Kings defenseman Drew Doughty shared a lot of fond memories with former teammate Justin Williams during their seven years together in Los Angeles.
None was more lasting than the locker room speech Williams gave prior to the Kings’ Stanley Cup-clinching game against the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Finals.
“The one thing I remember (Williams saying was), ‘We want to be remembered as a (championship) team. I want to remember each guy on this team as a winner and as a Stanley Cup champion and as a brother that way,” Doughty recalled.
The Kings routed the Devils 6-1 in that game, clinching their first of two Stanley Cups in three years. Now a member of the Capitals, Williams is hoping for a similar opportunity in Washington, which is yearning for its first Stanley Cup parade.
“He kind of waits for the right moment and then he’s going to speak up and say something,” Doughty said. “When a guy like that who’s won three Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe says something, everyone is going to listen.
“He’s a smart man and he knows the right things to say at the right time. It was huge for our team.”
So far, Williams has done a pretty good job of letting his stick, which happened to be his nickname in Los Angeles, do the talking. In 54 games Williams is second on the Capitals with 18 goals and is on pace for 57 points, his highest total since that 2012 Stanley Cup season.
Tonight also marks Mike Richards’ first game against the Kings since they terminated his contract in September.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter was less than loquacious when asked about his team facing two instrumental pieces of their Stanley Cup teams.
“They’re on the other team tonight,” Sutter said. “They won two Cups with us. They’re great memories. We don’t have to share them publicly, do we?”
Doughty, who played four seasons with Richards and saw him sent to the minors last season, said he was happy to see the 31-year-old center sign with the Caps.
“How can you not root for a guy like that?” Doughty said. “He was a great teammate of ours and a huge part of our success in the last few years. It was weird not seeing him in any lineups and sitting at home for a little bit. So I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he found a home here in Washington and I think that he can help them a lot.”
Doughty said he heard that Williams jokingly said he’d like to pick a fight with him when they finally played against each other and said he’s probably keep his gloves on if he did.
“I haven’t been too successful in my previous fights,” Doughty said. “'Stick' would always be on my side. He’d always be pulling for me. He always had my back.”
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