Durable Doughty proud of streak

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Cur­tis Zupke cur­tis.zupke@la­times.com Twit­ter: @cur­tiszupke

WIN­NIPEG, Canada — The big num­ber next to Drew Doughty’s name doesn’t tell the whole story.

He has played 331 con­sec­u­tive games through aches and bruises, tweaks to the knee and hun­dreds of blocked shots off his legs. And that’s just the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“Both play­off runs, I’ve separated my shoul­der twice,” Doughty said. “It’s just the way it goes. It’s part of the game. A lot of us won’t be walk­ing too well when we’re done play­ing, but it’s the way it goes.”

Doughty set the Kings record for con­sec­u­tive games played Tues­day.

He broke the mark of 330 set by Anze Ko­pi­tar that ended in 2011.

Doughty has not missed a reg­u­lar-sea­son game since 2014, and he has played in 84 of a pos­si­ble 85 play­off games in his ca­reer. The missed game was his sus­pen­sion for an il­le­gal hit last sea­son.

Given the high-im­pact min­utes he plays and how of­ten he’s matched up against top-line for­wards, Doughty sounds more pride­ful talk­ing about his dura­bil­ity than he is about chas­ing an­other Nor­ris Tro­phy.

“To be hon­est, I’m very proud of it,” Doughty said. “But it’s not some­thing I’m think­ing about all the time. I’m just so thank­ful for the med­i­cal staff and the fit­ness staff and the or­ga­ni­za­tion too. They’re not afraid, if you need that MRI or you need that what­ever, the or­ga­ni­za­tion takes care of it ev­ery time.”

The sea­son is only three games old and Doughty has al­ready played through pain. He got slashed on the leg in the sea­son opener but missed only a few shifts.

What hurt more in break­ing Ko­pi­tar’s record was that it hap­pened in a 2-1 loss to the Win­nipeg Jets.

The Kings couldn’t tie it on a late power play and reg­is­tered only 17 shots.

That’s the theme that has emerged: The Kings have av­er­aged only 21 shots per game so far, which ranks 29th in the league.

On Tues­day they di­rected 42 shots on net, with 17 on goal, 15 blocked and 10 missed. By con­trast, Win­nipeg made 70 shot at­tempts.

Kings coach John Stevens said “the in­ten­tion to put pucks in the right ar­eas was there” in the third pe­riod. Doughty said it’s not for a lack of ef­fort and called out his own unit. He is cred­ited with one shot in three games.

“We need more shots from our de­fense,” Doughty said. “I feel like our D aren’t get­ting enough shots, my­self in­cluded … we need to be more con­nected. Our D aren’t get­ting in­volved in the of­fense. We’re not even close.”

Con­cerns about the sec­ond line

Stevens tried to tap into the Tan­ner Pear­son-Jeff Carter-Tyler Tof­foli line but hasn’t seen what he nor­mally sees from that fix­ture.

“They’ve set the stan­dard pretty high,” Stevens said. “I don’t think we’ve even come close to that yet. I think we’ve got some work to do there. Ex­actly how it all falls out, I’m not sure yet. We’ve seen that group per­form at a high level in the most crit­i­cal time of the year, and we just haven’t seen enough of a 200-foot game with those three guys to­gether.

“It’s not just them. We’re look­ing for some bal­ance in our lineup and it hasn’t got­ten to the level that we’d hoped. At least not yet.”

Austin Wag­ner was teamed with Carter and Tof­foli in prac­tice Wed­nes­day while Pear­son was with Adrian Kempe and Trevor Lewis.


AT MON­TREAL When: 4:30 p.m. PDT On the air: TV: FSW; Ra­dio: iHeartRa­dio (LA Kings Au­dio Net­work). Up­date: Mon­treal traded cap­tain Max Pa­cioretty to the Ve­gas Golden Knights just be­fore train­ing camp in the lat­est or­ga­ni­za­tional shift to­ward youth . ... Tomas Plekanec was benched the first two games. De­fense­man Shea We­ber (knee surgery) is out un­til prob­a­bly De­cem­ber.

Trevor Ha­gan As­so­ci­ated Press

DREW DOUGHTY played in his 331st con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar-sea­son game for the Kings on Tues­day night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.