Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Drew Doughty is My Hero

I've hesitated to write this piece so far this season because I keep waiting for the roof to cave in, but Drew Doughty is the greatest 18 year-old defenseman I've ever seen. I mean, I haven't watched Luke Schenn or Luca Sbisa so far this season because I don't care about them but I just can't imagine how they can be better than Drew Doughty. Doughty leads all rookies in ice time (despite only playing 15 minutes one game because of an injury) and he's playing most of those minutes alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, who other teams match their best line against. According to Behind the Net, he leads all defensemen on the team in quality of competition. There's only been one time when he looked like a rookie, when Ryan Smyth turned him inside out, but otherwise he's been outstanding. He's not getting a whole lot of time on the penalty kill, but that's more because he needs some time to rest rather than he can't handle it.

What impresses me the most about Doughty is how he can just control the game. It doesn't matter who's coming after him, Doughty is always in control and doesn't ever rush the play. When you contrast him with someone like Denis Gauthier (who looks like Sonic the Hedgehog when you hold the button so he stays still) or Peter Harrold the difference is stark. When Doughty does go full-speed it is a surprise because he usually looks so smooth you forget what he can actually do.

"Why yes, I am awesome."

Doughty is starting to open his game up a little bit. Last night against Florida, there were a few Niedermayer Moments where someone passed the puck behind the net to Doughty and I thought, "What the hell is he doing back there?" But, like Niedermayer, Doughty is fast and smart enough to get back in position before the opposing team has a chance to exploit it. And he has Sean O'Donnell, who can't really do a whole lot but just does not make mistakes. It's insane. It's still early and everything, but I think I love Drew Doughty. He's already my 2nd favorite player behind Bailey.* I haven't really looked at the whole rookie scene yet, but if Doughty can pick up his offensive production (and I think he will once Kopitar gets going) then he has a very good chance at winning the Calder.

*Did you guys see for the game on Election Day when Bailey wore an Uncle Sam outfit? He's hilarious and topical.


Connie said...

I haven't really looked at the whole rookie scene yet

Watch Luke Schenn. He's really, really good but a completely different player than Doughty it.

Marie said...

omg, I love Drew Doughty. He is so freaking amazing.

I also think it's impressive that he's leading the team in +/- with a +6. Denis Gauthier? -7.

Unknown said...

Luke Schenn is a completely different player than Doughty (it?), in that he is no where near is good. To be honest, I don't know that Jack Johnson is as good. He needs to have more confidence in his shot, but everything else is butter.

Anonymous said...

Drew's neck-beard has quite reached the notability and breadth of O'Sullivan's, but its still developing, and soon it will overtake Patrick's as the most prominent neck-beard at Staples Center.

brokeyard said...

I think I love Drew Doughty

It's cool. You get one.

Kevin Y said...

I have a man-crush on Doughty.. fuck Prop 8!!

On a serious note, Doughty is an 18-year old rookie playing with the composure of a veteran and Norris Trophy winner like Niklas Lidstrom. He has already proven he can be a difference maker with a couple great plays last night against Florida and a remarkable defensive stop on Marian Hossa against Detroit.

He's only 18 years old, and when he has a couple years under his belt, he'll really be impressing GMs.

cristobal said...

I like Doughty a lot too, but the Calder parade is a bit premature. Though Doughty has looked good with and without the puck, he's also made a lot of mistakes. It was his lackadasical, or inexperienced, play that lost the Calgary game and he took a penalty 1 minute into the next game (against the Ducks) that could have really cost the team. As it was, the penalty left LA scrambling for the first 5 minutes at least.
I couldn't miss the irony last night when Jim Fox was talking about all the praise Doughty's getting, and then just as he finishes saying it, Doughty's defensive coverage completely broke down allowing that 2 on goalie in which the Florida player mishandled the pass in front of a completely wide open net.
Frankly, I don't think I've heard one person point out any of his mistakes or mention what he needs to work on. He's very good, and only 18, but he's no where near Norris trophy stuff right now. Calder, maybe, but a lot can happen over the year and its tough to make a case for Ice time being just cause for that trophy. Up until the florida game, Doughty had the same exact stats as Lubo, Corvo, Gleason, and Blake. 5 points and a +/- of zero. That's not even BIEKSA numbers, yet.

I do agree that his composure and ability to control what is going on is amazing, however. If he can cut down on the mistakes (he has to be held accountable for them first, which nobody seems to want to do) he could be the guy for the Calder. It doesn't hurt that Bogosian broke his leg, but it doesn't help being that Doughty plays in the west, as you pointed out in regards to the Ducks "stars of the week."

Mike in OC said...

I have no stats at all to go by, and I really only watch Kings hockey when the Ducks are idle.

Based on the 2 games vs. the Ducks and the few I've caught, he looks like the Kings best DEF on the ice (overall).

I would have never thought the guy would do that year one, and certainly not against the oponent's top offense.

When you consider he SHOULD only get better, that's pretty impressive. Even Getzlaf is still getting better each year and his rookie season was 2003.

I think Doughty is for real.

But if your still unsure, trade em to the Ducks, Burke can never have too many DEF players, it seems.

Earl Sleek said...

Last night against Florida, there were a few Niedermayer Moments where someone passed the puck behind the net to Doughty and I thought, "What the hell is he doing back there?"

In my household, whenever I spot Scott behind the opponent's goal line and I've got a drink poured, it's an automatic drink.

It's like a mini-Sharks-pizza contest, except I win more often.

Jargon said...

I think that it is still too early to get too excited. If anything, the rest of the team will manage to drag his stats down and soil his name. I would just like to hear him get so much praise after a game against a team that was good or challenging in some way, but it was Florida.

What I find exciting is that he manages to cancel out his flaws. If he is involved in a bad turnover, he will get the puck back or sprawl to block a shot. If he missed a pass he will haul ass to make sure that the team regains control. He nickname is Donut but Doughty means "brave."

He is amazing player for being an 18-year-old and its exciting to think of the day when he will be seen as an amazing player without his age being part of the equation.