If there were an old-timey marquee outside Rogers Place, the red plastic letters could very well read, “McDavid vs. Doughty” for Tuesday’s game between the Kings and Edmonton Oilers.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will go against Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the first time this season in a juicy sub-story to an important game for both teams. Doughty is having another Norris Trophy-worthy season, and McDavid is widely seen as the best, if not the most skilled, player in hockey.
“There’s a good chance I’ll be made foolish at least once,” Doughty said after the morning skate. “I enjoy it so much. When I have to play superstars like him on the other team, I get up for those games. That’s the most fun I have. I enjoy getting to know him off the ice a little bit, but when he’s on the ice, I’m going to do everything I can to play my best against him.”
Doughty remembers being embarrassed by the video game-like moves of McDavid before, and he’s keenly aware of not letting that happen again.
“I don’t forget those things, ever,” Doughty said. “I kind of owe him one. The only way I can really owe him is by hitting him, I think. It’s kind of hard to do that.”
Edmonton coach Todd McLellan probably will try to get McDavid away from Doughty, but Kings coach John Stevens pointed out that Doughty, tied with Ryan Suter for most ice time per game at more than 27 minutes, rarely leaves the rink anyway.
McDavid is familiar with another Kings defenseman, former Erie Otters teammate Kurtis MacDermid, who was one of the surprises of training camp.
“He’s a guy that’s worked really hard,” McDavid said. “He’s worked for everything he’s gotten. I’m very happy to see him having success.”
Overall, Stevens and the Kings are cautious in facing the Oilers after L.A. was beaten 5-0 by the Winnipeg Jets.