wednesday to the preliminary roster. P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens was another who wasn’t on the initial Team Canada roster.
“They named the top 16 they think they have at this time, not that those guys won’t make the team in the future or anything like that, but they could only name 16 or guys like that would be on the team,” Doughty said of Perry and Subban.
Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty of the Kings and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks were named Wednesday to Team Canada’s preliminary 16-player roster for the World Cup of Hockey next fall in Toronto. Carter, Doughty and Getzlaf were members of the gold-medal winning team at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Corey Perry of the Ducks was snubbed Wednesday, although he’s likely to be named to the final roster. Perry leads the Ducks with 26 goals and was a member of the 2014 and ’10 Olympic championship teams for Canada.
Defenseman Rob Scuderi had an assist and played 19:07 Saturday during his return to the Kings after Friday’s trade from the Chicago Blackhawks. He played 26 shifts and was paired with Alec Martinez to start the game. Near the end, with the Kings hanging onto a 2-0 lead and Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker, Scuderi was on the ice with Drew Doughty.
“It feels good,” Scuderi said. “I know exactly what’s expected of me. It suits my style. I thought I fit in pretty good. There are probably little things I’ve been doing on different teams the last 10 weeks that maybe they’ll iron out and show me in video. But for the most part I felt pretty good about the one game.”
Asked if he expected to play as much as he did, Scuderi said, “I didn’t really expect anything. That’s up to them. As a player, your job is to be prepared physically and mentally, and I was. But as far as how much they use me and how they use me, they’re the coaches, it’s their call.”
Playing at the end with Doughty was “a big confidence boost,” Scuderi said.
“I think the biggest thing that’s been hurting in my game for a couple of months isn’t so much the physicality of it as is the confidence of it, the mental side,” he said. “So, any time you can be used in those types of situations, it gives you a little boost, knowing the coaching staff trusts you to do those things. It goes a long way.”
Here’s what Rob Scuderi said Saturday about the growth and progress of fellow Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in the four years since they were teammates on the 2012 Stanley Cup championship team: “You know it’s there and you know it’s going to happen when you see him in his younger years. It’s nice to see, but it hasn’t been a surprise. You can see his heart and his head were always in the right place even when he was 19 and 20 and that he would eventually develop into a good leader for this team. It’s great to see, but it’s also not a surprise.”