It happened a bit last night, and Terry Murray confirmed today that he has decided to switch the defensive pairs to Drewiske-Doughty, Johnson-Scuderi, O’Donnell-Greene. Murray said he was motivated mostly by the play of Drewiske, who has a plus-5 rating in the first seven games.
MURRAY: “We like what he is bringing in his game, and we feel he deserves more minutes as a result of that. We had concerns last year, I think, when we looked at the minutes that Sean O’Donnell was playing. There were times when he was up into the 23-, 24-minute mark, or 25-minute mark, and after 20 games or so, his game was slipping a bit because of the amount of ice time.
“We felt, now, that Drewiske is able to handle those minutes and play against the top lines. He’s a younger guy that we want to continue to see grow, and we made that change as a result of the good play and the amount of time that we’re looking for Doughty’s partner to play.”
The other day, Murray also talked, in general, about how he feels Drewiske’s play has evolved.
MURRAY: “At the end of the training camp, we were concerned. I found he was pressing throughout the camp, really wanting to do the right thing, and as a result trying to do too much. Once the season got started, right away he settled in and started move the puck quickly and he’s back to the way he played at the end of the season for us last year. So, as a result of that, his confidence has grown and he’s rewarded with more minutes in critical situations.
“That’s good to see, because I like the big body, I like the heavy play that he brings. He’s able to stop cycles, he’s able to pin and seal guys in your D zone to get plays started on the breakouts. Those are important kind of players to have, so it’s nice to see that he’s back on track.”