Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider notes that the dream defensive pairing of Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson has failed.
The two had been paired in three straight games — 2-1 and 5-3 wins over Anaheim and a 4-1 loss to Detroit — before head coach Terry Murray pulled the plug prior to last night’s win over St. Louis. Doughty played with Rob Scuderi while Johnson played with Willie Mitchell, and it’s expected the Kings will keep those pairings tonight in Dallas.
That Doughty and Johnson failed to connect is a pretty big deal. Why? Well for one, they’re LA’s best defensemen. Two, they really like playing together. Three, their past wishes to be paired up were met with equal results (read: Murray agrees, watches it for a while, doesn’t like what he sees and splits them up.)
It’s something the head coach alluded to in his conversation with Hammond.
“It wasn’t working with Jack and Dewey. That’s the bottom line,” Murray said. “That’s why we go away from it again. I thought there was a point now, where, they’ve been together in the past and we could bring them back together again.
“It should work. They were very excited about playing together, when we talked to them. Right now, the maturity level is not where it needs to be in order to get the job done. So we’ll have to wait a little longer.
“Maybe we’ll eventually get to it again, but that’s the reason we go away from it.’’
That bit about maturity is interesting. I can just see Doughty and Johnson getting all geeked about scoring a billion points together, then forgetting to play defense entirely.