November 4, 2010 12:00 pm

Doughty on ‘guard’

When Drew Doughty returns to the Kings’ lineup tonight, after missing six games with concussion symptoms, he will have a new piece of equipment. Not one of the new “M11” helmets, worn by Willie Mitchell and Kevin Westgarth, among others — although that wouldn’t be a bad idea — but a mouthguard. Doughty used one temporarily last season, after he nearly lost several front teeth in an early-season game, but went away from it. Mouthguards, in general, are presumed to give players some stability in the jaw and neck areas, and provide some protection when hits are delivered, and Terry Murray said he would like all players to wear them…

MURRAY: “We do encourage that, through the whole organization. Management, doctors, coaches, we all encourage the players to wear mouthguards. There is medical evidence that that is preventative for any kind of injury. Even going back to competing, battling, 1-on-1, 2-on-2, there is a strength element that does enter into it, when you can have something like that, a mouthguard, to bite down on. It does tighten up the muscles, and it is scientifically proven that you are a stronger player in those compete situations.”

Murray said he did not know how many Kings wear mouthguards.

MURRAY: “I don’t know the number. I hope it’s everyone. I know it’s not. [laughs]”

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