Due to injuries and defenseman Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension, the Los Angeles Kings have been leaning on Drew Doughty even more than usual this season. Doughty has only been logging more ice time as the season’s gone on, with him surpassing the 30-minute mark in five of his last six contests. That’s brought him up to an average of 28:58 minutes per contest, which is over three minutes more than his 2013-14 total.
Doughty’s playing time might start to even out though as he hopes to reduce his time on the ice per shift from an average of 53 seconds to 50 seconds, per LA Kings Insider.
“So I won’t be playing that much next game, I don’t think,” Doughty said.
If he follows through with his goal without adding to his total number of shifts, then that will result in him playing about a minute and a half less each contest. That would be especially helpful in the short-term as Los Angeles is getting ready for back-to-back road games in Nashville on Tuesday and Minnesota on Wednesday.
Doughty feels good despite the workload, although he did concede that he’d have a little more energy if he played less.
“But at the same time, I like to be in the game, I like to be out there as much as possible,” he added.
This comes after Kings coach Darryl Sutter shared his displeasure over Doughty’s minutes about two weeks ago.
“It’s too many minutes,” Sutter said at the time. “(Doughty’s) going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”
After all, the Kings are expected to lean on him heavily during what they hope will be another lengthy playoff run, so he needs something left in the tank for that.