I THINK I can see why the NHL ruled that it was incidental contact. The play got broken up and the puck went back behind Doughty. If Cole was somehow so focused on the puck that he didn't see Doughty and they simply turned into each other, OK. This has to be what Cole and the NHL are claiming.
I'm not sure I buy it though. Watch Cole's head during the entire play- he is looking at Doughty, the puck carrier, the entire time. If he knew where Doughty was AND was watching him throughout, how can it be incidental?
Also, take a look at this clip that I enhanced:
Watching Cole's head after Doughty gets rid of the puck and just before impact, you'll notice that he put his head down, bracing for impact. Meanwhile, Doughty never saw it coming.
It also seems that he lowered the shoulder a bit in order to deliver the hit. This does not seem like incidental contact to me.
Is this sour grapes? Yes. Drew Doughty is the Kings' best player. I didn't even mention the fact that the hit was LATE. Well after he got rid of the puck.
Doughty is clearly stunned after the hit as you can see. What you don't see is that fact that he finished his shift and broke up a play in the defensive zone, skating off only after he cleared the puck.
Get well soon, Drew.