Doughty, Voynov, Murray on the puzzling Kings blue line

Although the Kings have one of the strongest defensive units in the Western Conference – if not the top group overall – there are certainly a few questions going on at the moment.

Drew Doughty is out with an injury. Rookie Slava Voynov is playing well so far. Alec Martinez looks to be starting slow. And Davis Drewiske is still a healthy scratch most nights.

Following the team’s morning skate, Doughty, Voynov and coach Terry Murray weighed in with comments…

Doughty on his health – “Everything has gotten a lot better (in the last few days). I haven’t been able to shoot yet – which is obviously a key part to the game. So, I need to get that back. I’ve made really fast progress though and I’m happy with how much better it’s gotten. I really want to play because it’s almost harder being hurt than playing. You work a lot harder in the gym than on the ice. So, it’s pretty frustrating at the same time.”

As for his replacement, Doughty said that Voynov “has been great” for the Kings.

Murray agreed, adding – “(Voynov’s) play with the puck, his composure and his attitude about going after it and being aggressive on the offensive part of the game, is something that I’ve always liked in players, and he’s bringing that.”

Which, naturally, leads to the obvious question – is there a chance Voynov will stay up with the Kings when Doughty is ready to return?

Murray didn’t have quite as much to say about that question – deferring to issues like rules on call-ups, the salary cap and similar factors. Thus, he thinks management will play a key role in such a decision.

That said, should Martinez or Drewiske be concerned?

“I can’t answer for that,” Murray said, before quickly adding – “From what I remember in my (playing) days, you’re always concerned whenever a player comes up and plays well. You want to be a player and you want to be in the line-up. With Doughty out of the line-up, that was the reason for (Voynov getting called up). He’s a player who brings us minutes in those special team situations. If it had been, touch wood, Matt Greene out of the line-up because of an injury, Drewiske would have been in the line-up – with that big body, a defensive-defenseman.”

And what about Martinez specifically, he was recently scratched for a game? Murray said his play has looked “a little better” since then and he’s wanting the second-year pro to ‘pick up the tempo and the intensity.’

Speaking with a thick Russian accent, Voynov said – “I feel great. Every game I feel better, better and better.”

Like every rookie, he also noted the speed of the game, as well – “It’s so much faster. You need to move the puck quicker, think quicker and do everything quicker.”

One thing that’s moving along a little slower is Doughty’s recovery, as Murray was a little hesitant to say exactly when he might return.

“I don’t know. We’ll bring him in and get a talk with our medical staff after today. We’re going to have a day off tomorrow, but he’s going to come in and get another off-ice workout, and probably on the ice also. So, we’ll keep pushing it. But, we’re going to make sure that he’s 100-percent strong before getting going. I would anticipate this coming week, in my mind, that he’ll get into a game. Whether it’s in the middle or toward the end, I don’t know. But, I think everything should be in pretty good shape by the end of this next week.”

We’ll have some more Dallas vs. LA pre-game notes later this afternoon.

Also, be sure to listen to The Fourth Period radio show on NHL Home Ice (Sirus 207, XM 92) today at 3pm PST. I’ll be on to talk about the key stories surrounding the Kings right now – including the defense, the goaltending, Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar and more.

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

RELATED ARTICLES:

Voynov and Murray compare notes

Doughty on his most annoying Kings teammate

Murray on Hickey vs. Voynov

Alec Martinez hopes to have money left over for some new sticks

Exclusive:  Dustin Penner explains his injuries in detail, what’s been going on

Shop MMAOverload.com Today!

Recent Articles

Two LA Kings Prospects Playing on TV – Tune in Today, Tomorrow, and Saturday

It’s looking more and more like the NHL is headed toward a late January / early February start for the 2020-21 season. And that’s just fine. As discussed on Kings of the Podcast recently, that allows hockey fans everywhere to focus their attention on the upcoming World Junior Championships. While the official tournament starts December […]

This Day in LA Kings History: December 3

Happy birthday to former @LAKings defenseman Tom Preissing, who was born on December 3, 1978.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/NlnofY98Ur
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) December 3, 2020

On December 3, 2013, Martin Jones made his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks. Jones made 26 saves and stopped nine shootout attempts in a 3-2 win for the @LAKings.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/bmlLXTn9fk
— The […]

This Day in LA Kings History: December 2

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Kelly Buchberger, who was born on December 2, 1966.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/Lok6sKYjzS
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) December 2, 2020

On December 2, 1989, Kelly Hrudey made 35 saves to earn his ninth career shutout in a 6-0 win for the @LAKings. Luc Robitaille moved to second overall in goal scoring when he […]

Major News Items

Anatomy of a Draft Pick – How the Kings Decided on Byfield

It seems that nearly every year there is a debate among two players either at or near the top of the NHL Draft board. This year was no exception, with Quinton Byfield vs. Tim Stuetzle being a common theme among … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.