Alec Martinez’s forced sabbatical is over. Martinez was made a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game at Philadelphia after coach Terry Murray expressed some displeasure with Martinez’s defensive-zone play. Martinez will be back on the ice tonight, though, in his normal blue-line spot opposite Matt Greene, and Martinez might take on extra importance now. With Drew Doughty out of the lineup, Martinez’s puck-moving skills, point shooting and power-play ability will be even more valuable. I asked Martinez today about the type of feedback he got from the coaching staff in recent days…
MARTINEZ: “I had a little talk with Terry and a little talk with John, just about being assertive about making plays and making the right reads all the time. A lot of it was positive too, but they gave me some things to work on. I’m looking forward to getting back in the lineup and helping the team win.’’
Question: You’re still a young guy, so that type of feedback isn’t a bad thing, right?
MARTINEZ: “No, not at all. Everyone here is trying to get better, and that’s what I’m trying to do too. Any feedback (is good), and if there’s something they think needs to be corrected, I’m going to go ahead and work hard and try to fix it. I’m just trying to get better every day. I know it’s a cliche but that’s all you can do.’’
Question: Is it fair to say that, without Drew, all of the defensemen are going to have to raise their games a little?
MARTINEZ: “Yeah, for sure. Not one person is going to be able to replace Drew. He’s a heck of a hockey player, so everyone is just going to have to pick it up and, collectively, we all have to dig in and give a little more and hopefully try to replace what he brings to the table.’’