Team-wide effort required to slow McDavid - LA Kings Insider

On Monday, Drew Doughty spoke about the team-wide effort needed to contain a player like Connor McDavid, whose speed and ability to make the top defensemen in the league look silly was on display in last week’s Edmonton’s win at Rogers Place, especially in the first period.

Noting that he also needs to play McDavid better one-on-one, he also called to attention the need to slow down one of the league’s preeminent superstars before he gains the attacking end.

“Yeah, you definitely need to slow him down in the neutral zone,” Doughty said yesterday. “Last game there were many times where he kind of got through the neutral zone with a lot of speed and then you have your D who are pulled back from the other forwards, so therefore you have no gap on him and when he’s got speed, you’re kind of like a deer in headlights. You kind of have to guess at what he’s going to do because he’s moving at such a high speed.”

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, he again called to attention the need to maintain a healthy gap on the forward, a tactic that begins with the forwards’ play up-ice. Dustin Brown also spoke about that effort after the morning skate.

“You can get in his way, slow him down. If you can get in front of him early, in his path, it’s not an easy thing to do, but forwards can definitely help our D out,” Brown said. “If he’s coming full speed from inside his blue line with no obstruction it’s going to be tough for our D. … Nudge, push, just get a hook on him. Get in his way and make him go the long way. Make him change his route. All those little things can help.”

Brown noted that he didn’t think that officials watched McDavid closer than other players, and that penalties were the direct result of the player gaining his second gear, not being slowed down by neutral zone obstruction.

“His speed creates a lot of problems for a lot of players and as a result they take more penalties,” Brown said. “It’s pretty simple I think watching him play. … I think it’s more how fast he is with the puck because that’s the difference between a lot of players. There’s a lot of fast players in this league but they take a step, a gear down when they get the puck. His top speed is fast and when he gets the puck it maintains, right? And that’s unique.”

Dustin Brown, on what he’s noticed about playing at Rogers Place in Edmonton:
It’s a good atmosphere for a new building. Some of these new buildings you go into and it’s kind of – the atmosphere is better than some of the newer buildings I’ve been in, partly and probably because of the excitement around the team. The ice is good.

Brown, on whether there are any pristine ice surfaces remaining in the league:
It’s hard to say. I find like Arizona quite honestly has really good ice. I think it’s probably because they have no humidity.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.