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Kings defenseman Drew Doughty takes his game to a higher level

May 03, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Chris Higgins of the Vancouver Canucks skates the puck behind the net against the Kings' Drew Doughty on April 15.
Chris Higgins of the Vancouver Canucks skates the puck behind the net against… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

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A certain Olympic gold medal winner was testing out his vocal cords in the Kings' dressing room after Thursday's morning skate.

Sing-along with Drew?

Not exactly. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was self-deprecating about his singing. The kid, as he likes to say about others, is chill.

That would be chill as an adjective, not a verb.

Doughty, who won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics, has two assists and is a plus-three in seven games in the playoffs. But he has lifted his game against the Blues, doing the little things, the finer points of the craft that don't always show up on the the post-game shows. In fact, the Canadian cable network TSN put together a highlight package during the game, isolating on his defensive efforts in the Kings' 5-2 victory in Game 2 on Monday.

"I think he’s learning how to be better defensively," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Thursday morning. "I’m not saying he was miscast or anything like that, but for a kid that plays that many minutes it was probably forced on him a little bit .... He has all the natural ability.

"It's just a matter of knowing when to use it and when not to use it. From a defensive standpoint he’s probably got a long ways to go. From my standpoint .... I think that he's just scratching the offensive part of it -- when to use it and how to use it."

In fact, the Kings' defensemen scoring in the playoffs have been Willie Mitchell, Slava Voynov and Matt Greene. Greene's shorthanded effort came in Game 1 and he is still getting plenty of attention for what was his first career playoff goal.

"I’ve seen it replayed through the video sessions," Greene said. "It doesn’t really get any prettier. Just [getting] little texts saying, 'Wow. What were you doing up there?' Not really congratulatory, more joking around. It's true friends who can still rip on you at an important time."

MORE:

Kings take 2-0 series lead over Blues

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau: Kings will win West

Blues' Ken Hitchcock is an NHL Coach of the Year finalist

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty taking to the next level

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