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Doughty: ‘I think we’ve got a better team this year than last year’

May 18, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

Marian Gaborik, Drew Doughty AP

It might be the second season in a row the Los Angeles Kings have faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, but Kings defenseman Drew Doughty really likes what they’ve got going for them this time around.

Doughty spoke with reporters upon arrival in Chicago on Saturday and said he likes what they’ve got going this time around as opposed to¬†when they lost in five games to the Blackhawks last season.

Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider shares the details.

I think we’ve got a better team this year than last year,” Doughty said. “We’ve got some new additions. We’ve got some D-men like Muzz, who is playing a lot better than he was last year. He’s a lot more confident and has that experience now. We’ve got Gabby in the trade and Gabby’s been a huge fit to this team. He’s produced a lot of points and helped us a lot offensively and putting him with Kopi is great too.

“I think some of those little things make us a better team this year. Hopefully we can take advantage of what we learned from last year.”

Jake Muzzin has been Doughty’s partner for two seasons now and they’ve made for a formidable top pairing on the blue line.

The offense the Kings have gotten from Anze Kopitar, the leading scorer in the playoffs, and Marian Gaborik, the playoff’s leading goal-scorer, has given L.A. that trickier element to deal with.

One thing Doughty didn’t mention was how this year’s Kings team is actually healthy headed into the Western Final. If you’re going up against the defending champs, it’s best to have your full roster healthy and ready to go.

  1. patthehockeyfan - May 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    GKG!!!

    • 16thearlofderby - May 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      gkg!

      dd is right kings a better team this year

      chi is well rested so expect chi to win today

      still kings win in 7

      quick > crawford

      • patthehockeyfan - May 18, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        I thumbed you up; yet, I don’t know if I agree to expect the Hawks to win today.

        GKG!!!

    • 16thearlofderby - May 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      pat, always difficult to win after emotional game 7 win

      more so when the game is on the road and one day’s rest

  2. bhawksrule - May 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    As long as the Kings attempt to match the Blackhawks speed and skill they will have a chance. If they try to do their hit-first mentality and wear down the hawks it will be the same outcome as last year. Teams need to realize the only way to beat the Blackhawks is to match their speed, not outhit them. But none the less, should be a fun series !

  3. patthehockeyfan - May 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Second article in which I read this today: that the Kings are all healthy. Does that mean that both Mitchell and Regehr are back?

    • dannymac17 - May 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      i think mitchell will be back this series, last i checked he was skating with them. if not today, expect game 2

      • dannymac17 - May 18, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        i got downvoted for being right cause Mitchell is in fact playing. screw whoever you are.

  4. charlieconway96 - May 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Having Gaborik his a huge improvement in and of itself!

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