Beyond that, he has his sights firmly set on becoming one of the
all-time best at his position and, according to Kings head coach
Darryl Sutter, has another decade to keep trending in that
"When you do all the analytics on athletes, he's a long ways from
being as good as he's going to be just because of his age," Sutter
told reporters on Thursday, a day after the Kings won their Stanley
Cup Finals opener against the New York Rangers.
"He plays a little more (time-wise) probably, for sure," Sutter
replied when asked to assess the difference in Doughty from a year
or two ago. "He didn't kill penalties, now he kills penalties. He
plays against top players a lot."
Sutter, whose Kings rallied from two goals down to beat the Rangers
3-2 in overtime in an action-packed Game One of the National Hockey
League's championship series, spelt out the areas where Doughy could
"Learn to manage your ice time better, learn to manage what's going
on on the ice," said the veteran coach, who played as a forward in
the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks. "You become a better shot
selection guy, you become a better penalty killer.
"You learn the league better, you learn players on the other teams
better. Nuances of star players.
"You learn how to handle your practice habits, nutrition, what you
do on game days. All that stuff. What can he do better? There's a
big difference between being 25 and 35."
Overall, though, Sutter has been impressed by Doughty's maturity,
both on and off the ice.
"You're seeing what was always in him, even in junior hockey, world
junior tournaments," Sutter said of the Canadian defenseman who was
selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
"He's incredibly competitive. The thing I've noticed the last year
in particular, he's really learning to channel that competitiveness
in the right direction. Sometimes it would get the best of him.
"You're starting to see also, which was always in him, some
leadership that's very underestimated in him. So to me he's growing
not only as a player, but as a man. It's pretty neat to watch."
Asked where Doughty ranked among defenseman Sutter had either played
against or coached, the Kings coach immediately cited multiple
All-Stars Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Zubov and Chris Chelios as among
the very best.
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"We all know how important those guys were," said Sutter. "He's got
a ways to go to catch those guys, but that's his goal, to be in that
"Chelios was the best all around defenseman that I had the
opportunity to coach. I'd say that Drew would be trending more
towards that type of player in terms of the all-around part of it,
the whole package."
Doughty, who won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 and Olympic
gold medals with the Canadian team at the 2010 Vancouver Games and
in Sochi this year, has clear-cut ambitions for his ice hockey
"I want to be the best defenseman in the world without a doubt,"
Doughty said. "But at the end of the day, the world won't judge me
by how many Norris Trophies I win but how many Stanley Cups I win.
"My ultimate thing is just winning, that's all I care about, is
being a winner and helping this team win. I will do anything that it
Doughty thrives on pressure, and relishes the brighter glare of the
spotlight during the playoffs when he simply wants to do the very
best he can for his team.
"I just step up to these occasions," said Doughty, who leads all
defenseman in scoring this postseason with 17 points in 22 games,
good for fifth overall on the Kings.
"I like the pressure, I like being the guy that makes the difference
for my team to win. I take it upon myself to make a difference in
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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