He had only played six games with the team at that point and knowing it can sometimes take time for a young defenseman to adjust to the NHL, Murray pointed out he was improving each game and specifically liked his “body positioning and low play” compared to last season.
Now with an expanded body of work since we last spoke, I asked Murray for some additional thoughts on Martinez after practice today…
“We really like what Alec has brought and how his game has evolved here from the time that I first saw him two years ago. He came to training camp this year and had a good camp. He does a lot of good things and it was very noticeable actually throughout the exhibition games. He went down to Manchester (AHL) with the right attitude and was arguably their best player down there, putting up a lot of points and doing everything a player needs to do to develop his game.
“Since he’s come up we’ve liked everything he’s doing – his attitude, his work ethic, etc. When he’s sitting in individual review he’s asking a lot of questions, talking about his game. The part that has always been the achilles heel with him is he gets a little down on himself after making some kind of a mistake. He really takes on that responsibility and has a tough time bouncing back.
“He’s getting through that though. He’s maturing and we’re seeing a pretty complete player who’s only going to get better as a young guy.”
When Matt Greene returns (probably 12/26) and Willie Mitchell makes it back into the line-up, the Kings will be faced with some tough decisions. Murray has previously said he doesn’t want to play seven guys on D in a game.
So, that leaves one spot and three bodies – Martinez, along with Davis Drewiske and Peter Harrold (both of whom would have to clear waivers before being assigned to Manchester – a highly unlikely scenario). It’s something to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead.
Whiskey in the Morning – comments from Davis Drewiske