On the team and “family” being proud of Alec Martinez’s extension:
I think the organization, from that standpoint, would be elated, not just Marty or the family. I think it’s important going forward. I think you look at those young defenseman who are locked up, it means they’re Kings for a long time. Muzz and Drew and Marty, hopefully that’ll come to pass with Brayden some time. I’m not sure where he’s at in that. I think he’s still got another year of something. Slava – all those guys. They’re young guys. It’s easier to find forwards and to push them right into your lineup than it is defensemen. Defensemen take time to develop, and most of them, as you see with these guys, other than Drew, they’ve done their work in the American League and they’ve done their work to take this next step. And it’s not just to play in the NHL. It’s to be on a good team, clearly. If you talked to Marty, Marty could’ve waited ‘til the summer and looked around but at the same time, the most important part in today’s game is to try and play on a good team. Careers are so short and it goes so fast that if you can play on a good team, there’s way more – especially if you start there.
On “pushing” Martinez and holding him to “high standards”:
You know, I don’t think it’s ‘pushing players’ hard. It’s pushing them to maximize what they have. Marty’s been an important part. You don’t win with six defensemen. You might have an odd good regular season, or if you’ve got four or something like that. But you don’t win with six. You win with eight or nine defensemen, so a healthy scratch has nothing to do with it. I mean, we were healthy coming into this year. Healthy scratch doesn’t mean how somebody’s playing. I mean, a lot of times schedule and opponent is based on how it works. If you look at Marty last year when he sat out games, well, there were times where Marty, we hadn’t used him on the right side, and we got to a point , emergency-wise, where we had to, and away he went. It’s not performance-related. If you look at last year, how many games actually did Robyn and Greener, were they in the lineup together? Most of that was an injury-related thing or a ‘who you want in the lineup’-thing. I’ve said it a hundred times. It’s not about who I or we choose not to play. If I could dress 25 guys, I’d dress 25 guys, and then nobody’s be saying, ‘Well, he was a healthy scratch.’ He’d be out there.
On the strides Martinez has made as a player:
Well, obviously he just signed a six-year contract, so I would say that, within itself, would be a significant stride. Young players who’ve been parts of two championships – and it doesn’t matter if they played eight minutes or they played 18 minutes – they made significant strides. Marty is a guy we think because of injury this year, his minutes have been pushed up into that 20-area, and that affects who he’s on the ice against. That affects the caliber of player he’s against. So, you know what? We have higher expectations of him now than we probably did at any point in his career.
On whether the team’s road record is a “blip” on the radar:
No it’s not. It’s not. I think the four overtime-shootout games should be – our record, I believe is 2-4-4 – so if any of those four were on the other side, those are more points. That’s it. That’s what it’s about. You’re trying to get points, and we think that we’ve played really well on the road other than two games, so hopefully we can find a way to get that four on the extra part over onto the W part.