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Winning a double-edged sword for Doughty, who ‘for sure’ misses his anonymity

Jun 3, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

Drew Doughty Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Drew Doughty calls it “back in the day.” The time before the Los Angeles Kings had won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Before that magical 2012 run, during which they only lost four times on their way to the championship. Back when they were still nobodies in the vast American city better known for the Lakers, Dodgers, and Trojans.

He kind of misses those days.

“It’s changed drastically,” Doughty said. “I don’t know if I like it better or not. I for sure don’t like it better, actually. We’ll go out for dinner – the beards we all have don’t help – but back in the day we could just pretty much roll in anywhere, and there’s no way anyone would know who you were, no possible way. And now it seems like everywhere we do go, we are getting recognized.

“It’s kind of more like a Canada, when you’re back in home in Canada. It’s great because we’re bringing more fans to the game, we’re making hockey a presence in California. But that was kind of the bonus of playing here, too – you could do what you wanted and not get in trouble for it.”

The problem for Doughty is the Kings are back in the Cup final again in 2014, and they’re favored to beat the New York Rangers and claim another title.

“I’d rather have the problem and be a winner, than not have the problem and lose,” he said.

Because, for Doughty, winning is what drives him. Games, we mean. Not awards. Sure, he’d like to be recognized with a Norris Trophy sometime, but he’d rather put his name on the Cup a few more times.

“My ultimate thing is just winning,” he said. “That’s all I care about, being a winner and helping this team win. I’ll do anything it takes.”

Of course, there have been times in his still-young career when that competitiveness would “get the best of him,” according to Kings general manager Dean Lombardi.

And Doughty admits he still has his lapses.

For example, “Last game against the Blackhawks I wasn’t very good in the first period. I played a lot better after that, but I put maybe a little bit too much pressure on myself, tried to do too much on my own.”

And, “Sometimes I still snap and lose it on the refs, which I hate doing.”

But at just 24 years old, Doughty has already won a Stanley Cup and two Olympic gold medals, while his play at both ends of the ice has drawn comparisons to some of the all-time greats at the position.

“I think [Chris] Chelios was the best all-around defenseman that I had the opportunity to coach,” said L.A. bench boss Darryl Sutter. “So I’d say that Drew would be trending more towards that type of player in terms of the all-around part of it, in terms of the whole package part of it.”

  1. toews19 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Doughty is a world-class player and I don’t think he’s gotten the respect he truly deserves up until this year.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      Only in the homeland….win a WJC gold and our heart is his forever.

  2. jason9696 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    P.K. Subban has won a Norris Trophy and Drew Doughty hasn’t. That’s just crazy. I’m sure he’ll win one sooner than later though.

    • nightfireop - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      not in la with our defense-first system. then again, he did imply that a norris pales compared to a stanley cup (2012).

  3. broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Doughty has arguably been the best player this post season.

  4. thefutureofoil - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Carried Canada at the start of the Olympics.

  5. slaugin - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    I’m a Bruins fan but if I was starting a team today, Doughty would be my #1 D Man and it’s not even that close

  6. patthehockeyfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Doughty’s remarks remind me of Joe Walsh’s song, “Life’s Been Good.”

    “It’s tough to handle
    This fortune and fame
    Everybody’s so different
    I haven’t changed”

    Fame – be careful what you wish for, Drew.

    The Kings are on fire, and Doughty is a volcano. I LOVE to watch him play. I read that he was a soccer goalie as a kid. I think that experience has made him so, so good at reading the ice now, watching plays develop, knowing who’s going to be where and when. His puck-handling and stick-handling are second to none.

    The Kings’ style of play limits the defense playing offense a lot. On another team without that restriction, Doughty would have won several Norris trophies by now.

    Love his drive and love his passion.

    Go, Dewey! GKG!!!

    • c9castine - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      seems to me like fame is not what he is wishing for.

  7. isphet71 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Doughty is legit. What a great D man… it’s such a shame that scoring/offensive numbers factor in so heavily to the Norris Trophy voting; it’s just because because there just aren’t better stats to REALLY track a D-man’s greatness. Therefore, too many voters use “offensive numbers” far too heavily as a crutch to decide the Norris. Karlsson *cough cough*… (good player, great offense, but Norris? Come ON…)

    • kaptaanamerica - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Karlsson was a legitimate machine prior to the Matt Cooke incident. Karlsson was such a force on the offense with insane possession, driving goals etc.. that the defensive part took care of itself. If he gets back on track to where he was and the trajectory he was on before Matt Cooke, then you are wrong about Karlsson.

  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    The last time the Kings played the Rangers in the playoffs, the 2 games in LA drew a total of fewer than 25,000 fans. The raw numbers will clearly be higher this time, but however passionate their fans have always been, they remain a small percentage of the city’s huge population. Look at the viewership for Game 7. Chicago is a smaller market than SoCal, but had double the people tuning in.

  9. blomfeld - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    A TRULY GIFTED AND BEAUTIFUL PLAYER

    Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty are my ‘absolute’ two favorite players in the game today … these guys can do no wrong and I love them both to death ! … though I love Elvis too eh ? :)

  10. momegina - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Thru The Playoffs this kid has been a shining star well
    Above any other player.. Live in NJ Fom Boston. Bobby Orr started
    My Love affair with Hockey in the 60’s. bruins1ST NJD tick holder for
    20 years.. Watching this kid is magical.. He shows his Passion
    His determination & his pure joy in the game every time he steps
    On the ice.. He’s always smiling even if he gets a penalty
    He cracks me up.. I have KOPITAR Jersey but now falling in
    Love with this young man.. I’m excited to Go to MSG for 3 & 4th games
    To see him up close & personal.. He’s a credit to his family &
    LAK.. Drew U R The Best.. Good Luck, although I don’t think
    You’ll need it..

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