Team identity "way different" as Doughty endures "most embarassing" part of his career - LA Kings Insider

I’ve got a 2:00 p.m. appointment, so there will be a brief delay in the heavy content to come. But I spoke with Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe and Drew Doughty in the dressing room, and we’re all waiting to meet with we just met with Willie Desjardins, who put the team through a little bit of a conditioning skate after a 50-minute practice. Also, be on the lookout for stories from the LA Times, LA Daily News and The Athletic, all of whom will be pumping out some interesting reporting and content today.

But before we go much farther, I wanted to share some Drew Doughty sentiments, which were honest, as usual. I’ll start with his response to my question over how the identity of the team has changed from previous years.

“It’s way different,” he answered. “I think that’s one of the things I try to tell the guys. When I used to go to these All-Star Games and these Team Canada things, every time I’d go in there, these guys would just come up to me and be like, ‘God, I hate playing your team. Like, I absolutely hate playing your team.’ For one, we were always physical. We were in your face, we worked as hard as we possible could, and we gave their star players nothing. When you shut down star players and don’t give them opportunities, they get frustrated with themselves, and they don’t perform their best way. I haven’t heard other players talk about our team like that in a good two or three years. We need to get back to that, and yeah, we don’t have the same guys, but we have the same core and we know how those older guys used to do it, so we can teach these young guys how to do it, and they’ve just got to go out there and do it.”

Drew Doughty, on what comes next after the team fired its coach and traded a key figure:

We win some hockey games. This is the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my hockey career, all of us have ever had to deal with in our hockey careers. You want to put a finger on it and you want to know exactly why this is happening, but it’s hard to figure out. It just has to come within. We can’t be waiting around for guys to make it happen. We can’t all be looking at Kopi for him to take the reins and take it over. We all need to individually just pick it up ourselves, and one-by-one we need to try to do exactly what we’re supposed to go out there and do and not wait around for other guys to do it for us. We’ve got to take the bull by the horns and do it ourselves. And that’s the biggest problem I see with our team right now. [Reporter: Everybody’s waiting for somebody else.] I think so. Even myself, I’m going out there, I’ve been friggin’ minus almost every game, it seems like, whether it was an empty net or whatever it may be. I’m going out there thinking, ‘don’t get scored on, don’t get scored on,’ and when you think that way, the bad things happen. So you’ve got to start thinking positive, and I know it’s hard to think positive when we’re losing like this, but that’s the bottom line. When you think negative, negative, things happen.

Doughty, on whether this happened abruptly, or if he could sense challenges seeping in earlier:
I don’t know. I haven’t seen us really perform at all well this season, so I think I kind of saw it coming. I thought last season we were better than the season before that, but still not amazing. I thought we could’ve been better. So, yeah, I didn’t expect this, but I guess in the way we had training camp and the way we started the season, you could see it kind of coming, I guess. But we also thought we would’ve gotten right out of it a lot sooner than this. It’s a frustrating time.

-Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

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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.