As noted in the post last hour, after Kings practice today coach Terry Murray discussed he defensive pairings he’ll be using tomorrow night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
With Slava Voynov back in LA, to replace the injured Alec Martinez, things were mixed up a bit – as Voynov will be partnered with Willie Mitchell, Drew Doughty’s regular partner, rather than just sliding into the spot Martinez held alongside Matt Greene.
When asked about the pairings, the first things Murray noted was how impressed he was with Martinez in the last game…
“Voynov’s back and you know why he’s back – that’s the only way you can bring him back up is through putting a player on the IR. Unfortunately, for the Marty (Martinez), that will give him a little bit of time to get some rehab and get back back into the line-up. I was very surprised that he came back and played the other night. He really showed me a lot of character. He sucked up quite a bit of discomfort to be able to come back and play. And he scored a huge goal, that was good for him.”
As for why Voynov will be paired with Mitchell, here’s the explanation…
Did Murray watch any tape of Voynov or Andrei Loktinov in Manchester this season to see how they’ve been playing, prior to deciding on how to insert them into the Kings line-up upon their return?
“No. I don’t go back and look at games in the minors. It’s about fitting in here and becoming part of this team here right now. They came out of the training camp and everybody’s on the same page – structure and system. That makes it an easy adjustment and that’s why we do it – because of situations like this, two big games coming up in front of us (versus Anaheim). You need to be able to play instinctive hockey and feel good about their game and how they’re going to fit in and how they’re going to play.”
More notes and quotes from practice coming up.
Other recent and/or articles are linked below for your reference.
The Russians are Coming! – an article that went up late yesterday