The numbers don't look good for Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. His plus-minus defensive rating is a team-worst minus 10 after only 11 games of the lockout-shortened season. He also has only four assists and isn't the Kings' leading scorer among their bruised and battered defensemen.
Slava Voynov, a defenseman in only his second NHL season, has been something of a revelation with two goals and four assists and a plus-minus rating of plus seven.
So, what's wrong with Doughty?
Everything and nothing.
So said Kings coach Darryl Sutter after Wednesday's practice.
"He has to clearly play better in his own zone," Sutter said in a typically blunt assessment. "That's not really a surprise. When the team has only given up three or four more goals in terms of for and against and you have three or four players that are significantly off - that's not a team issue."
The Kings actually have given up six more goals than they have scored.
"He's a young defenseman, so what's changed, right?" Sutter continued when asked about the play of the 23-year-old Doughty. "He's got a lot to learn. It's no different from the rest of them. Our oldest defenseman is (Rob) Scuderi, who's supposed to be a really good defensive player. And the next-oldest is (Davis) Drewiske, who's 28 and learning how to play. And the rest are all kids.
"Don't single Drew Doughty out. He's a young player. He's got a lot to learn. He's been put in a new situation this year than he has been at any other point in his his career."
Doughty struggling on defense
L.A. Daily News | Feb 14