LA Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty Still In Contention For Norris Despite Injury

As Drew Doughty emerges as a top candidate for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, more parallels exist between him and the best defenseman ever to play the game.

Now in his third season, Doughty was the talk of the preseason. Loads of analysts and pundits were predicting that he would rise to the top spot as a defenseman to capture the Norris Trophy and lead his team to an extended birth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Doughty, who was also a member of Canada's gold-medal winning team at the 2010 Winter Olympics, led all NHL defensemen last season in game-winning goals (five), was second in power-play points (31) and third in points (58).

Things were going quite well this season until…until the hit.

In a contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, Doughty was hit and injured by Erik Cole eerily reminiscent of a play almost 40 years ago when Pat Quinn (now a respected coach) leveled a young stud named Bobby Orr.

The Boston Bruins Bobby Orr was setting the league on fire with his electrifying rushes into the opposing teams’ offensive zone, and Quinn noticed Orr’s tendency to slip by the boards with the puck at top speed and made contact with Orr, knocking him unconscious.

History has recorded Orr’s continuing knee problems, which eventually shortened his brilliant career.   

In the 1960s, there were no other defenders like Orr. His combination of skating ability, speed, and strength, shooting ability, puck sense and stamina made him a man among boys and placed the Norris in his grasp in only his second year in the league.  

Doughty came into the league surrounded by accomplished offenseman, such as Mike Green of the Washington Capitals,and Duncan Keith who were all Norris finalists in 2010. Keith ended up winning the award for his stellar play leading Chicago to the Stanley Cup.

Other defenders like Dion Phanuef, And...

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