What to do on defense?
As discussed earlier, Willie Mitchell’s return to the Kings’ lineup is likely only a matter of days away, at which point — barring another injury between now and then — the Kings will be faced with a lineup choice. Which defenseman will Mitchell replace? The most obvious answer is either Alec Martinez or Peter Harrold, but Martinez has been strong since being called up from the AHL — more on that later — and Harrold has proved to be a responsible partner for Jack Johnson. Then there’s Davis Drewiske, who has also been steady this season but has been a healthy scratch in two of the last three games. One idea dismissed by Terry Murray today was dressing seven defensemen in Mitchell’s first game back, although he left the door open for possibly playing Harrold as a forward, as something of a safety net in Mitchell’s first game back.
MURRAY: “I think if you have seven defensemen, you really get out of a rhythm, out of flow, and it makes it very difficult for those seven guys. If you have a defenseman as a forward, and he’s going as part of your fourth line, that’s different. Then you have him as an option, if you need to throw him back there, but I don’t like going into games with seven defensemen. That really is disruptive. … (A defenseman at forward is) something I would consider. We’ve done it in the past and it was worked pretty well. I think Harry is a very responsible right winger, whenever he’s playing in that position. Same thing with Drewiske. He’s been up on the left wing a few times and played very responsible. So there is that scenario I could look at.”