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Is Drew Doughty The Best Player In The Game?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

On the largest stage, with the world watching, the best hockey player in the Olympic tournament was Drew Doughty.

And through three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs — if the Conn Smythe Trophy was given out today — the most deserving player in the post-season has been Doughty.

Which raises a question never really contemplated before, a matter being discussed informally as the Stanley Cup final is about to begin: Is Drew Doughty now the best player in hockey?

He has never really been in this kind of conversation before, the type normally reserved for Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin, maybe a Jonathan Toews. Doughty’s not the best scorer, he hasn’t won a Norris Trophy, isn’t sure he’ll ever win one. (Which, by the way, makes him angry.) He won’t win the Hart Trophy: Crosby, who had a crummy playoffs in Pittsburgh, will claim the most valuable player award.

But the game is first and foremost about victories. It’s about making plays. It’s about being physical. It’s about seeing people others can’t see. It’s about decision making. It’s about protecting the puck. It’s about not being scored on. It’s about leadership. It’s about adapting to circumstances. It’s about reading the play and the clock.


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


Hootinani's avatar

By far the most deserving player of the MVP, win or lose, is Lundqvist.  Rangers are nowhere without him.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 06/04/14 at 10:41 AM ET

pautna's avatar

@Hootiani We should probably let them finish the final first, no? Then we can see who the MVP is because there are more deserving candidates in my opinion. Like the dude who leads the playoffs in goals, or maybe the other dude who is leading in overall scoring? http://www.nhl.com/ice/statshome.htm?navid=nav-sts-league#

Posted by pautna on 06/04/14 at 10:55 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I’m not gonna get into an argument about Henrik’s indispensible-ness, but the rise of McDonagh and play of St. Louis since the death of his mother are just as big in their success.  St. Louis was playing like a washed up guy before that (IMO), and McDonagh has been all over the ice.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/04/14 at 11:10 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

In terms of MVP, no doubt in my opinion Henrik is in fact the Most Valuable Player to the Rangers.

The Kings have a number of high goal scorers on that team, but I don’t know that any one person emerges as clearly as the most valuable player on that team.  Not that that’s a bad thing at all. 

Who is the MVP overall?  Who knows.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/04/14 at 11:19 AM ET


@pautna overall points or goals is not a good indicator of playoff importance because all things are not equal. You will note that the two players you mention have played more games than any other players to this point and its not because they are in the stanley cup final, its because they played the maximum amount of games in every round. the more games you play the more points you are likely to have. The Kings players have played 3 more games then the hawks players underneath them and only have 4 more points and 3 more goals than them, thats not blowing me away. Lundqvist is the only Ranger that shows up on that leader page, thats pretty telling of his importance.

Gaborik and Kopitar were not very important to the Kings defeating the Blackhawks. The Tiffoli line, Muzzin, and Doughty were much more important to the Kings winning that series. The depth of the Kings hurts the importance of the individual. If the Rangers make a series out of this, its because of Lundqvist. Unless he gets rocked in the finals I think he is the best candidate even if the Kings win the cup.

Posted by pstumba on 06/04/14 at 11:20 AM ET


@pautna *** mistake on my part, its only 2 more games smile

but in addition to that, having two different players leading in those categories also diminishes their importance to the team. If it was the same player leading in both, then yes, he would be the MVP. But right now you can say, “Oh, well he gets to play with Gaborik”, or “Oh, he gets to play with Kopitar”

If history is any indicator Kopitar will probably win it because the Kings will win the final and you rarely see a loser win MVP in any sport

Posted by pstumba on 06/04/14 at 11:24 AM ET


I don’t know if Doughty is the best player in the game or not, but he’s definitely the best defenseman that I’ve seen in this postseason hands down.

Posted by godblender on 06/04/14 at 11:41 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Doughty plays with a drive that is unlike most players. He is as exciting offensively as Subban, and as tough defensively as Weber. Not a bad mix.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 06/04/14 at 12:23 PM ET

awould's avatar

Doughty isn’t the best player in the game because he doesn’t do this all season long. He seems to save it for the big games. He is one of the top few defensemen in the league and should earn at least one Norris in his career. He’s rock solid.

Posted by awould on 06/04/14 at 12:26 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

“Is Drew Doughty The Best Player In The Game?”

No, but he’s got the best moves.


Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/04/14 at 01:25 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m not sure Doughty is the best player on his own team right now.

End of discussion.

Posted by Primis on 06/04/14 at 01:42 PM ET

blammo's avatar


Posted by blammo from Vancouver, BC on 06/04/14 at 02:41 PM ET


@pstumba . . . you contradicted yourself when pointing out “overall points or goals is not a good indicator of playoff importance” and further stating “Kopitar were not very important to the Kings defeating the Blackhawks”. Just because he didn’t show up on the score sheet doesn’t mean he wasn’t instrumental in Kings defeating the Hawks. His continual dominance on Defense, shutting down several of the Hawks marque players was influential on the Kings coming out on top in that series.

Posted by lv2skor on 06/04/14 at 02:46 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m not sure Doughty is the best player on his own team right now.

End of discussion.

Posted by Primis on 06/04/14 at 01:42 PM ET

Agree.  Quick, Carter, and Kopitar each are having a pretty damn good playoff year.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/04/14 at 05:49 PM ET

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