Drew Doughty can’t wait for this season to end.
As the Los Angeles Kings wrap up another disappointing season in which they’ll finish at the bottom of the Western Conference, the always-quotable defenceman was clearly frustrated following a 7-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on home ice.
Los Angeles has three games remaining now, on the road against Arizona and Anaheim Tuesday and Friday and finishing at home Saturday night versus Vegas, but Doughty is ready for it to end now. After Monday’s loss he told The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman “I just want to get this over with.”
These Kings are a far cry from the ones that won two Stanley Cups in three years. Los Angeles has qualified for the playoffs just twice in the past five seasons and have just one post-season win since 2014.
Once a strong possession team that famously dominated the NHL in shot share, the Kings’ 47.89 shots for percentage at 5-on-5 this season is better than just six other non-playoff teams. Their 189 goals overall are better than only the Anaheim Ducks, while Jonathan Quick has struggled to an .887 save percentage in 45 games.
Clearly too slow for the rest of the league in 2019, the Kings too often allow the play to be taken to them. Against Calgary on Monday, the Kings actually held an advantage in shots and trailed by just one goal heading into the third period, but then completely unraveled and allowed four more against to drop the game 7-2.
“I don’t know if anything really went right tonight,” Doughty said. “We lost the game 7-3 or 8-3, 8-2, I don’t even know what the score was. We just didn’t have a good third period.
“We just give pucks away, that’s the bottom line. We just give pucks away and the other team comes on us and rushes all night and we continue to play like that and that’s why we lose all these games.”
Although Doughty has 44 points in 79 games, which is actually a top five offensive season in his career, he’s on the ice for more shots against than Los Angeles gets itself for the first time since his rookie season. That season, 2008-09, the Kings finished 26th in a 30-team NHL.
Doughty is finishing the last year of his current contract and starts his new eight-year extension next season. He’ll count for $11 million against the cap when that kicks in and will continue to have a full no-move clause for the first four years of the deal.