Martinez: power player?
Alec Martinez was driven from Manchester, N.H., to Montreal, which seemed like a good thing. It’s only a four-hour drive, in a comfortable car, far better than the hassle and time involved in commercial airline travel. Except, Martinez’ car took an unscheduled detour on the way to the practice rink Tuesday. The driver, well, got lost, it seems.
“I think it was supposed to be four hours, but it took a little bit longer than that. I got a good view of Montreal,” Martinez joked. “I’ve never been here before.”
The Kings called up Martinez from Manchester today and sent down Jake Muzzin, a swap of rookie defensemen. Martinez, 23 and a fourth-round pick of the Kings in 2007, played four NHL games last season. At the time of his call-up, he led the Monarchs in assists (11) and points (16) and had scored four power-play goals.
MARTINEZ: “The season has been going well so far. I was fortunate enough to get a few points down there. I think we did a good job. Pretty much every goal I scored was because the forwards had a good net presence. It’s tough for a goalie to stop the puck if he can’t see it. Really, I owe it to the forwards, including Dwight King, who is here already. I actually joked about it before he got called up, that I needed to take him out to lunch, because he was pretty much the reason I scored those goals.”
As posted earlier, Terry Murray did not commit to putting Martinez in the lineup tomorrow against Montreal — he would likely replace Peter Harrold if he did play — but it’s no mystery that the Kings called up Martinez in part because of his ability to contribute on the power play, an area in need of improvement from the Kings.
MURRAY: “Martinez has been playing real well down there. He’s their leading point-getter, and Muzzin, we felt, needed to go play and keep working on his game. I’ll spend today thinking about, and talking about, what I’m going to do for a lineup tomorrow night on the back end.”
Question: He had four power-play goals. Is that part of the thinking as well?
MURRAY: “Sure. Our power play, we need to get it going. When we get to back-to-back power plays, or power plays that are coming very quickly, it’s very demanding for Jack (Johnson) and Drew (Doughty). So to come back with another player who is good on the back end, who can really shoot the puck, is what we need. I know Martinez, one thing he can do is take the puck to the net real hard. He’s got a great shot.
Question: He mentioned taking Dwight King out to lunch, for helping him score those goals with his play in front of the net…
MURRAY: “He’s got a bunch of guys he’s going to have to take to lunch here, because we’ve got some good people in front of the net. That’s not the problem for me. We’ve got good traffic. We need to get the puck there, so that these players can do their job.”