Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Evolution Of Drew Doughty

If you weren't hanging around the Internet yesterday, you might have missed Drew Doughty's smiling face. Then again, chances are he caught up with you somehow, because Drew Doughty was literally EVERYWHERE I looked online yesterday -- more precisely a Drew Doughty meme spawned by this photo from Getty Images.

Yeah, it's entertaining to photoshop Drew's smiling mug in hilarious -- and not so funny --- ways but that's not the real reason this photo is such a big deal. This image is more important because it captures the new face of the Los Angeles Kings under pressure -- loose, focused on playing their game and undeterred by between the whistles nonsense the Canucks have been using to try to gain momentum in this playoff series.

This photo is important because Drew Doughty, like the rest of the Kings, hasn't always handled pressure this well. Remember him in the Kings-Canucks 2010 first round series? Here's a little refresher.


You get the picture.

Much as been made of Drew Doughty's drop off in performance the past two seasons, especially compared to his stellar 2009-2010 season which ended with a Norris Trophy nomination. The numbers don't lie, and from purely a statistical point of view Doughty still has plenty of work to do to develop from a mass of raw talent into the complete defensive tour de force many believe he can become. 

It's great to see the mental part of that evolution is already happening. I know the stats will be coming soon -- delivered with that signature smile.



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