NHL Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Sophomore Defenseman Drew Doughty Leads

The Vancouver Canucks-Los Angeles Kings playoff series has all the components for a classic NHL matchup.

Vancouver returns to the playoffs with an Art Ross Trophy winner (top scorer) and a balanced offense with a number of 20-goal scorers in the lineup.

Henrik Sedin competes with unprecedented confidence, having bested Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby as the No. 1 point producer in the NHL.

Although Vancouver is favored to win the series, because of the team’s offensive capabilities and experience (Daniel Sedin, Alexandre Burrows, and others), it is not expected to be a cake walk by any means.

LA has surprised doubters with its enthusiasm and zeal to compete for every puck that comes its way. The Kings have an accomplished defense and could use it to stymie the Vancouver offense.

The LA Kings are making their first playoff visit in eight years led by second-year star defenseman Drew Doughty. 

After three games, the series has developed into a classic offense-versus-defense stratagem with plenty of hitting and tenacious defense.

The first two games were close before Doughty took Game 3 in his hands, scoring a goal and adding three assists to propel LA to an important win. 

While Anze Kopitar, Jack Johnson, and goaltender Jonathan Quick have all contributed to the Kings' new-found street cred, it has been the leadership of the second-year defenseman that has made the difference.

During the season, Doughty logged impressive minutes on a regular shift, the power play, and penalty kill, sometimes playing half the game. Hockey scribes noticed his coolness under pressure and his self-assured style on the ice.

Doughty has been frequently mentioned as a possible Norris Trophy finalist during the regular season, in addition to accolades for his fine defensive play for Team Canada during the Winter Olympics.  

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