Kings defenseman Alec Martinez has been back in the lineup for two games after missing nearly three weeks with an upper-body injury.
When Coach Darryl Sutter assessed the play of the defenseman, he didn't offer a picture of strength.
“He's struggled,” Sutter said of Martinez. ”When he got hurt, he was playing more. The team was not playing as well as they should have. And he probably ... has to be a bigger part of the solution if he wants to stay in the lineup.
“I think he’s a young player that hasn’t played much in this league. My job is to teach them and make sure they’re prepared to compete. If they don’t learn and they don’t compete, they’re going to have trouble with me in terms of how much they play. And if they play.”
Martinez admitted that he's disappointed with his play.
“I’m not really too happy with my last two games," he said. "But if I play my game, I’ll be fine. I’m confident in my abilities. I’ve just got to sharpen up a little bit. Just my passes and things like that. It’s kind of hard, especially in a schedule like this, to really get simulated or as close to a game situation as you can in practice. When there are so many games, it’s more difficult.”