While Quick’s struggles have damaged far more fantasy teams, Drew Doughty’s struggles are frustrating for an array of reasons. And not just because I foolishly went out on a limb by picking him as my preseason Norris Trophy winner.
(Hey, you have to go bold at least a few times. Otherwise, you’re just a robot spitting out Zdeno Chara every year. Although robots spitting out Zdeno Chara is a weird and awesome mental image, isn’t it?)
Anyway, after seeing Doughty score 14 points in 20 playoff games and generally looking worthy of the $7 million cap hit he’s registering. Doughty's two third period assists made his scoring numbers look a little more respectable (six points - all apples - in 13 games), but his -11 rating is troubling. As much as I tend to roll my eyes at that stat, it makes one wonder if Doughty misses Willie Mitchell, who absorbed many difficult minutes for the Kings (and doesn't appear hasty to return).
You’d like to see more than 27 shots in 13 contests from a guy who’s struggling, even if they’re just getting angry and just firing the puck-type shots. It’s probably unfair to say that Doughty isn’t trying, but we’re getting to the point where it’s safe to shrug your shoulders at his fantasy value.
Yet, that talent is still so transfixing …
THE REST OF THE KINGS
Anze Kopitar - His nine points in 12 games are OK, but his limited peripheral offerings (eight PIM, just 19 SOG) make him a letdown since he likely went early. He might just be in the better in reality than fantasy club.
Richards - Again, I like him, even if he won't stay on a hot streak forever.
Jeff Carter - He's been a pure sniper; six goals and just one assist so far. His 35 SOG make me think he's a nice sleeper pick. Still, you want more than a point every other game considering his often-overlooked skills.
Dustin Brown - Gotta love the 44 SOG, but it's surprising to see him ranked fifth on his team with 28 hits.
Dustin Penner - He was an intriguing gamble, but his lack of production is almost as annoying as that sticky-hand feeling you can get if you eat pancakes too recklessly.
Overall, the Kings have been indisputably disappointing in fantasy, even if some guys seem like they should improve. (Doughty probably won’t go 0-for-27 too often.)
One more jump for the rest of the NHL …