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Duncan Keith Or Drew Doughty?

Scott Burnside and Craig Custance of ESPN discuss who is the better defenseman, Keith or Doughty...

BURNSIDE: ... In Game 1, it was Keith ripping a hard shot that deflected off a defender's stick and then the ice before rocketing over Kings netminder Jonathan Quick's shoulder for what would be the game winner. Doughty, meanwhile, led all players in ice time and power play time. Talk about a great battle. Which begs the question: Whom would you take to build a team around?

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman told me during the conference semifinals that when he took the job, one of the first calls he made was to Keith's agent to ensure that Keith wanted to stay with the team long-term. Keith wasn't too concerned about the money but wanted to be sure the team wasn't going to be one-and-done. As Keith told me, when you're done playing, all you'll have are memories, so you might as well have as many memories about winning. So far, so good for both he and the Blackhawks.

CUSTANCE: They're two great players who can change the game with one rush up the ice. You can build a team around either one and you're doing just fine.

While it pains me to pick someone over a fellow Michigan State Spartan, I'd lean toward Doughty if I were building my franchise. In fact, there are not many players in the league I'd want at any position more than Doughty. Maybe Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. That's about it.

First, it's his age. Keith turns 31 years old in July, which still means he has plenty of good years left since defensemen typically have a longer shelf life in their peak than forwards. But Doughty is just 24. Twenty-four! He's got two Olympic gold medals, a Stanley Cup ring and he hasn't cracked 25 years old yet. It's amazing.

The magic number you hear with defensemen is that it takes a good 300 NHL games to learn how to play defense in this league and he's at 442 already at his age. I had a good chat today with Marian Gaborik about getting to know Doughty since the trade from the Eastern Conference and he raved about his teammate.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty, duncan+keith

Comments

SYF's avatar

I’ve watched more Doughty than Keith since I get the Jim Fox/Bob Murray FS Kings broadcasting team on my cable lineup.  I sure as hell wished Doughty was in a Wings sweater.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/21/14 at 12:56 PM ET

pautna's avatar

@SYF - Bob Miller. grin

Posted by pautna on 05/21/14 at 01:31 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Doughty doesn’t ask reporters if they Know The Game and he doesn’t sound like an toothless, bitter old man. Also: Doughty’s better.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/14 at 01:33 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Thanks, pautna.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/21/14 at 01:37 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Doughty doesn’t ask reporters if they Know The Game and he doesn’t sound like an toothless, bitter old man. Also: Doughty’s better.

There is really no comparison. Doughty is better. Keith is part of an over hyped team.

Posted by bigfrog on 05/21/14 at 04:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

Doughty by a mile. He also doesn’t elbow people in the head.

Posted by awould on 05/21/14 at 05:29 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

An easier question: who would you start a team with, or who would you target in trade/FA?  Doughty not only better but younger.  In addition to being bigger and not a bitter, nasty creep.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/21/14 at 06:39 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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