Last night, Alec Martinez played his second consecutive game since rejoining the Kings’ lineup, and Darryl Sutter — along with assistant coach John Stevens — appears to be carefully managing the minutes of the defensemen. Martinez played 13 minutes, 15 seconds, against Carolina, then played 13:12 against Tampa Bay, as the Kings appear to be increasingly top-heavy on defense.
Against the Lightning, Drew Doughty played 26:44, Rob Scuderi played 23:21, Willie Mitchell played 22:34, Jack Johnson played 21:05, Martinez played 13:12 and Matt Greene played 13:04. Sutter was asked specifically about Martinez, who also got 1:43 of power-play time, and talked about Martinez along with the defensemen in general.
SUTTER: “He’s a good third-pair guy, a little bit of second power play. He skates well and moves the puck well. He gives Greener a partner that is sort of the opposite of what he is, which helps him. It’s a little tougher on the road, because you don’t always get (matchups) you want, but he’s been fine. I’ve got no problem with those kids, any of them. When Marty is in, people ask about Slava. When Slava is in, they ask about Marty. They’re not playing bad. We need Johnson and Doughty, instead of talking about potential, to make it about `now.’ So that means they’ve got to play in more situations, and they’re going to play a little bit more and take a little more responsibility in it.’’