Only two members of the Kings were not present in L.A. on Monday. Jack Johnson, looking to complete his Olympic experience the way he started it, participated in the closing ceremony last night, and Drew Doughty…well, he had a gold medal to celebrate.
Both young defensemen played well for their respective teams in the Games, exceeding reasonable expectations. Here’s what Terry Murray had to say about each of his young defensemen…
MURRAY: “Absolutely incredible. To just be turning 20 years old and to be put in that kind of situation, not only the Olympics but then to be put in critical situations in games. Against Finland, he’s out there in the last minute of playing, shutting a one-goal game down. Yesterday, in the second period, he specifically made an incredible move, with composure, in a very pressured situation. It looked like he was 30 years old and he had done this 100 different times. He’s a special guy. That’s why he was drafted as high as he was. He has qualities that are not coachable. Those are innate. He has them. He just brings that kind of game to the big stage and handles it with a great deal of composure.”
MURRAY: “The reason he was selected to play for Team USA was because of his defensive play, and I saw — yesterday and throughout the Olympic tournament — that he was very responsible. He was hard, he was gritty. He tried to throw the good players off their game with some physical play. That’s the kind of game that Jack can play. And then, on the other side of it, he has those skills offensively that are going to put some points on the board. So I really liked what I saw. I loved his attitude and he’s moving forward in his career.”