The Los Angeles Kings were already thin on defense heading into Monday's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, when they suffered another setback to the back line losing 25-year-old defenseman Alec Martinez to an upper-body injury. Martinez suffered the injury early in Monday's game, and has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to February 11. The NHL only requires teams to disclose whether an injury was to the upper-body, or lower-body, therefore the specifics of Martinez's injury were not released.
Following Wednesday's practice, John Hoven of Mayor's Manor reported head coach Darryl Sutter as offering a somewhat encouraging timetable on the young defenseman's injury.
"He'll be out at least a week…" Sutter said. "(It's not long-term), definitely not."
Martinez has 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) and four penalty minutes through 11 games this season.
The Kings have recalled 25-year-old defenseman Andrew Campbell from the Manchester Monarchs, the teams' minor league affiliate. In five AHL (American Hockey League) seasons, Campbell has recorded 58 points (9 goals, 49 assists) in 326 career games with the Monarchs. The 6-4, 207 pound blueliner has yet to play in an NHL game.
As a result of injuries to some of their more veteran defenseman, the Kings have quickly become a much younger team on the blue line. Of their seven current defensemen on the active roster, only two of them (Davis Drewiske 28, and Rob Scuderi 34) are over the age of 25.
Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are the two key defenseman for the Kings who have been out of the lineup for a lengthy period of time. Mitchell was expected back at the start of the season, but suffered a setback in his rehab from minor knee surgery and hasn't played yet this season. Mitchell has no timetable for his return.
Greene on the other hand will be out a while, and possibly the remainder of the season after injuring his back in the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks back on January 19.
After ranking second in the NHL defensively last season allowing just 2.07 goals per game, the Kings have shown more inconsistency in protecting their own zone through the first 11 games this year. The Kings currently rank 20th, surrendering an average of 2.82 goals per game, but have improved slightly over the past two games, allowing just four total goals to the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues combined.Tags: AHL, Alec Martinez, Andrew Campbell, Darryl Sutter, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, Manchester Monarchs, Matt Greene, NHL, St. Louis Blues, Willie Mitchell