If ever there was an NHL player made for the social media era, it’s Drew Doughty. His play for the Kings is eye-popping, his emotion infectious and his competitiveness off the charts.
That’s also why his latest video went viral for the wrong reasons.
Usually known for his dazzling spins and all-out effort on defense, Doughty starred in a not-so-family-friendly fit in the penalty box Saturday. He was upset at a hooking call against him and, for the fourth time this season, was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The first such penalty was in November and Doughty said at the time that his passion gets the best of him.
He admitted it still does.
“It’s pretty difficult for me obviously,” Doughty said Monday. “I kind of do it all the time. It’s kind of been a repetitive thing I’ve been trying to fix. Obviously, I wish I didn’t do it.”
That remains a work in progress for the Norris Trophy winner who is an alternate captain and so much a part of the Kings’ success. Coach John Stevens has indicated he has addressed the issue with Doughty. Asked whether it has been broached by the team’s leadership group, Doughty said no and that it’s on his shoulders to avoid needless penalties caused by his impulses.
“That’s just upon me to not do it,” Doughty said. “That’s just the bottom line. No one’s really working with me on it or trying to help me out with it. It’s on me to try and fix it.”
Saturday was costly because Doughty’s additional penalty allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to score the first of four consecutive goals in the third period for a come-from-behind victory. The Kings frequently go as Doughty goes, so it’s hardly shocking that they are 1-2-1 in games that Doughty has blown his top in the form of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Few players take winning and losing as seriously as Doughty, who felt badly about Saturday’s incident.
“I sure hope so,” Stevens said. “The great thing about hockey is that it’s the ultimate team game. Everything we do as athletes should be in the best interests of the hockey team, at the forefront of what we’re thinking.
“Drew is one of the most competitive people that I’ve ever been around. He knows how to win. He can make a difference in the hockey game. I’m sure he’s going to learn from that situation the other night because it had a big effect on the game. But we love how competitive he is. We just want him to use that competitiveness in the right direction.”
Trevor Lewis is closer to returning
Trevor Lewis skated on a line with Adrian Kempe and Michael Amadio, and took contact, prompting Stevens to say that “it looks like he’s progressing along vey well.”
The Kings have their last extended break in the schedule before they resume play Thursday, which will give Lewis further time to heal his upper-body injury.
“We’ve got a couple more days here, so I think the next practices are good for me,” said Lewis, who was injured Feb. 9.
The Kings held a long practice Monday and are off Tuesday.