Did Doughty and Johnson Improve This Season?

For the Kings to have a significant chance of beating the San Jose Sharks in the opening round of the playoffs they’ll most likely need to rely heavily on their goaltending and defensemen.

Four of the six blueliners were with the team for last year’s post-season appearance against the Vancouver Canucks. Willie Mitchella veteran of 45 NHL playoff games – and rookie Alec Martinez now round out the group.

Yet, nearly all of the attention will be on the Kings’ pair of high-profile defensemen, Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.  Both had strong years last season for the Kings and represented their countries at the Winter Olympics.

But, what about this season? Doughty’s goals (16 to 11), assists (43 to 29) and point totals (59 to 40) all slipped from a year ago – when he was nominated for the Norris Trophy.   And Johnson saw his point total slightly increase (36 to 43) by adding more assists. However, he hasn’t scored a goal since February 2 in Edmonton.

Have they improved from a year ago?  Here’s what coach Terry Murray had to say…

“The area of improvement is on the checking part of the game. Our numbers, (compared to) the league, on shots against, goals against, the penalty kill, our checking game has improved again this year. They’re a big, big part of it. Those young guys play the most minutes on the back end for our team and are important players that can play in all of those situations. They’re point producers and I’ve seen, in the second half of the year, a big improvement in Doughty’s game. At the start of the year, I saw a big improvement with Jack Johnson’s game. He started off playing very solid, putting numbers up and the numbers tailed off here at the end of the year. But, I thought his checking game was pretty good.”

Doughty led all Kings players in ice time this season, averaging more than 25 minutes per game. Does he see that increasing in the playoffs, to say 30 minutes a night?

“That’s not necessarily a plan that I have, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did get up there,” said Murray.  “Your match-ups are going to be, obviously, against the (Joe) Thornton line and the (Logan) Couture line and (Joe) Pavelski’s line is pretty good too. But, You need your best defensemen to play a lot of minutes against those top two, top three lines.”

For more from the coach… he spoke at length about Martinez and Mitchell in a recent article here, titled ‘Terry Murray Sizes Up His Defense.’

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Shop.NHL.com

Recent Articles

Robitaille Luc

Robitaille Lays Out AHL California Story – Past, Present, Future

Several years ago, Luc Robitaille did an interview on MayorsManor where he revealed thoughts of wanting to hold an outdoor game on the beach, likely near Hermosa or Redondo. It would be a pre-season game against the Ducks because he loved the idea of doing something cool to create a media buzz for Southern California […]

LA Kings MayorsManor

Robitaille on Management Changes in Ontario

This truly has been a monumental week for hockey news in Southern California. Along with the long-awaited word of the Ontario Reign becoming an AHL franchise next season, many questions have emerged. In the first of our two-part interview with Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Kings, he will discuss the […]

Kings Sharks Stadium Series

Kings-Sharks Outdoor Game Coming to Theatres

According to Sharks management, there are less than 500 tickets still available for sale for the Stadium Series game coming to Levi’s Stadium next month. If you want to go, better hurry. On the other hand, if you don’t plan on being there in person, MayorsManor has learned you will now have another option to […]

Major News Items

MayorsManor Prospect Rankings 2015 Midseason

LA Kings 2014-15 Midseason Prospect Rankings: No. 6-10

Yesterday, we rolled out the initial article in our three-part series looking at the midseason updates to the LA Kings top 10 prospects list. Already served up were three honorable mentions – defensemen Kevin Gravel, … [Read More...]

More Prospect News