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Kopitar: Doughty is Kings’ Nicklas Lidstrom

May 22, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

Drew Doughty Getty Images

It’s a distant memory now, but the Los Angeles Kings went six straight seasons without a playoff berth until they snapped that drought in 2010. At their low-point, they took Drew Doughty with the second overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Doughty quickly established himself as a top-tier defenseman and soon the Kings became one of the league’s most dangerous franchises.

“I’ve been saying this a couple years now, he’s our Nick Lidstrom,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar said, per LA Kings Insider. “We all know what he did in Detroit for many, many years. I think Drew likes the big stage, obviously. He likes these types of games. He gets very emotional.

“I guess if you draw a line underneath that, he just brings his game to the next level at this time of year and these type of games.”

Doughty logged a team-high 27:29 minutes in the Kings’ 6-2 victory over Chicago in Game 2 last night. That’s on par with the amount of playing time he’s been getting throughout the playoffs.

He wasn’t the Kings’ hero last night and he similarly hasn’t single-handily reversed the team’s fortunes. He’s got a great group around of him, but then, the same could have been said of Lidstrom throughout his 20-season career. Lidstrom never missed the postseason and he couldn’t have done that without the likes of Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, and Pavel Datsyuk on his side.

But Lidstrom was the constant in that equation. He was the foundation of their defense and arguably their team. It’s not fair to compare a 24-year-old to a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, but in Doughty, the Kings have a guy that they can build around for many years to come.

  1. patthehockeyfan - May 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    I’ll go one better. Doughty is a god.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      That’s what Kopitar was trying to say but it came out as Lidstrom, either way, he’s wrong

      • patthehockeyfan - May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Even though I disagree with your comment, it made me laugh. Thumbs up.

  2. pjblake2redwings - May 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    20 NHL seasons, 7x Norris Trophy winner, 4 Stanley Cups, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, 12 All-Star games, Elite member of the Triple Gold Club for winning an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup…. but yea lets compare Drew Doughty to a HOF player like Lidstrom

    • mshantz22 - May 22, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      No kidding. Doughty is a good defenseman, but he’ll have to keep it up for another 15 years or so to come close to being as good a defenseman as Nick.

  3. blomfeld - May 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    “His is a game that combines enterprise and daring with good values” … PM David Cameron

    *** this message is for fans of the SC Champion LA Kings only ***

    What a great game eh ? … and what more can you say about our ‘glorious’ rearguard captain ? You just gotta love it man ! :)

    Anyway, as our great friend Joey said, it’s all about a ‘level’ playing field. Yes sir ! Finally we got some ‘much-needed’ rest and man did that ever show when the chips were on the table eh ? Now we get another reprieve for a few days, which can only help us even more in going forward … thanks Bettman ! Nonetheless friends, the one thing which I did notice from last night’s game was how ‘vulnerable’ the Hawks appeared to be in the face of our ‘glorious’ counter attacks ? … almost like you could ‘sense’ what was coming when we drove to their net in the 3rd period ? It sure makes you wonder if something else could be at play here which is in our favor ? :)

    GO KINNGS GO !!! …. TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 1harrypairatesties - May 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Gotcha :)

  5. aldog83 - May 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Kopitar says “Our Lidstrom” meaning he is the heart of thw Kings a “Leader” a “Performer” obviously he does not have the accolades of a 20 year Hall of Famer.

    Don’t take it as he is Better than or equal to Lidstrom. .

    He is just that TYPE of player for the KINGS!

    Geez.

    Comparison of 1st 5 yrs in NHL career….

    Stanley Cups

    Doughty – 1

    Lidstrom – 0 (Lidstrom won first cup in year 6)

    Norris Trophies

    Doughty – 0

    Lidstrom – 0 (Lidstrom won his 1st Norris after playing 10 YEARS!)

    So Lidstrom is Hall of Famer and one of the greatest (if not greatest defenseman ever…

    Doughty may never be Lidstrom…

    But Doughty is off to a better start…

    And as a Kings fan would happily take 14-15 more years of the Doughty we have seen.

    • aldog83 - May 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      And what Doughty may become…..

    • mshantz22 - May 22, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      You’ve got a point, but you’ve got to remember two things. One, Doughty never had to adjust to a different game. Nick had to adjust from the international rink to the NA rink. That aside, most players don’t play into their 40’s.

      • aldog83 - May 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Lidstrom > Doughty.

        But Lidstrom career complete.

        Doughty work in progress.

        Doughty still only 24 yrs old and only in 6th year.

        Time will tell. Agree that he may not 20 years….but he might by age 38.

        Again he is “the Kings, Lidstrom” NOT better than NOT equal to.

        Just a great young defenseman who has been a winner.

        And as a Kings Fan….

        I am grateful to have on our team and look forward to what his career can bring.

        P.S. Keep fighting KINGS! The hardest games are ahead.

        Win or Lose Proud to be a Kings (and Doughty fan)

        GKG!!!!

    • pjblake2redwings - May 22, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      you are a douche

  6. sjsharksfan11 - May 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    He’s got plenty of more years to go before even being in the same class as Lidstrom. He’s definitely gotta stop the Crosby-like whining antics and occasional flops to draw a penalty. He’ll never have the class Lidstrom did. Guys got skill no doubt.

    • dbreslow56 - May 23, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      I guess being a Sharks fan makes you an expert on quality hockey talent. Whining? Diving? We saw plenty of that from your team as it blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings. Little bit of the pot calling the kettle black, or you just haven’t gotten over your team folding like a cheap suit to the Kings? Either way, what Kopitar said was Doughty is OUR Lindstrom. He didn’t say Doughty is as good as Lindstrom, yet. I understand your lack of reading skills, though. After all, you’re a Sharks fan. Your team gave up on Lombardi and Sutter. They weren’t good enough for you. We’re happy to have both of them. Thank you very much!

  7. malinpaul - May 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    While I tend to see the reference as saying “he is important to us, not he is as good as Lidstrom”, Drew IS a member of the elite triple whatever.

    WJC gold, 2 Olympic golds, 1 Stanley (by age 24)

    • pjblake2redwings - May 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      actually Drew is NOT a memeber of the triple gold club bud. World JUNIOR Championship is not the same as a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.. but cute try

      • rocoop - May 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        You are a douche

      • moarjam - May 22, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Triple gold club? Is this an actual club? Because I think you just made it up bud. Cute try!

        Anyway I’d say a World Junior Championship is more impressive than a World Championship…

        The World Championships are a joke. Do you really think that is a good representation of any nation? It’s whoever isn’t still playing NHL/isn’t injured/ had nothing better to do/felt like going.

        WJC is the best in the World for that age group.

  8. lopo - May 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Yeah a Dman skipping out on training camp to get a better contract is just the type of Leadership I would compare to the greatest Dman to have played the game yet.

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/42038-LA-Kings-reach-agreement-with-defenceman-Drew-Doughty-on-8year-deal.html

    • aldog83 - May 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Nicklas Lidstrom career earnings 100,640,000.

      Hundred Million is not bad.

      Well deserved.

      As is Doughty.

      You are worth what someone is willing to pay you.

      I am broke. And will like most of us will never see that kind of money.

      But we can’t slap the puck around like these guys eh!

  9. shwatson - May 22, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Yes a very poor mans’ Nick Lidstrom.

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