Previously, we posted some thoughts on Jeff Carter that Luc Robitaille shared with Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey when he was a guest on Hockey Night in Canada radio. During that same conversation they also talked about Drew Doughty and some of the struggles the Kings have gone though this year. Take a look…
“We hope so,” Robitaille said, when asked if the team’s early season troubles are behind them now. “We had a few guys that didn’t play during the lockout, and it showed, you know? For the first two-three weeks, we had guys that didn’t seem to be able to keep the tempo of the style of game we want to play. And we were running into a little bit of the same situation (from last year) where we weren’t scoring goals. At the end of the day, in this league, if you want to win games, your penalty killing has to be good, your power play has to be good, and you have to score a few key goals. And we’ve started doing that. I’d say about two weeks ago we played a big game in Detroit, where we came back near the end. We didn’t win the game, we gave up a goal with about five seconds left. But, it just seemed to be the turning point, where suddenly we looked like the team we were last year – near the end of the season and the finals.”
Things then turned to Doughty. Of course, he hasn’t scored a goal yet this season and his plus-minus was pretty bad early on – however, that’s been improving of late.
“Actually, Drew has been playing well for us most of the year,” Robitaille began to explain. “It’s kind of funny actually. Even though he has (a poor) plus-minus statistic, with Willie Mitchell missing, Matt Greene missing, he has – he has always played big minutes - but he’s playing big minutes that take a lot of work. Him and Rob Scuderi were playing against all the top lines, and everybody that was bringing a threat on the other side. And it just seemed like we weren’t scoring goals. So, teams were beating us 2-1, 3-1 and unfortunately it was the big guns on the other side that were playing. But, I don’t think Drew was playing bad. He’s definitely playing better and he’s moving the puck a little bit better offensively. But all and all, in our zone, he’s playing well.”
There was then some discussion about other Cup winning teams bringing back their whole roster.
“I think for us, we’re a very young team, and the few veterans that we’ve had or were older players, worked real hard for us in the playoffs…It happened that they were either signed, or we had an opportunity to sign them. We feel if everyone plays the way they did last year, we have as good a shot this year as we did last year. There is something to bringing back those guys, because I think they’ve learned to win now. And once you learn to win, you become a little bit of a different player, a little different attitude. And you can clearly tell in Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar; they’re not the same players they were before. They play with a little different edge now.”
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