Drew Doughty

Sutter doesn’t want Doughty to play like Brian Campbell


Kings coach Darryl Sutter doesn’t care that Drew Doughty hasn’t scored yet. Nor does he care that his top defenseman — the one with the eight-year, $56 million contract — has just 11 assists in 28 games. As long as Doughty is taking care of business in his own end and making a good first pass, Sutter will be happy.

The last thing the coach wants to see is Doughty trying to do it all himself.

“Well, if you do that all the time, you’re not a very good player,” said Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. “You’re Brian Campbell in Florida. You’ll be minus-20. And we’ll see you on the highlights, but you’re on a bad team, and you’re a high-minus player.”

Now, we’re not sure it’s fair to put Campbell’s minus-20 rating entirely on Campbell. If the Panthers got a few more saves from their goaltenders, things might be different in Florida.

The fact is, Doughty’s offensive totals have fallen each season since he racked up 59 points in 2009-10.

Points per game:
2009/10: 0.72
2010/11: 0.53
2011/12: 0.47
2013: 0.39

Some of that decline can no doubt be attributed to more defensively responsible play from the 23-year-old. As Sutter said today, “I can pick three or four mistakes out all year. Literally.”

Still, it’s clear Doughty feels he should be contributing more to the attack.

“There are times during games where he forces it where he doesn’t have to,” said Sutter. “It’s like I tell him, ‘Just beat one. You don’t have to beat five.'”

Despite Doughty’s modest stats, the Kings haven’t had any trouble scoring compared to the rest of the NHL. After last night’s 4-0 win over the Coyotes, L.A. ranks sixth in offense, averaging 3.0 goals per game.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.

Habs win big against Rangers, may have lost big with Price hurt

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Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.

Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.

Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.

Again, people are pretty worried right now.

Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?

Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.

Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.

It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.