LA Kings: Doughty on D corps ‘more mobile, more offensive’

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

The leader of the LA Kings’ defensive corps, Drew Doughty knows what his unit excels at but also what they need to do to get better.

Through 29 games this season, Drew Doughty has seven goals and 18 assists. Yet, while those may not be eye-popping numbers, it is important to note that the veteran defenseman had seven tallies in 67 games last season and just 10 more assists than he does now. From an overall standpoint, though, Doughty’s contributions, and sheer presence, on the LA Kings‘ blueline is paramount to the club’s short- and long-term success. Some could even suggest that Doughty is the proverbial straw that stirs the drink for the LA Kings’ defensive corps. However you look at it, though, this newer corps is helping Doughty enjoy a highly successful season thus far.

As for his current defensive partner, Mikey Anderson, the two-time Olympic gold-medalist is enjoying unprecedented success thanks to the youngster.

Among the defensive pairings this season who have logged as many minutes as they have, Doughty and Anderson lead the NHL among said pairings with the fewest goals allowed.

As of Sunday morning, according to, the duo has played 406.2 minutes together over the course of 27 games and has allowed a total of seven goals.

Following practice on Saturday, Doughty spoke with the media about his success with Anderson and whether the fewest goals allowed statistic is something he takes more pride in than any of his offensive numbers.

“Definitely,” Doughty stressed. “In the last few years, my stat in that category hasn’t been too good, and it’s not because I lack competitiveness in that area or anything like that. It just hasn’t been going my way. But, it’s the stat I take most pride in. I don’t want to be out there for goals against ever, whether it’s [the] penalty kill or five-on-five. It doesn’t matter. I don’t want to be out there for goals against, and neither does Mikey, and we take a lot of pride in that. We’re usually planning [our best lines]– we always are. We’re not usually; we do every night. So, it’s something to be proud of, but something we need to keep going.”

Doughty was then asked how the LA Kings’ defensive corps as a whole compares to those of seasons past. The veteran defenseman gave tremendous credit to his current group but was also quick to point out which areas need improvements.

“Well, this D-corps, I’d say, is more mobile, more offensive,” the veteran noted. “I mean, we haven’t scored many goals, actually, but we actually are more offensive. We’re better skaters, [we] all have really good vision. The thing that we, maybe, aren’t as good as the D-corps we had in the past is just defense as a whole. It’s something we need to improve on: being better in front of the net, getting sticks, boxing guys out. So, it’s something that– that’s where we need to improve, but I definitely see a lot more mobility and a lot more offensive upside than our D-corps in the past.”

As for how he’s embracing his role as the elder statesman of the group, for lack of a better term, Doughty continues to fully embrace his role as a leader.

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“Well, I’ve kind of been playing that role for a long time now, but yeah, I like it,” the 31-year-old noted. “The young guys look up to me, that every time I talk to them, they’re listening to what I have to say, and I think they take it in. It’s not one of those where they’re listening, but they’re not listening. You know, I’m trying to help them as much as I can. I had a lot of help when I was a rookie and a young guy from veteran guys and I can’t thank those guys enough. So, I just want to kind of continue that trend and help those guys be the best they can be.”

Regardless of how they fare for the remainder of the season, there is no denying that the LA Kings are in great hands with the veterans they have. This goes especially for Drew Doughty and the promising defensive corps that the silver-and-black boast.

Winning his elusive Norris Trophy in 2016, there is no reason why Drew Doughty shouldn’t be in the discussion for nabbing his second this year. He may have his share of doubters — some of which may not have even watched him play this season — but as he continues to log big numbers (26:21 average thus far), Drew Doughty continues to show how versatile, and invaluable, he is on the ice.

Averaging 3.37 hits per game and 3.42 blocked shots per game, Drew Doughty continues to be a tour de force for the LA Kings and a prime reason why the team’s loyal fanbase remains excited about the club regardless of their on-ice performance.

A defensive corps that is already formidable, just imagine how much more vaunted this group will be in just a few years under the tutelage of Drew Doughty.