January 12, 2011 10:30 am

Rookie defenseman Martinez earns trust

Alec Martinez arrived in Montreal on Nov. 23 without much fanfare. He had played well in Manchester, but it’s fare to say that his promotion to the Kings had more to do with some recent wobbles in the game of rookie Jake Muzzin. The two defensemen swapped places, Martinez went into the lineup the next night, scored a goal against the Canadiens and hasn’t left the lineup since, as he is averaging more than 17 minutes per game, with two goals and four assists in 22 games. There have been some rough moments along the way, including a mistake that led a Toronto goal on Monday night, but overall, Terry Murray said he has been pleased with Martinez…

MURRAY: “Overall, his game is really good. Martinez has been a great surprise for us this year. He brings the elements of speed and quickness. He has the ability to carry the puck, to make plays. He’s a good defending player, and he can really do a good job in the defensive zone in low, 1-on-1. This is part of the growing phase that young defensemen are going to go through, as they try to take the game on their own shoulders in tough situations, and it ends up with that result. You can’t go through three or four guys. You’ve got to make the play, go around, go through, let the puck do the work for you. You have to go through some pain in order to figure that part of it out.”

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