Interesting quote here from Kings blueliner Drew Doughty, coming off last night’s win in Ottawa while looking ahead to tonight’s affair in Montreal (from NHL.com):
After facing Senators captain Erik Karlsson on Thursday, Doughty will match up against another of the NHL’s elite defensemen for a second straight night in Montreal’s P.K. Subban.
“I always obviously want to outplay the opposing team’s best defenseman. I think [Thursday] I did it for sure, [Friday is] going to be a tough challenge.
“P.K.’s a good player; I’m going to have to outplay him if we want to win the game.”
Doughty had a huge effort in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Sens by recording two assists, three hits and playing a team-high 26:56. While Karlsson played more (28:25), he failed to record a single point and finished minus-2.
Tonight, Doughty gets his shot at Subban.
While he didn’t directly come out and say it, one has to think these matchups hold special significance, especially since Karlsson and Subban have won a Norris Trophy — one of the few accolades that’s eluded Doughty over his seven-year career.
The 25-year-old has only been a finalist once, finishing third behind Duncan Keith and Mike Green in 2010; when Subban won in ’13, Doughty got just a single first-place vote and when Karlsson won in ’12, Doughty received just one third-place vote.
This season, Doughty is averaging the most playing time of his career — 28:46 a night — and is on pace to score 42 points, which would be his most since recording a career-high 59 during the 2009-10 campaign (which, as mentioned above, coincided with his first and only Norris nomination.)