The Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty has been the most influential player on the ice during the team’s Stanley Cup run. Will he be named the most valuable player of the playoffs?
He’s the player who does all of the dirty work. He doesn’t always get the spotlight because he’s too busy chewing up ice time. Scoring goals isn’t his top priority. Defending is his No. 1 option. Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings is an irreplaceable player and who knows, he could be only the sixth defenseman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in the last 30 years.
The Conn Smythe is MVP of the entire NHL playoffs so Doughty has a legit chance to take home the award. Two years ago, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was so dominant, the award was his with no other competition. L.A. can clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 5, but Doughty has plenty of competition for the award — his own teammates.
Mr. Game 7 Justin Williams, leading point getter Anze Kopitar and leading goalscorer Marian Gaborik all have legit shots to win it. If the New York Rangers lose the series, maybe overhyped goalie Henrik Lundqvist will take the award. The Conn Smythe doesn’t have to go to a player from the winning team.
Doughty’s credentials are numerous. He stays on the ice more than any other player. It’s easy to get gassed playing hockey so shifting in fresh bodies is key. In a 60-minute game, playing half of the minutes is rare. Not for Doughty.
He’s constantly around or past the 30-minute mark. In the Kings’ Game 2 double overtime victory against the Rangers, Doughty put in some serious work: he played an astounding 41 minutes and 41 seconds.
And his offensive numbers are key: 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). Doughty’s name hasn’t been called as much in the Stanley Cup round, but his presence is always there. Just ask the Kings’ defeated foes in the Western Conference. The San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks know what kind of beast Doughty is on the ice.
He will wreak havoc — and your gameplan — on the defensive end.
Even if his name isn’t mentioned, he’s wrecking teams. He’s on the ice, making plays, stopping the pucks, announcers wondering if he ever comes off the ice.
Drew Doughty for playoff MVP. It would be a wise choice.