|Drew Doughty – LA Kings (photo: M. Zampelli)|
Two goals and five assists probably isn’t what GM Dean Lombardi had in mind when he signed the Kings top defenseman to an eight-year, $56-million contract in September.
It was something acknowledged over the weekend, when coach Terry Murray spoke about Drew Doughty not giving the team what they need offensively so far this season. However, he wasn’t sure why the points have been slow to come.
And time appears to be a concern, when looking at Murray’s comment – “Now, we’re 20 games in…it’s important that we find the answer and get him going.”
Just prior to the Kings leaving for St. Louis, I asked Doughty if maybe he could explain his lack of point production…
“I don’t really have a reason for it,” said the 21-year old defenseman. I feel like I’m creating chances. I hit the post last game. I’m getting chances, I’m getting shots on net. I feel like I’m making some good plays to set up other guys, as well. Sometimes, it’s just about getting those bounces. I had those five points in three games and it just seemed like I was making a breakout pass or the guys were doing the job to get the puck in. So, it kinda goes in spurts. I wish it didn’t. I wish I had an exact reason why I’m not getting more points. I know I’m definitely going to try and jump in the play a little more and help try to create some more offensive chances.”
Again, back to the comments by Murray, he thought there was ‘a little bit of the hangover there from missing all of the training camp.’
Does Doughty agree?
“No, no, no. It has nothing to do with missing training camp. I thought that when I first came back, the first couple games of the season, I thought I played really well actually, in the first two games over in Europe. Then, obviously, I was injured – which sucked – and kind of set me back. But, I don’t know. He did say I was doing too much at one point. Then, now, it’s the other way around. So, I have to figure it out, (see) what the median is. I don’t want to worry about too much though. I know the things I can do out there. I know I can play better than I have in the last couple games and that’s all I’m worried about doing.
With Alec Martinez out injured and Slava Voynov called up, Murray mixed up the defensive pairs. Doughty now finds himself with Jack Johnson, someone he’s played with in the past, as well. Any thoughts on being reunited with Captain America?
“It’s been good,” said Doughty “I think we move the puck really well together. Once they dump the puck in, if we have a chance to get there before the other team, there’s a good chance of us breaking it out and making a good play for each other. At the same time, I think we have some areas we can improve on – (like) our defensive zone. We aren’t really used to playing with each other just yet, so we don’t know where we’re going to be in the defensive zone. But, after playing a couple games with him, I think we’ve done alright. At the same time, I think we can be a lot better.”
Earlier today, I did a preview of tonight’s game for True Hockey. You can read that brief article here – it includes quotes from Murray and a look at the roster moves he’ll make vs. the Blues.
Also, other notes from yesterday’s practice are linked below.