Frozen Royalty: Drew Doughty’s Slow Start A Drag On Kings’ Offensive Attack
Gann Matsuda is back in action with another ditty on the Kings. Here he analyzes Drew Doughty’s slow start and low offensive production. Enjoy!
LOS ANGELES — During the second intermission of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 5, colleague Dennis Bernstein, Senior Writer for The Fourth Period Magazine, a columnist for TheFourthPeriod.com, and the Executive Producer of The Fourth Period Live on Sirius/XM Radio, was talking with me about the play of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.
It is not exactly a trade secret that Doughty has not lit the National Hockey League on fire so far this season, with just two assists (both coming on the power play), a -3 plus/minus rating, and twelve shots on goal in eight games.
We discussed the possibility that Doughty is likely still feeling the effects of his recent right shoulder injury (he missed five games due to that injury), and that he may have returned to action too soon. I said that it is more likely that his contract holdout, which forced him to miss the team’s training camp, has caught up to him.
About a month into the season, Doughty has not displayed the speed, physical play or offensive capabilities that he has displayed since his rookie season in 2008-09.
While playing catch-up to the rest of the team, Doughty’s play also appears to be a drag on the Kings’ offensive attack, which has not even come close to performing near expectations.
Following his team’s shootout loss to the Penguins, Kings head coach Terry Murray indicated that he believes that missing training camp is indeed a factor in Doughty’s slow start.
“I’ve seen this so many times over the years, with players who, for whatever reason, miss training camp,” said Murray. “There’s some lag time here, to get the rust off, to get the cobwebs out, to get going.”
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