Drew Doughty caught a few people off guard when he showed up to training camp at 205lbs. That was a good sign for a player who has been dogged by comments about his conditioning ever before he was drafted into the NHL.
“I wondered if he’s been eating,” joked Rob Scuderi. “But with Dewey we all know that’s not a problem.”
All kidding aside, it was Dustin Brown who first pointed out to us that he expected to see a more mature Doughty once the lockout ended. Even though the Kings top defenseman didn’t arrive in the best of shape to start last season (following a contract dispute), the captain explained that it was all just part of the maturation process.
Now, Scuderi is the latest to notice that Doughty is taking things a little more seriously these days.
“Any little edge to help you out he’s been trying to do,” explained the 34-year old blueliner. “So if it’s losing a few extra pounds and helping him move a little better, then he’s willing to do that. And I think that’s the mark of a special player, especially coming off of the year that we’ve had.”
Yes, that Stanley Cup run is what had some worried – thinking that perhaps with a Stanley Cup Championship in hand Doughty might become complacent and maybe never reach his full potential.
Nothing could be further from the truth if you believe what Doughty told us earlier this week, saying he has a renewed focus on regaining his form of 2010 and earning another Norris Trophy nomination.
Although he hasn’t talked with his defensive partner about that specific goal just yet, Scuderi is definitely starting to see a change in Doughty.
“You can tell,” the two-time Stanley Cup Champion began to explain. “Maybe in some respects, including myself, (we’re) a little bit disappointed in last season. As a pair I thought we could have brought a little more to the table, especially in the middle of the season. If you’re willing to be a competitor in this league, you have to be willing to take a look at yourself and how you can improve. If it’s our regular season that we can do better on, then I think he’s going to be focused on trying to do that.”
Actions speak louder than words.
And if Doughty can back up what he’s been saying all week, he just might get that invitation to the NHL Awards in June after all.
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