Player evaluation: Doughty
This season: 76 games, 11 goals, 29 points, 68 penalty minutes, 25:39 average ice time.
The good: Doughty was not a Norris Trophy finalist in 2009-10 by accident. When he is on his game, Doughty is a dynamic two-way player. His subtle moves and positioning in the defensive end often escape notice but are superior for a player who is only 21 years old. He has the ability to take over games — such as Game 2 of the series against San Jose — and after a rough start, Doughty scored nine of his 11 goals in the second half of the season. He’s a rare defenseman who can effectively play 30 minutes in a game.
The bad: The Doughty of 2009-10 was rarely seen early this season. The Kings were not happy with Doughty’s conditioning at the start of training camp, and his attempt to play his way into form was stalled by a concussion in late October that cost him six games. After significant early-season Norris Trophy buzz, Doughty had only one goal in his first 23 games, and while his mistakes with the puck were not plentiful, they were often high-profile mistakes that were atypical for Doughty.
Going forward: It wasn’t all just about conditioning and the concussion. After Doughty’s breakout sophomore season, he became a target in the NHL. Opponents went into every game knowing they would have to keep a close eye on Doughty, and he didn’t get the same space he had before, particularly on the power play. Now, the ball is back in Doughty’s court. He must re-adjust and respond to that increased attention and pressure, and the Kings will be keeping a close eye on how he starts training camp in September.