It has been suggested here, and elsewhere, that two of the Kings’ players — Michal Handzus and Rob Scuderi — seem to have teammate-elevating powers because of their strong, responsible veteran play. Forwards always seem to look better when they’re skating with Handzus, and same goes with defensemen and Scuderi. It’s no accident, and it’s no coincidence that after a streak of wobbly play, Drew Doughty has put together two consecutive strong games. His partner? Scuderi. Terry Murray chuckled a bit today when a reporter suggested that Scuderi is something like a “defensive doctor,” but Murray acknowledged the merit behind the suggestion. Scuderi, who turns 32 at the end of the month, has a plus-8 rating and is averaging almost 21 minutes of ice time per game.
MURRAY: “He really is a solid player. It’s been a great signing for the Kings. I think, with his experience in the game, winning the Stanley Cup, he’s really brought a lot of leadership to the team, to the dressing room, especially with the back-end group. His mobility, and his stick is one of the best in the league. He’s always got it in the right place, breaking up rushes and attacks, 1-on-1, dealing with the low play in D-zone coverage. But it’s a good point. Whenever things are not the way you’d like to see sometimes, it ends up being Scuds that gets moved to that position, and he works very well with the young players, Doughty and Jack Johnson. I think he’s really a solid person and he’s a solid player in the fundamentals of his game. That’s where you look to that kind of a player, as a coach, to help out in situations where a player might need some of that experience to settle his game down.”