The numbers don’t look good for Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who’s plus-minus rating is a team-worst minus 10 after 11 games of the season. Doughty also has four assists and isn’t the Kings’ leading scorer among their bruised and battered defense corps. Slava Voynov has two goals and four assists and is a plus seven.
So, what’s wrong with Doughty? Everything. Nothing.
So said Kings coach Darryl Sutter after Wednesday’s practice.
“He has to clearly play better in his own zone,” Sutter said. ”That’s not really a surprise. When the team has only given up three or four more goals in terms of for and against and you have three or four players that are significantly off … that’s not a team issue.
“He’s a young defenseman, so what’s changed, right? He’s got a lot to learn. It’s no different from the rest of them. Our oldest defenseman is (Rob) Scuderi, who’s supposed to be a really good defensive player. And the next oldest is (Davis) Drewiske, who’s 28, and learning how to play. And the rest are all kids. Don’t single Drew Doughty out. He’s a young player. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s been put in a new situation this year than he has been at any other point in his career.”
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings are 4-5-2 to start the lockout-shortened season. They are playing without veteran defensemen Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee), and lost Alec Martinez because of an upper-body injury. Sutter said Martinez, who was injured Monday, would be sidelined for at least one week.