Drew Doughty gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, after his summer contract squabble and his $7-million annual salary. It’s not so much the money but, as coaches always say, your best players have to be your best players, and by extension, your highest-paid players should be your best players. So, is criticism of Doughty warranted? Overall, his numbers aren’t strong, but numbers don’t always tell the story, and Doughty is actually on the upswing under Darryl Sutter. In 28 games under Terry Murray, Doughty had two goals, eight assists and a minus-6 rating. In 16 games under Sutter, Doughty has one goal, nine assists and a plus-8 rating. The criticism seems to extend from the perception that Doughty’s game has not progressed since he was a Norris Trophy finalist two years ago. Asked, in particular, about Doughty’s game last night, Sutter gave a lengthy breakdown of Doughty’s recent play…

SUTTER: “We wanted to match up, with Hejduk and O’Reilly’s line. We wanted that matchup, so that’s who he played against. I didn’t really have a problem with our defense last night. I think we’re trying to get the three older guys [Greene, Mitchell, Scuderi] to be a little more assertive in their games. I think they’re doing better at that. Those three young guys [Doughty, Johnson, Voynov], they’re kids. They’ve got lots to learn. I don’t think one of them is any different than the other ones.

“Drew, he has done a good job. That’s the thing I like about Drew, the way he plays against top players, for somebody his age. He can play head-up, and that’s the best thing. The other stuff is just going to be, not a process, but for him it’s going to be a curve always, until he figures it all out. The guy I coached who was closest to him was (Chris) Chelios. Once Chelly figured out the whole thing, instead of `one night this, one night that,’ then he was dominant. He didn’t get that until he was 28, 29 (years old). Most kids like (Doughty) are still juniors in college. As long as he’s doing a good job in his preparation, and being a pro, then his game can only get better, because that’s what he will do, I think.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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