Sutter on Muzzin: "It looks like his game’s going back up again" - LA Kings Insider

Jake Muzzin has rebounded well after a 20 game lull between December 14 and January 25 in which he scored one goal, did not record an assist, and posted a minus-4 rating.

Playing primarily with Drew Doughty and eating up anywhere from 15:29 to 18:12 of ice time since the February 6 overtime win over Columbus, Muzzin has generally been an effective presence on the blue line and a useful option on the second unit power play. He has two goals, four points and a plus-four rating in the last nine games, helping lead the club to an 8-1-0 record over that span. In 62 games this season, the 25-year-old has five goals, 20 points and a plus-6 rating.

Though he’s a deft puck mover, a possession whiz and a fine offensive complement, Muzzin has rarely, if ever, drawn noteworthy praise from Darryl Sutter in the media, and the infamous “road apples” comment followed a request for an appraisal of Muzzin’s game last season.

With that in context, Sutter’s evaluation this morning represented some of the most encouraging words offered on behalf of the King who has totaled 37 points (12-25=37) and a plus-20 rating in 118 career games.

“I think he’s been pretty much the same thing all year,” Sutter said. “He’s given us times where he’s played really well and times where he’s struggled, and it looks like his game’s going back up again.”

“He plays 17-to-20 minutes a night on a top team in the league. I think that’s pretty positive.”

His defensive partner also gauged the comfort level that the two have constructed.

“He’s been playing well,” Doughty said. “I think Muzz – he plays well generally every game, but I guess there are some games where he’ll fall off just a little bit. But I love playing with Muzz. I think we are great together on the ice. We’re always out there for a lot more chances for than we are against. We’re usually playing against the other teams’ top lines, so if we’re able to do that every night against the other team’s top line, obviously Muzz is doing something right. I think he’s been playing great, and we need him to continue to play like this going into playoffs.”

Doughty, on Muzzin’s composure and confidence in his second full season:
I think he’s more confident on the ice. He’s learned to play a lot better defensively, too. That’s what we needed from him, was to make strides in the defensive zone because if you’re playing with me, you’re going to have to, like I said, shut down the other team’s best lines. I think he’s made huge strides. He’s really good. He’s physical. He’s not easy to play against. He’s got a long stick. He’s been great. When he’s playing with confidence, he’s getting his shot through, and he’s got an unbelievable shot. He’s moving pucks and making plays, and that’s what he’s been doing.

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.