This is quite a road trip for Kings rookie defenseman Alec Martinez. It started in Detroit, roughly 25 miles from Martinez’s hometown of Rochester Hills, Mich. Now it’s Columbus, which is approximately two hours from where he attended college (Miami University of Ohio). Next, it’s Dallas, where his parents currently live. Finally, it’s Nashville, where Martinez’s girlfriend works and studies as part of a nursing program. “Expensive trip,” Martinez said with a smile, in reference to the number of tickets he will have to buy. So far, so good. The Kings got the win in Detroit, and Martinez drew some big praise from Terry Murray.
MURRAY: “Outstanding game. Not just the power play. He played great the whole game, under pressure with composure, making plays, skating, carrying the puck. You try to project on players, and you watch this kid when he’s doing the right things and the good things, and you try to say, `OK, this can be a consistent part of his game in the future,’ he’s a good player. To me, when you have a player like this, it all comes down to the player making up his mind that he’s going to go get the job done. That’s it. It’s not about Xs and Os. It’s you, as a player, at sometime in your career — whether it’s in junior or wherever it’s going to be — you have to say to yourself, `I’m going to do it. It’s my time. I’m stepping up to the plate and I’m taking on all the challenges.’ That’s where Martinez is, for me. And I’ve told him that. It’s not just me speaking here. It’s something I’ve talked to him about. It’s time to step up. It’s his opportunity, at his age. It’s, `Let’s go.”’
Murray also referenced Martinez’s work on the power play. The Kings’ power-play goal against Detroit came after Martinez’s quick-release slap shot from the point was deflected in.
MURRAY: “That’s Kyle Quincey to me, when we got him the first year. Everything that came to him was back to the net. And that’s what you have to have. He’s got a very good shot. He can score from the blue line. He’s got a short takeaway. He gets it to the net quickly. Just keep reinforcing it. It’s tremendous. The forwards love it. The puck gets down there, and now they’re ready to battle.”