Muzzin versus Martinez. Team Alec Unite.

If Jon Rosen is hard at work trying to figure out why Jake Muzzin is playing over Alec Martinez, fine. I will forgive him.

If he already knows and he is not sharing, then fuck you Jon…in the nicest way possible.

Color me annoyed.

Alec Martinez came back, is healthy, had a terrific preseason and hasn’t played in either of the first two games.

Meanwhile, his stand-in Jake Muzzin (1 assist, -4) has been positively below average. He gets the puck and decides to skate with it and I cringe. He fires shots in opposing defender’s legs better than any LA Kings D man before him, sans perhaps Denis Gauthier or Aki Berg. And a defenseman is supposed to be positionally sound right?

“But Drew loves him, Scribe!” Drew also likes to pick up skanks who can’t spell consent. I don’t give a damn what Drew likes or if he has a crush on his fellow Ontario boy. Alec Martinez is a better defenseman at all 200 feet of the ice.

So is Alec hurt? If so, what is it?

Is it annoyingly quiet because there is about to be a trade?

I am about to send text messages and make phone calls to rattle some cages.

Meanwhile, tell me what you think about this whole debacle.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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39 replies

  1. sign me up for team alec.

  2. I have always been head over heels for team Edward. Oops I mean team alec.

  3. It’s interesting that when someone is always saying things that you agree with, you tend to like them! :-) That’s why I like this page!! Keep it coming!

  4. It’s tough to say, Bobby. We don’t always get completely revealing answers from Darryl.

    Here are the Darryl Sutter quotes on Alec Martinez from September:

    “Marty’s trying to prove himself, and I don’t know if I’ve given him enough opportunities. I’ve been playing him on the right side in camp, and now we moved him back to left. He made two good plays – one on the goal, and one just before the goal on the power play. Hopefully that gives him more confidence.”

    and

    “He’s well-trained. Did a heck of a job. You know what? Other than that, we’ll let him play. When you look at those [defensemen] – Keaton, Marty, Muzz and Jeff, they’re all young guys. Let ‘em play. Let ‘em figure it out and decide. I want em all to play in the NHL. They’re just probably all not going to be able to play here, unless we run into a big injury thing in the next two and a half weeks.”

    And then there was the quote at the end of the preseason, which I am having difficulty locating. To paraphrase, he said that the seventh and eighth defensemen were unable to unseat the top six defensemen. It went against the mostly warm reviews we heard of Martinez in training camp.

    The issue isn’t that Alec Martinez is out of the lineup. Though it’s a small sample size, if there was an issue over the first two games, it was that the Kings gave up seven goals and an average of 31 shots per game. Independent of your thoughts on Muzzin, Martinez isn’t somebody that will have a profound effect on bringing those numbers down, and I respectfully disagree with your assessment that he is more effective “at all 200 feet of the ice” than Muzzin.

    Martinez is a puck-advancing offensive catalyst with an excellent first pass out of the zone and someone capable of “pulling the strings” on the second unit power play. He is not superior to Muzzin in his own end of the ice, and that is what the Kings are most in need of, if we’re to draw any conclusions from the first two games of the season. Furthermore, Muzzin is 6-foot-3, and the Kings are a team that values size.

    I’m not saying that we won’t see Martinez on Monday. Rather, the Kings need to show improvement in their own end of the ice, and Alec Martinez’s skill set isn’t exactly the cure for the defensive issues that plagued the team on the two game trip. Also, the first two games represented a miniscule sample size. We’re 1/41 of the way through the season, so trends will have to develop a little bit more before changes are considered.

    • But does Muzzin play his size? I don’t think so. I see Alec throwing body checks, smart ones and at the right time, far more than Jake. Skating, they are equal. Passing, Alec wins, not just in the O zone but also on breakouts. Alec can also skate with the puck. And then there is his chemistry with Greene.

      I put a lot of stock in positioning with defensemen. If a d man is smart positionally, especially defending against the forecheck and on the PK, it avoids the running around in our own zone that has hurt us 2 straight nights

      Overall, nothing about Jake stands out as impressive or a justification for playing him over Alec, who had shown himself as a better all around defenseman and a better fit in the defensive d man – offensive d man structure of our pairings.

      • I think AMarts is a way better skater than Muzzin. And a better stick handler.

        • And to the stick handling issue, especially in traffic. Muzzin gets pressured and it’s a given the puck is off his stick and lost. Martinez has a quick first step and, although smaller, better at puck protection.

          I don’t know if Jake’s issue is an inability to use his legs as leverage to fend off opposing forwards or he is just not very strong.

          • Totally with you on his stickhandling. I cringe every time he’s gonna touch the puck. Like he gets super nervous and then almost pisses his pants. Frustrating as hell.

      • I feel the exact opposite Jon. Muzzins upside is his shot and his offensive skill set. Martinez is more reliable defensively. If the stats don’t support that I’d be shocked. Martinez is definitely the puck mover when paired with Greene, but I’m with Bobby. Muzzin turns over the puck at the shittiest times. I feel better with Martinez on the ice against top lines plus he’s feisty. He throws his body around like Dewey and plays big. Maybe I’m misreading it, but it seems like King gets alot more credit for what he did towards our cup win than Martinez does. I was stoked when I knew the whole team was coming back, even Penner. I thought AMart was a lock though. Maybe not. Must be something we don’t get to see as fans. Cause in the games I’m seeing, I just don’t see what Sutter does. Having Drew sing your praises can’t hurt either.

      • I couldn’t agree more. Martinez’s positioning evens out Muzzin’s size advantage. Alec doesn’t have as heavy hits as Muzzin, but he certainly uses his body and isn’t afraid of contact. Also, playing the opposite side Greene, you don’t need to be the “heavier” player, you need to be a quick decision/pass player, which in my view, Martinez has an edge.

        Also to add to the stick handling conversation which is spot on, Martinez also handles the passes back to the blue line much cleaner and efficiently than Muzzin, which is huge.

        Martinez decision making is much quicker.

        Alec, also seems to have an edge on his ability to read when to pinch, which goes hand-in-hand with his quick decision making.

        There’s is no question, last year, Alec was having difficulties with his facial injury (gun shy), but his play in preseason showed me he’s back to himself.

      • I see Muzzin as a more talented but less confident defensemen than Martinez. Muzzin’s skill set is impressive, Martinez’s is solid. Martinez plays with a poise that Muzzin has failed to harness. When Muzzin has latched onto it for short periods, we have seen a difference making defenseman.

        Unfortunately Muzzin seems to struggle playing with a consistent level of assertiveness. When he stops taking that split moment to second guess his decision with the puck, he will be the better defenseman. Until that time, Martinez is the preference in the lineup for me, and while I do not agree with Jon’s specific detailing of their differences, I do agree with his point that the 6th defenseman is not the fulcrum point between a 2-0 dominant record and our squeaked out 1-1.

    • “Martinez is a puck-advancing offensive catalyst with an excellent first pass out of the zone…” Yeah the guy can actually skate up ice With the puck. There was another guy that used to wear #27 in the league not to long ago that isn’t a very big guy but super smart and great skater. Not saying that Marty is the next #27 but the kid can flat out skate with the puck and he’s relatively smart with the reads.

      Hopefully Sutter gives him a shot Monday.

    • Maybe someone could relay to DS that what’s NOT good for Marty’s confidence is sitting his arse on the bench while we watch the Magical, Mystery Muzz fumblin’ and bumblin’ his way to mediocrity. As far as needing to be more sound in their own end, how’s about keeping it out of our end in the first place? Marty’s play goes further to that end than Muzzin’s. By far. As to size and physicality, I don’t see Marty as ” small “, and he played plenty large last year in the PO’s ( when inserted) like shutting down Backes & co IN Stl. I just hate to see him getting a raw deal.

      Go Kings

  5. I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’m not seeing why Martinez is scratched over Muzzin.

    If this is a “Sutter doesn’t like Martinez” excuse, then fine, trade Martinez, but if this is just poor decisions by Sutter, then Dean should let his employee know he should probably try to put Martinez in against the Rangers and after.

    If Martinez is bait, or going to be shipped off, great, get it done, but if this is poor player management, then Dean the superior of Darryl needs to have a little sit down with him.

    Regardless, Martinez was much better than Muzzin in the exhibition season, so give the guy who was on the Stanley Cup Champions defense a few games now before you decide to make Martinez another Davis Drewiskie or Peter Harrold!

  6. The thing that bugs the most is how much PP ice time Muzzin gets….1st game of the season he had more PP TOI than anybody else on the team. The past game against the Jets his PP TOI made a little more sense, but still. What has he done to deserve that position? Although the Slava and DD combo has had some success so far, why not split those 2 up and have DD quarterback the 1st PP unit and have Slava quarterback the 2nd? All Muzzin possesses is a powerful shot, but frankly, I have yet to see him get his shot through traffic, or when he has managed to get a shot on goal (2 so far this season) it’s not dangerous. He doesn’t even possess anywhere near the up ice vision DD or Slava have so when he carries the puck from behind our goal and skates it up the ice, he doesn’t make that one bullet pass that allows one of our forwards to get entry into the O-zone (the best we can hope for is him skating it past center ice and dumping it in). And on top of that he doesn’t handle the puck well, doesn’t skate well and is clumsy, so if he gets caught under pressure he can’t escape. So what the fuck is he doing on the powerplay?

    On the other hand…….
    1) Martinez, although doesn’t have a booming shot like Muzzin’s, has an accurate shot and he has the capability to get it through traffic.
    2) Martinez does possess up ice vision (not at DD’s or Slava’s level) so he is capable of making the accurate bullet pass to the forward looking to enter the zone.
    3) Martinez is a good skater, not so much a puck handler but he isn’t clumsy like Muzzin, so if he faces pressure he can escape using his skating or use his accurate passing to get the puck away from pressure.
    4) When Martinez is on his game, he’s decisive. Muzzin always second guesses himself.

    WHY IS MUZZIN IN THE LINEUP.

  7. Please follow up with some answers..if you get any..
    I have also noticed the shoot into opponents legs senario..uugghh.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  8. Alec is simply a smart defenseman and should probably get the nod over Muzzin on most occasions. I don’t really see why Muzzin should be played over Martinez unless ‘potential’ is a strong factor.
    Muzzin clearly isn’t reacting in a timely manner to the play before him, which manifests itself in a number of ways. Mainly, his shots getting blocked, being out of position and not detecting the attackers speed. I guess they are hoping the ‘switch’ turns on at some point, but how long do we have to wait? When Muzzin was paired with Dewey he had that safety net. Greene just can’t cover for Muzzin in the same manner.

  9. Team Alec ftw. You’re spot on the Muzzin analysis and shooting straight into a defenders legs!

  10. Muzzin might possibly have a greater upside then Martinez. Obviously, right now Martinez is the better player, but I am not ready to say he always will be.

    • Jake is 24 and Alec is 26. You make it seem like Alec has reached and passed his peak. Both are on the upswing except Alec has proven his worth in the regular season, playoffs and to a Cup. Jake has done none of the above.

      • Notice my elogant use of the words “might”, “possibly”, and “not ready”. We all know that Martinez is a high quality bottom pairing dman. But am I ready to say that Muzzin is not a top four dman. And I’m also not ready to say that he is even an everyday NHL player. I just don’t know yet. He’s had flashes of brilliance in the offensive end that Martinez has never shown. I’m not disrespeting any player the way you do. I love Alec and hope he stays a King, but Muzzin needs a bigger body of work to fully estabislish his propensity as an NHL player.

  11. What’s with the top posting of comments? It’s irritating.

  12. Martinez just flat out won out in camp and was rewarded with a press box seat. It was obvious that Martinez was the better player and it begs the question why Muzzin was put in over him. After coming out of the first two games with a team worst -4 I’ll be very interested to see if he once again gets put in over Martinez. My guess is that we are shopping around Martinez for a trade and the King’s management doesn’t want Martinez to get hurt. That is the only reasonable explanation in my book.

    • The reason Martinez flat out won out in camp but was rewarded with a press box seat (as I remember how skilled and nimble he was on the power play for example) is that skilled players seem to be anathema to certain aspects of management.
      I know that sounds sarcastic, and I don’t mean it to be. For sure, DL went out and got JW and he’s skilled. He drafted VV and he’s skilled. But between DL and DS, I’m just not sure what they’re thinking.

      The other night I watched part of the Isles vs. Devs on tv (I live back east) and Moulson was the only one of eight shooters to beat Brodeur in the SO. He did it with a gorgeous head fake and put a crisp shot in the only three inches between pad and post that were available to him. It pairs up with AMart’s benching and just makes one wonder.
      Tomorrow night will say a lot if he is or isn’t in the lineup.

      • They missed the boat with MM…guess he came along when we didn’t have the luxury of as much patience as we do these days. He developed in a solid player for sure.
        GO KINGS GO!!!

        • That one falls 100% on Lombardi who bought 100% into the Terry Murray style of coaching and 100% into turning every skilled player into a grinder.

          • Agree on that..for the decent job laying a needed foundation on defense…Murray’s stubborn refusal to treat players as individuals lost my respect. My opinion.
            GO KINGS GO!!!

          • All in the name of progress. Ted Purcell, Boyle, Moulson, even Simmonds. Thriving in systems thats suck. On teams that are home for the summer come April.

          • Boyle..exactly..I watched him a lot 3 yrs back..really came into his own..
            Simmer..I think Deano knew what he had..but needed a Good player to get the trade done..Every King fan knew he would be a key player. He fits Philly and it is Great to see him shine..I do miss the Nighttrain for sure..
            GO KINGS GO!!!

  13. I’m on Team Alec as well for most of the reasons pointed out. If you view all the things a D has to do in an overall picture, Marty is better. he also is more physical and his IQ is higher, he thinks a lot quicker. Muzzin hesitates at times and it creates turnovers. ANd his shot , although hard , is often off the mark.
    I really felt given what Marty showed in camp, and what Sutter said, maybe he was out of Sutter’s dog house.
    Muzzin’s been awful thru the first 2, no logical reason AMart shouldn’t start on MOnday.

  14. The first I ever saw of Martinez, I was overseas and it was on the internet. They had played Detroit in LA and won in OT. AMart as I recall blocked a pass (or a shot?), took control of the puck and started the play going back the other way, and then I believe made a key play in the offensive zone too to create the goal (?). All I remember for sure is thinking ‘wow, that guy is smart and very savvy on the ice’ – not to mention very poised.
    I like many others always felt uncomfortable during the whole playoff run last year every time Muzzin was pressured. That doesn’t mean he can’t improve.

    But as for Jon’s comments about the franchise favoring size, I’m honestly so over that.
    King, Nolan, Fraser, Clifford and Regehr have loads of size. I find the skill quotient there however to be limited. Plus there’s always Carcillo waiting in the wings.
    I’m fine with the franchise’s basic premise as regards size, but there’s a point and then there’s a point.
    They focus on it so damned much, I’d love to see 1/3 that amount of focus on upping the speed quotient of the team.

  15. I see Muzzin as a Brian Benning clone. And anyone that remembers Brian Benning knows the Muzzin experiment will not end well.

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