Kings defenseman Drew Doughty won’t play against the Ducks

Drew Doughty, left, celebrates with Dustin Brown during the playoffs last season.

Drew Doughty, left, celebrates with Dustin Brown during the playoffs last season.

 

Drew Doughty joined his teammates for the second of two practice sessions Wednesday in El Segundo. He was with a more veteran group, which isn’t expected to play in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Ducks at Staples Center. Doughty isn’t ready to play, anyway, after suffering an unspecified upper-body injury before the start of training camp Friday. Doughty said he wasn’t sure when he might make his exhibition debut. The Kings also play against the Ducks at the Honda Center on Sunday.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekend links

Typewriter

Here is the best of the best writing on the Kings from the opening weekend of training camp, starting with Los Angeles News Groups columnist Mark Whicker’s look at Stanley Cup playoffs hero Alec Martinez: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20140920/alec-martinezs-journey-with-los-angeles-kings-becomes-legendary

My look at the moves the Kings’ rivals in the West made during the summer: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20140919/anaheim-ducks-the-west-bulk-up-to-challenge-los-angeles-kings

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at defenseman Drew Doughty and his goal of winning the Norris Trophy here: http://www.latimes.com/sports/kings/la-sp-kings-drew-doughty-20140920-story.html

Dillman also catches up with captain Dustin Brown here: http://www.latimes.com/sports/kings/la-sp-dustin-brown-kings-20140922-story.html

In the Orange County, er, Los Angeles Register, Rich Hammond previews the Kings’ No. 1 goal in Monday’s split-squad exhibitions with the Arizona Coyotes: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kings-635851-monday-home.html

 

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Keeping up with the Kings isn’t easy, just ask Ducks general manager Bob Murray

The Ducks are expected to be active in trade discussions over the next few days at the NHL draft, trying to upgrade their roster in an attempt to match the Stanley Cup champion Kings. The Ducks want help at center and on defense. Here’s what Ducks general manager Bob Murray said about keeping up with the Kings, or trying to catch up to them, anyway:

“They won the Stanley Cup and they deserved to. They were the best team. They had a good series with Chicago after our series (a second-round win for the Kings) and the Rangers stepped up, too. So, we’re chasing a bunch of teams. That’s why we have to step up, (because) we’re behind a few teams.”

Here’s Murray on finding someone like Kings defenseman Drew Doughty:

You watch the Kings and you watched how Drew Doughty emerged as a superstar in the playoffs. Do we have someone who is that guy? Can you afford that guy if you find someone like that? It’s a huge decision, but how long do you wait?”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pre-NHL Awards Show reading: my ballot

Here’s my ballot, cast in the middle of April:

Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby, PIT, Ryan Getzlaf, ANA, Claude Giroux, PHI, Semyon Varlamov, COL, Jonathan Toews, CHI.

Norris Trophy: Drew Doughty, LAK, Shea Weber, NSH. Duncan Keith, CHI, Ryan Suter, MIN, Zdeno Chara, BOS.

Calder Torphy: Nathan MacKinnon, COL, Jacob Trouba, WPG, Hampus Lindholm, ANA, Ondrej Palat, TBL, Frederik Andersen, ANA.

Byng Trophy: Ryan O’Reilly, COL, Matt Duchene, COL, Patrick Marleau, SJS, Tyler Seguin, DAL, David Krejci, BOS.

Selke Trophy: Anze Kopitar, LAK, Patrice Bergeron, BOS, David Backes, STL, Jonathan Toews, CHI, Andrew Cogliano, ANA.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Willie Mitchell talks about what makes fellow Kings D-man Drew Doughty special

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty figures to get plenty of votes for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2014 playoffs. Here’s what teammate Willie Mitchell had to say Wednesday when asked what makes Doughty a special player: “His passion for the game. I’ve said it all along, there’s people who kind of thought he didn’t care enough or was too lax. But he just loves the game and loves to compete. … That’s his No. 1 attribute. He loves to come to the rink and he wants to make a difference every game and I really respect it.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Kings say they’ve learned from 2012 and will keep distractions to a minimum

The Kings had the New Jersey Devils down and out going into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 at Staples Center. The Kings led the series three games to none and were primed for a sweep. The Devils rallied with victories in Games 4 and 5 against the distracted Kings, who finally secured their first championship with a resounding victory in Game 6. The Kings vowed to avoid a repeat after taking a 3-0 series lead over the New York Rangers.

“Just basically the distractions last time were trying to get tickets for certain people, there weren’t enough tickets, stuff like that going on,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said Wednesday. “Basically, we just talked about it as a group and just said let the families deal with it. Get your mom in charge, get your wife in charge, whatever it needs to be, and just completely forget about that rather than having to go out for breakfast with them, something like that.

“Just focus on the team.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty says he’s ready to play Game 4 right now

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty seemed calm, cool and collected as he slumped in a folding chair during a formal news conference Tuesday. He answered questions with his customary honesty, admitting that he was a bundle of nerves with Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final more than 24 hours away.

“I can’t wait to get out there,” Doughty said. “It kind of sucks that the game is at 8 p.m., waiting around during the day. You just want to get out there. You don’t want to get overanxious at the same time. But it’s fun to play in these types of games. When the pressure’s at a high (level), you just want to go out there, play your best as a team, win games. Yeah, I just can’t wait to get out there, get warmups over, drop that first puck.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Kings captain Dustin Brown likes to see an emotional defenseman Drew Doughty

As long as he harnesses it the right way, Kings captain Dustin Brown said he likes it when defenseman Drew Doughty plays with emotion. Brown has spoken to Doughty about learning how to channel his anger in the right direction and making it work for him rather than against him. Here’s more from Brown:

“I think the emotion is awesome. He’s still learning how to use that emotion the right way. Sometimes people blow it up and say, ‘Oh, he’s so emotional.’ I think it’s great. There are other times and I’ve had talks with him. He understands it’s not an easy thing to do. He’s learning it. It’s something all players learn. I’ve learned.”

Here’s what Doughty had to say about playing mad and yelling at the referees at they missed seeing him get hit in the face with a stick in Game 1:

“I’m going to be upset if I get hit in the face. Maybe instead of yelling at them, I should just be talking to them or completely ignoring it, to be honest. I got frustrated. I probably wouldn’t have snapped if we didn’t get a penalty right after that happened. It may be that showing frustration to my teammates isn’t a good thing, but it makes me play better. I’ve got to fix it, but I like it at the same time. I’ve learned that. Losing it on the refs is the wrong thing to do. I don’t know why I still do it. I’ve got to fix it.”

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Darryl Sutter talks about the potential for growth in defenseman Drew Doughty

Kings coach Darryl Sutter fields questions almost daily about Drew Doughty’s remarkable progress. Someone asked Thursday whether Sutter believes he looks at the 24-year-old defenseman in a different way because he’s built some credibility with the coach.

“Plays a little more probably, for sure,” Sutter said. “Didn’t kill penalties. Now he kills penalties. Plays against top players a lot. He’s a young player. I think when you do all the analytics on athletes, he’s a long ways form being as good as he’s going to be just because of his age.”

Indeed, there’s still room for growth and improvement.

“Learn to manage your ice time better, learning to manage what’s going on, on the ice,” Sutter said when asked what Doughty could do better in the coming seasons. “You become a better shot selection guy. You become a better penalty killer.

“You learn the league better. You learn players on the other teams better. Nuances of start players. You learn how to handle your practice habits, nutrition, what you do on game days. All that stuff. What can he do better? As I said, there’s a big difference between being 25 and 35.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Drew Doughty’s sideways skating in Game 1 leaves Willie Mitchell a bit awestruck

Most NHL players can skate backwards without a great deal of trouble, although defensemen are generally better at retreating while watching the play in front of them than forwards. There’s no one who isn’t a good skater going forwards, although some are a little faster than others, especially with the puck on their stick.

But how about sideways?

Willie Mitchell marveled at fellow Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s ability to move laterally with the puck while making a move that produced the tying goal in the second period of a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

“There are very few defensemen in the league who can skate sideways,” Mitchell said. “If you watch that goal, he was pretty much skating sideways to make his little shuffle there. We all know probably one of the best defensemen ever to play the game, (Nicklas) Lidstrom, and how he could skate sideways. We’re fortunate enough to have a player of that magnitude to do that and he knew he had to do that to get us back in the game after the stuff early on.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email