The loss of Jack Johnson in the first period of Sunday’s game left the Kings with only five defensemen, and 18-year-old rookie Drew Doughty ended up with the most ice time of any King, at 23 minutes, 56 seconds. Doughty appeared much more comfortable on the ice in his second NHL game, as he explains…
Question: Is there a big difference between the first NHL game and the second?
DOUGHTY: “Yeah, it was a pretty big difference. It was great playing at home. I was a little more comfortable, and just getting that first game under my belt was good. I was a little nervous and stuff like that. The second game came a lot easier. The game pace kind of slowed down in my mind and I felt a lot better out there.”
Question: Is there anything in particular that Sean O’Donnell points out to you, or is it just little things along the way?
DOUGHTY: “It’s just little things along the way, things that I don’t even think about until he says something about them. I think that’s what makes him such a good player. He thinks about the game so well and just sees every little thing that’s happening. He helps all of us defensively, and I think that’s the area I need the most help. So it’s great.”
Question: Did you ever anticipate that you’d be leading the team in ice time in your second NHL game?
DOUGHTY: “No, I didn’t. It was kind of a surprise, a shock. Jack, unfortunately, got hurt, so we were down to five defensemen. I had to step up to the plate and play a couple more minutes, which I enjoyed very much. I was used to it, from playing last year in Guelph, and I knew coming here that I was definitely going to be shortened a lot, but I felt great and it was good to play that many minutes.”