LA Kings: Three takeaways from Thursday’s win over the Avalanche

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Drew Doughty
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was no coincidence that the Kings were able to get their first win of the year in Drew Doughty’s best game of the season.

Takeaway #2: Drew Doughty steps up

Quick wasn’t the only veteran Kings veteran who turned back the clock on Thursday.

As early as it may be in the season, the play of Drew Doughty was already ringing some alarm bells. His play on Thursday may have some in the organization sleeping a little easier for at least one night, though.

With LA facing a crucial 5-on-3 power play down 2-0 in the second period, Doughty got them back into the game with a perfect one-timer.

Todd McLellan certainly seemed happy with Doughty’s performance, given that he had Doughty on the ice for more than half the game, finishing with 30:31 of ice time. Partway through the game, McLellan broke up Doughty’s pairing with Olli Maatta and put him with Mikey Anderson, and it seems like a pretty safe bet that pair will be staying together for Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Anderson also had a strong game and was rewarded with a career-high 25:12 of ice time.

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While McLellan ended up leaning heavily on Anderson and Doughty and Anderson in this one, Maatta ended up playing only 11:04, the lowest amongst LA defensemen. Maatta hasn’t been impressive so far, and it looks like he may already be in McLellan’s doghouse, so that’s a situation worth keeping an eye on.

Doughty, though, looked more assertive with the puck and was making smarter plays with it on Thursday. The Kings can only hope this is a sign of things to come for their $88-million man.