March 20, 2013
Kings coach Darryl Sutter doesn't care that Drew Doughty hasn't scored yet. Nor does he care that his top defenseman — the one with the eight-year, $56 million contract — has just 11 assists in 28 games. As long as Doughty is taking care of business in his own end and making a good first pass, Sutter will be happy.
The last thing the coach wants to see is Doughty trying to do it all himself.
"Well, if you do that all the time, you're not a very good player," said Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. "You're Brian Campbell in Florida. You'll be minus-20. And we'll see you on the highlights, but you're on a bad team, and you're a high-minus player."
Now, we're not sure it's fair to put Campbell's minus-20 rating entirely on Campbell. If the Panthers got a few more saves from their goaltenders, things might be different in Florida.
The fact is, Doughty's offensive totals have fallen each season since he racked up 59 points in 2009-10.
Points per game:
Some of that decline can no doubt be attributed to more defensively responsible play from the 23-year-old. As Sutter said today, "I can pick three or four mistakes out all year. Literally."
Still, it's clear Doughty feels he should be contributing more to the attack.
"There are times during games where he forces it where he doesn't have to," said Sutter. "It's like I tell him, ‘Just beat one. You don't have to beat five.'"
Despite Doughty's modest stats, the Kings haven't had any trouble scoring compared to the rest of the NHL. After last night's 4-0 win over the Coyotes, L.A. ranks sixth in offense, averaging 3.0 goals per game.