Player evaluation: Scuderi
This season: 82 games, 2 goals, 13 assists, 16 penalty minutes, 20:17 average ice time.
The good: Scuderi, once again, was Scuderi. Not the biggest, not the fastest, not the most skilled, Scuderi continues to play a smart, responsible, hard-working game, one that is respected by teammates and coaches. A tireless penalty-killer, Scuderi prides himself on good positioning and his willingness to block shots. His work is difficult, and rarely leads to highlight plays, but his grit and underrated leadership is well-regarded within the Kings’ locker room.
The bad: Scuderi almost always makes the correct read, but when he doesn’t, his lack of foot speed have a tendency to put him in tough positions. His offensive ability is clearly limited, but scoring goals is not what Scuderi is paid to do. Scuderi’s dip in plus-minus, from plus-16 in 2009-10 to plus-1 this season, is a bit eyebrow-raising, but take this for what it’s worth: Scuderi was plus-13 in 22 games with Drew Doughty as his partner, compared to minus-11 in 49 games with Jack Johnson as his partner. Coincidence?
Going forward: The Kings will not expect or demand anything different from Scuderi than what he gave them the previous two seasons. Doughty seemed to find success in a partnership with Willie Mitchell in the second half of the regular season, but will this season’s plus-minus numbers influence the Kings to make a switch, or are they basically an aberration? Either way, the Kings know that they can expect another season of quiet stability from Scuderi.