A lot of attention gets paid — by me, as much as anyone — to the forward combinations, but the Kings’ defensive pairings have undergone their share of shuffling this season, in part because of injuries and in part because Terry Murray was searching for the correct fit.
Of late, Murray seems to have settled on a top pair of Scuderi and Doughty, but the rest have been subject to change, and often are changed because of injury. Randy Jones, Matt Greene and Davis Drewiske have been hurt, and Alec Martinez and Peter Harrold have flipped places. I asked Murray today about his pairs, if he feels like he’s getting close to what he wants, and if injuries have complicated his decision-making process…
MURRAY: “They make it very tough. We have Jones coming back from his injury and just getting on track again. I like what Jack is doing most of the time. His play is focused on the defensive part of the game, and that’s a good thing. Pair-wise, you’re always looking for something. You put your defensemen under the microscope. Every time there’s a game where you don’t come out on the right end of it, you’re looking at your defensemen and your D-zone coverage and you’re hoping, `OK, I can tweak this and move this guy here, and that’s going to make a difference.’ Same with the penalty kill.
“Some days we’re on a roll and doing a great job, and then there’s that breakdown again. So you’re looking at pairs, and how people are going. That’s probably why we have moved as many times as we have this year.”