Sutter pleased with Voynov’s `plus’ play

The age-old debate about the plus-minus stat rages on, in terms of its relevance to how well a player is performing. To the extent that it’s a useful stat, it’s most useful in terms of comparing players on the same team. Comparing a Kings defenseman to, say, a Detroit defenseman is less relevant. Darryl Sutter brought up the stat today when asked, in general, about the recent play of Slava Voynov, so let’s take a look at how the Kings’ defensemen line up, followed by Sutter’s complete thoughts on Voynov.

Slava Voynov — plus-7
Willie Mitchell — plus-6
Drew Doughty and Davis Drewiske — even
Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi — minus-1
Alec Martinez — minus-5
(Jack Johnson — minus-12)

SUTTER: “So far, he has handled it really well. The one thing about Slava that nobody talks about is, the kid is a high `plus’ player, and that’s not by accident. When you’ve got high `plus’ players and high `minus’ players on a low-scoring team, that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. When he’s a high `plus’ player, that’s even strength, so that means he’s creating a lot and doing a lot offensively, and at the same time, understanding what he has to do the other way, to play a 200-foot game. He’s going to get better. There are things in his game. Because he’s not a big guy, he’s got to use his stick differently, in terms of getting his stick in areas where he can get pucks for us. He will have to get stronger. That’s something we can work on, but he’s a good player. I said that when he went down (to the AHL) too. He didn’t go down because he was a seventh or eighth guy. We need him to play as a four, to take advantage of him.’’

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