While Drew Doughty has been absolutely stellar in the playoffs for the Los Angeles Kings, doing just about everything, fellow offensive-defenseman Slava Voynov has been largely quiet. Last year the Russian blue liner scored 6 playoff goals and looked like he was en route to a breakout offensive performance. With a career high 34 points this season Voynov’s offense looked like it had “arrived,” but 2 points through 10 playoff games is a different story.
Judging a defenseman solely on his offensive productivity is like judging an MLB player solely on his power numbers. While they’re flashy and in some ways reflective of the player’s productivity they do not tell the whole story. Sometimes numbers do lie and it takes an eye test to really appreciate how well a player of Voynov’s caliber is playing. His defensive play has been better than his -1 reflects and his offensive play has been fine but hasn’t resulted in points. When the floodgates open they will open wide and Voynov’s play will help the Kings even more than it has already.
Voynov was for my money one of the best Kings in Game 7 of the San Jose Sharks series and has been showing amazing flashes in all areas of the game through three games against the Anaheim Ducks. Given the team’s success this postseason there is absolutely no reason to panic — Voynov is taking care of business and doing the “little things” that help the team win. It’s important to note that Voynov only had 3 points through 20 games in the 2012 playoffs and that run ended with the team capturing its first ever Stanley Cup.