Willie Mitchell on the new defensive pairings

The Kings have only played 22 games so far this season, yet defenseman Willie Mitchell is already on his third different partner.  Twice he’s been teamed with Slava Voynov for a stretch of games – once when his regular partner, Drew Doughty, was injured and then more recently when the Russian blueliner was called up to replaced an injured Alec Martinez.  Then, a few days ago, Voynov was put with Matt Greene. Rather than team Doughty back up with Mitchell, he moved on to Rob Scuderi – leaving Jack Johnson as Mitchell’s new partner.

“We’ve all played a lot with each other. But, it’s different, it’s an adjustment,” said Mitchell, when asked about the recent changes. “I feel pretty comfortable with Voynov and Doughty. Most people can see that I’ve played pretty well with both those guys. Now, I’m kind of starting to roll with Jack. We played together last year for a little bit. But, I was playing on the right side, in an area I really wasn’t comfortable with. To be honest, I was battling a couple injuries, so I wasn’t at the top of my game, so to speak.

“I think the idea was to have a guy out there who was pretty responsible on the defensive side of things, get out there with Jack and hopefully compliment his offensive side of the game and settle things down. So, I think it’s been a little better than what we were last year, as a pairing. That said, we have to continue to try and get better as a unit. It’s our job to go out there and play, coaches put together what they put together for their rhymes or reasons. For the most part, we’ve all kind of played with each other. So, it just takes a few different reads, as far as – Jack, obviously plays on his off-side, so you have to be aware of certain situations with that.”

And what does Johnson think of being split up from Doughty? Any thoughts?

“No, because it’s not up to us. We know that (the pairings) are going to be changed out quite a bit, so we don’t have any thoughts on it because it’s not up to us.”

Johnson did share quite a bit though about his hit on Mike Ribeiro late in the game vs. the Stars. You can read that interview here.

Late yesterday, we also posted comments from Drew Doughty, Mike Richards, Ethan Moreau and coach Terry Murray regarding all the interesting things that happened in Dallas.

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