Voynov gets another chance to impress
The Kings will play their third game without Drew Doughty tonight, meaning another chance for rookie Slava Voynov to make an impression. So far, Voynov has drawn mostly positive reviews overall, but with Doughty almost certain to be back sometime over the next week, will Voynov be headed back to Manchester? Terry Murray deferred comment on that topic, saying it was one he would have to discuss with management, but Murray said he’s been pleased with Voynov’s effort thus far…
MURRAY: “I like his game a lot. I think, certainly, his play with the puck, his composure and his attitude about going after it and being aggressive on the offensive part of the game, is something that I’ve always liked in players, and he’s bringing that. We talk a little bit — John (Stevens) talks a little bit — about the checking part of the and just making sure that we’re making the right reads on switches. That’s something we want to clean up, but overall his game is growing on us.’’
Assuming a healthy defensive lineup, Voynov’s chances of staying aren’t real strong unless the Kings are displeased with Alec Martinez. That’s not out of the question, though. Martinez was made a healthy scratch last week in Philadelphia, but at this point he sort of brings the same general strengths and weaknesses as Voynov, albeit with a bit more experience. Murray talked about Martinez’s progress over the last week…
MURRAY: “A little better. I thought he started off slow in the training camp, and he has picked up the pace since. My message to him, in the conversations I have, is, `Just pick up the tempo, the intensity.’ I don’t like the word `urgency,’ but that’s kind of what I’m talking about, just faster, more important in every situation, reacting to it. Again, I think in the last couple games it’s been better.’’
Finally, as noted earlier, Doughty skated again this morning, but there’s still no date set for his return. After tonight, the Kings play Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday and Sunday.
MURRAY: “I really don’t know. He’s skating now, in the last couple days. It’s getting better. It is a week today. I don’t know. We’ll bring him in and get a talk with our medical staff after today. He’s going to come in tomorrow. We’re going to have a day off tomorrow, but he’s going to come in and get another off-ice workout, and probably on the ice also. So we’ll keep pushing it, but we’re going to make sure that he’s 100-percent strong before getting going. But I would anticipate this coming week, in my mind, that he will get into a game. Whether it’s in the middle or toward the end, I don’t know, but I think everything should be in pretty good shape by the end of this next week.’’