Due Droughty Part Deux – Can You Handle The Truth?

This article, his third, is brought to you by our reader, Player-X. Enjoy.

In my last article, I said this: “Droughty has flashes, and I say misleading flashes, of highly noticeable activity.” The Capitals game was the absolutely perfect example of that. Droughty had some good plays, some great plays, but also some bad plays, and some horrible plays. For a top-dollar defenseman, there were far too many bad and horrible plays.

One can cite the box score, but that is not the complete story. Yes, Ovechkin had no points and Droughty was his main matchup, but this was not ENTIRELY due to Droughty; in fact, Ovechkin’s greatest chances came because of Droughty mistakes. I also said last article, “I postulate that the team succeeds defensively despite Due Droughty.” Last night, at times, this was true, and when Droughty is being paid top-dollar he can have no excuses for glaring defensive lapses.

As for the “seeking of level” I mentioned between Johnson and Droughty, last night was also the perfect illustration of just that. Johnson’s only defensive mistake came late in the 3rd period with the Kings up 5-1 where he wandered toward the point and the Caps overloaded the net for a goal. This was the only blemish on an otherwise stellar game, with a goal and an assist, solid defense, excellent passing, and numerous other scoring chances on the rush. Droughty, meanwhile, was hot and cold, as I will show.

At 18:32 of the 1st period, Droughty (the rover) wandered into the zone as the LATE fourth man trailing a rush. While at the top of the circles in the center slot and well covered by Mike Knuble, Droughty tries to turn too late and his feet get caught up with Knuble’s. Droughty is out of the play, Knuble is not; the result is Knuble getting the primary assist on a Capital’s goal. Droughty over-committed, left himself vulnerable, got beaten by his man, and directly caused an outnumbered attack that resulted in a goal.

At 15:40 Droughty is again leading the rush, playing rover. I am not against his doing that, but my point is that he does it often, and sometimes regardless of time and score; this will be shown later in the game.

Then, at 15:15 of the 1st off a faceoff, Droughty stands still and takes a careless swipe at a bouncing puck just outside the Kings’ blue line; Ovechkin beat Droughty for position and was uncovered to the faceoff dot until Scuderi bailed Droughty out. In that play, one backs off, bears down and blocks it with the leg or skate, to neutralize the play. Droughty went all-or-nothing and lost. Yes, Loktionov batted the puck toward Droughty making a very tough play for Droughty to handle the puck, but Loktionov also was already covering Ovechkin. The correct play was to back off into a defensive posture, not remain motionless.

At 9:45 of the 1st, Ovechkin and Droughty got into that shoving match. Ovechkin gave the extra shove and Droguhty was down and out of the play. Afterwards, with play still going on, Droughty fully turns his back to the play and stares down the official. Team first? Discipline? Luckily, an offside was called while Droughty was having his personal time.

At 6:48, Droughty feels it is appropriate to have a little chat and laugh with Ovechkin after an icing race; is that intensity? Then at 6:12 Ovechkin pounds Droughty to the ice. The Kings respond with taps and nudges, and rather than the result being the Kings inspired (As Surly has felt) the immediate result was Jeff Halpern getting a clear shot that rang off the post at 6:00. Luckily it was Halpern. Droughty got beaten by his man, and it generated a chance against.

At 18:20 of the 2nd, again Droughty overplays Ovechkin into the boards, and Ovechkin eats him up. Droughty is down on the ice out of the play, Ovechkin has the puck, and luckily Ovechkin drops to his knees but is still able to make a pass to the slot. Droughty got beaten by his man, again. Then, at 18:00, Droughty wanders out to the center line to contest a puck with a reaching backhand swing that misses the puck and makes no contact with the man. The result is a bounce pass around Droughty to a guy named Ovechkin, who is again in alone, uncovered with Droughty trailing helplessly. Mitchell is stranded facing a 2 on 1, Ovechkin g4ts all the way to the net but this time Bernier bails Droughty out. Droughty was beaten by his man twice on the same shift.

At 16:05 of the 2nd Droughty wanders over to Scuderi’s point; the odd thing is that Scuderi is already there, with the puck, and so is Kopitar. Droughty’s point, and the middle of the ice, is left barren of protection. A screen shot shows Scuderi and Doughty within stick length of each other, Kopitar in the high slot tangled with Laich and moving toward the net, with Ovechkin alone at the blue line and the entire right third of the zone empty of Kings.

At 13:25 of the 2nd Droughty overleads Stoll when a good pass would have been a near breakaway for Stoll. In fairness, this came after the excellent poke check from Droughty when Ovechkin stopped up at the blue line, but still, Droughty was under no pressure and had a clear lane for the pass. This follows the trend of 3 errant passes in the period, including another one at 16:30, and another at 8:20.

The 3rd period was not perfect for Droughty, but it was much better. Knuble beat Doughty for position behind the net at 14:30, but a switch bailed Droughty out on that. At 9:28 Droughty goes rover on a PP following a weak dump into the corner, with no bad effects but considering time and score the play is unnecessary and risky.

The worst thing in the 3rd was after the Caps scored their second goal at 6:15. At 5:45 Droughty “rovers” the puck from the attacking blue line and carries it down to the net; a screen shot shows Droughty in the slot at dot height, with Brown at one dot, Kopi at another, and Williams stationary in front of the net. Why is Droughty pressing for offense now? He does not even get a shot on goal, goes behind the net and barely recovers to make a 2 on 1 ½ at our blue line. Just when the Caps have scored, and you have the game won unless something stupid happens, Droughty gets caught in deep? Time and score? Leadership?

My point is, as I said last article, that Droughty has a cavalier attitude. He does not appreciate that winning is serious business, and that there is a time and place for fun, and a time and lace to just shut it down and be smart.

This game is the perfect example of what I have been saying. A subjective view can be supported by some of the box score numbers that Droughty had a great game and the Kings rolled to victory. And, I am completely aware the Droughty made many, many excellent defensive and offensive plays in that game. His passing was way better than it had been lately, and was very, very good, in that he had a much better game passing the puck for outlets.

His power play performance was much better; Jim Fox did go on and on at least three times regarding that the Kings, and Droughty, were previously holding the puck too long just as I had said last article. Fox outlined the difference from the past when Johnson and Droughty combined some one-touch passes with a one-time shot that resulted in the power play goal. So, there was improvement, but I was not wrong that the improvement was needed.

However, even though his zone play was at times decent, Droughty’s coverage was sporadic. He got beat a lot; I have listed the times. He made decisions to attack that were questionable regarding time and score. He got caught deep early and late; the early one cost a goal. Ovechkin got by him repeatedly, at least three times for clear uncovered attacks. He let a questionable call distract him entirely from the ongoing play. He could be seen goofing around and joking with Ovechkin in-game; sure, mutual respect and all, but this is the freaking enemy here, show some edge and be a leader against the guy that is most likely to lay you out, don’t buddy up with him between whistles.

As I said, flashes of brilliance can sometimes be misleading. Discipline is what carries you through playoff intensity, and it is not something you can just click into when needed. Now is the time when the intensity is hardest to manufacture; the playoffs is the time when intensity is hardest to control.

Droughty needs to earn his pay fully, and for his money the number of mistakes is too many and the attitude is too light.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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26 replies

  1. Honestly, as long as you continue to call him Due Droughty, I cannot take you seriously. It’s unbecoming of us as Kings fans to resort to childish nicknames when we refer to our own players. Sure, wanna call him that one time to get your point across? Fine, we all laugh (maybe) and then move on. But the entire article? C’mon man. Have some respect for Drew and for yourself.

    • That is a fair comment to player-x, I think…

      To change the subject for just a moment, are you saying I can’t call Penner, flap jacks from now on? Because, if so, that would hurt.

    • I’m inclined to agree but not out any sense of perceived indignation or pseudo morality, but just because I don’t find Due Droughty particularly clever.

      I haven’t decided how I feel about Pancakes or Flapjack for Penner. Too on the nose I think.

      Nicknames, positive or negative, are hard to come up with. Kopistar is one f the only ones that has stuck with me. He Who Shall Not Be Paid was good but contingent on a period of time. Diplodocus was good too. Wish we had that one last year.

    • It was just a pun, carried on from a headline for consistency. Sorry if you have never been exposed to such harshness before, but compared to lard-ass, prima-donna, doughnuts, etc., a simple pun with regard to his goal-scoring drought of 24 games did not seem overly rude to me.

      But, okay, his real name is Drew Doughty. There, I said it; the universe is corrected. As for respect, I doubt whether he would actually be first offended by that nickname if he ever actually read this article so I am not anticipating his respect in any case. As for my self-respect, it is not based on someone’s critique of something I write.

      As for any debate, would you care to comment on the actual substance of the article itself, or are you just taking an editing pass?

    • Agree, it was funny once, but makes it almost impossible to focus on the content of this well thought out posting having to stumble over his name every time. Player-X, you clearly put a lot of time and thought into this, but your disdain is in the way. Getting on him for laughing with Ovechkin? Not every champion looks like Mark Messier. I don’t see any problem with a battle being punctuated with these kind of exchanges. Also, there is a certain amount of confidence (even swagger) that Doughty needs to get back into his game by taking some extra risks and surviving. Once he gets his top level game back, by all means he’ll have some tightening up to do .

  2. Having seen Ovechkin at MSG several times I concluded Doughty did a fair job as far as an Ovechkin match up goes. Ovechkin smokes people. Doughty almost kept up the entire game, at times falling just a 1/4 step or so behind.

    Then there was the laughable moment, Doughty chatting up the Big Lebowski…after having barely kept up on the play. Perhaps Doughty offered Ovechkin an autograph.

    That push? Plays like that help make Ovechkin a star. A type of aggression which takes a lot of players by surprise, especially outside of the east.

    Smart move…Doughty spent the next 5 seconds pouting.

    One thing to note…on top of not having a good season the Capitals sucked last night. When apprising LA’s (and Doughty’s) performance add that to the mix.

    Hire a man for his potential, pay a man for performance.

  3. Pancakes has got to stick…..until he get a Gordie Howe Hat Trick!!!

    PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAASE

    Since Kompon is not a player and we ALL feel deserves NO respect

    TAMPON !!!!!!!!!!!!!…sucking the skill from our players, like blood from a twat,
    Somebody change it, before we get stained
    Not sure how it got there? but, we’re all in the shit until it’s gone!!

  4. Why does Jamie Kompon Make a good Tampon????

    His offence goes on for 3 periods………

  5. What do Elephants use as Tampon’s

    Sheep???….NO, guess again

    You got it!!!

    Jamie Kompon

  6. Well I agree with some of your breakdowns, and some I don’t see your way at all. We are talking Oveshkin right? Had anybody but DD covered him, would you have even disected their game on how they handled such a dynamic superstar?

    Are your claims that DD handled him terribly, and yet Voynov, or Mitchell, given the same assignment, would of done better, with better results?

    Looking at the advanced stats and considering the quality of competion, I would disagree. Watching the game I thought DD played a hard fought game. There were some plays he could of handled differently, and some that he could of avoided, but overall was spectacular.

    • One, Johnson also had some shifts against Ovechkin without similar incidents. Two, #8 is being paid to shut down the Ovechkins of the league. His salary commands it; if he is paid as an elite, he is judged against the elite.

      You have a right to “disagree with some of my breakdowns” but you don’t describe either the specific incident or the area of disagreement. I cited the times and plays, and described them as fairly as I could. I think we can agree that inside position is important, and I think we can agree that allowing outnumbered attacks is significant. Those things happened, as did the other moments.

      • On the game. I went back on dvr to watch, and started taking notes. They started to pile up, and then it dawned on me that in some cases, we just saw 2 different things, and having a list would just mean you would rebuttle, then I would counter, then you would rebuttle, then I would counter.

        Doing this on 1, or 2 issues is different then doing it on 7, or 8, plus adding 7, or 8 other observations of my own. When the list got to 15, or 16 then I just concede that we can agree to disagree,and in many instances agree to agree.

  7. Also, I see your point on the rover aspect, but I think he is being asked to play that way by the coaching staff to generate offense, and not just being a lone ranger breaking in a new pair of gun holsters.

    If the rover act is driving you nuts, maybe you should write an article about how Sutter is releasing the reins on a player that Terry Murray previously wouldn’t.

    I do think some of the breakdowns are very accurite, and agree with some, but some seem sort of bias towards finding a negative out of a positive, and some possitives you left out completely.

    • The rover aspect is not “driving me nuts,” it is one of the things that I think #8 does too much. I said this: “At 15:40 Droughty is again leading the rush, playing rover. I am not against his doing that, but my point is that he does it often, and sometimes regardless of time and score; this will be shown later in the game.” As well, Johnson led rushes, and just as I said in the first article, with greater results.

      If you have an idea for a different article, thanks, but that is a different article.

      In response to your comment: “…but some seem sort of bias (sic) towards finding a negative out of a positive, and some possitives (sic) you left out completely.”

      I was much more positive than I think you noticed. The article included the following: “Droughty had some good plays, some great plays, but also some bad plays, and some horrible plays…This game is the perfect example of what I have been saying. A subjective view can be supported by some of the box score numbers that Droughty had a great game and the Kings rolled to victory. And, I am completely aware that Droughty made MANY, MANY EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE AND OFFENSIVE PLAYS IN THAT GAME. His passing was way better than it had been lately, and was very, very good, in that he had a much better game passing the puck for outlets.

      His power play performance was much better…”

      My point is being misunderstood, or overlooked. I said:
      “For a top-dollar defenseman, there were far too many bad and horrible plays.” “Droughty needs to earn his pay fully, and for his money the number of mistakes is too many and the attitude is too light.”

      I made notes of all “bad” plays by all defensemen during the game, and #8 made more mistakes than anyone. Even if you consider his greater ice time, he made more mistakes proportionately per minute. If you want to say he is playing the higher risk position (scoring d-man within his pairing) then you have to compare him to Johnson, and Johnson had a better game and now has twice the goals that #8 does. I am not saying that Johnson is better, or that Johnson should be paid the same money; I am saying that #8 is not earning the money he demanded and is getting, and it is readily evident by comparison.

      If you want to say he faces stiffer competition, then my response is that he demanded money under the premise that he could handle doing just that. This guy demanded the type of money that leaves very little room to justify any holes in his game.

      Thanks for reading and responding, Dom, but please understand that I am not wishing #8 to do bad, nor am I only looking at him unfairly.

      I pointed out worrisome tendencies and faults in the first article, before the game. Then, the guy did most of the exact same things I had pointed out, while others did not. #8 did cause an outnumbered attack that yielded a goal die to overplaying rover on a rush, he got chopped apart in many instances by Ovechkin and others, etc. It was not like predictng the future, it was like predicting the sunrise.

  8. I can’t help but recall your point About drew doughty Hanging on to the puck too long before he shoots. I remember the vancouver series. All of a sudden, doughty and johnson were wristing the shot. Immediately. No hesitation. It gave vancouver fits. Maybe darrell sutter Needs to clockwork orange his ass Until it drilled into his head

  9. I like DD and all. He will probably be an all star Dman some day. We have leveraged so much of our cap into dmen we need to unload a bit. DD to PHI for JVR and vorijeck. That gives up cap room, wingers, youth and $ to help sign JQ.

  10. Hes still just simply a step slow. Hes not as fast as his Norris nominee season. He doesnt get moving as fast. Hes just not explosive. I believe he was really motivated for his second season, possibly because he wanted to make Team Canada, and he worked his ass off in the offseason, probably the 2nd offseason in a row. He probably got sick of working that hard, and after winning a gold medal and being nominated for the Norris trophy, probably figured he didnt need to. Hed made it, hed get his money and still be a pretty good defenseman, and thats it.

    Ever since then, Doughty’s slight decline in explosiveness has left room for all the holes in his game to appear. The explosiveness and superior speed was doing a good job of masking his game’s deficiencies, but a step slower they’ve come out on both sides of the puck.

    Its just my opinion, but thats what I believe were seeing now. Hes not as motivated, not in as good shape as he was in sophomore season, and I believe the reason everyone idolized him as the next great defensive talent is based on what they saw with him in great shape. In his best shape, he IS great. Thats what Lombardi based that 7M contract on, him in great shape. But when hes not, its a big difference, and we get what we see now. Good, not great.

    So we can talk about Doughty all we want, it doesnt really matter. Hes not the same player, he never will be again until he gets into better shape. Whether its really his work ethic off the ice (and I assume it is), or maybe just something like hes playing at too high a weight, and needs to play 6 lbs lighter or something, whatever it is, thats the fix that needs to happen. Im sick of Kings fans asking whats wrong with him and how to fix it because were helpless and we cant fix it, only he can. I really thought he would get his act together after last season when he was so poor, but he made excuses saying “I wasnt that bad after all, I just didnt get credit for the areas I DID improve in,” and with that attitude he probably didnt even think he needed to improve. Well now here we are, same old story. He needs his explosiveness back, thats what he is, thats what made him so good, hes not an intellectual defenseman like Lidstrom, he needs his pure physical dominance and explosiveness back. Right now he doesnt have it.

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