BURNSIDE: I also read somewhere that Duncan Keith has two Stanley Cup rings and a Norris Trophy to his name. And if my guess is correct, he'll have his name engraved on both those trophies again within the coming months. Yes, he's not 24. But there has been some question about Doughty's consistency through the regular season. Those issues are moot, of course, as we head into the heart of the Western Conference finals, but through one game, it's Keith who has made his presence known in a more meaningful way.
Let's put it this way, would it be a surprise if someday Drew Doughty is in the Hall of Fame? Probably not. But at this stage is there any doubt that it's Keith who has assembled a Hall of Fame resume? I would answer my own question (before you can) and say the answer is an unequivocal no. And this for a man who still has likely a decade of top-level hockey left in him, should he choose to play that long. Plus, he likes to sing off-key in the locker room shower. Every day.
CUSTANCE: Very true. Both Keith and Doughty were on my Norris ballot, although I think Zdeno Chara should win. That's another debate we can have closer to Las Vegas. I had Keith No. 2 on my ballot instead of No. 1 only because the pair of Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson often gets deployed by Joel Quenneville against the tougher assignments, which helps free up Keith to produce offensively. During the regular season, Hjalmarsson had the highest Relative Corsi quality of competition on the Blackhawks at 1.759 (per behindthenet.ca data). Keith was No. 11 on the team at 0.681. Meanwhile, no defenseman on the Kings saw tougher competition than Doughty, always drawing the toughest matchups from coach Darryl Sutter. Despite that, Doughty's possession numbers were ridiculous. I don't want to bog this debate down with numbers, but when Doughty was on the ice at even strength, the Kings controlled 58.5 percent of the shot attempts (per ExtraSkater.com research). The only defenseman better in the league was his (often) partner Jake Muzzin. Now, Duncan Keith was no slouch at 56.6 percent, but when you factor in the quality of competition, you have to give the edge to Doughty. Again.