Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin didn’t have a chance to break into the lineup slowly. He was tossed in there because of injuries and, in time, it was clear that he belonged. He said he learned a great deal from the Kings’ veteran group of defensemen, including Matt Greene. Muzzin took Greene’s spot in the lineup for the better part of the regular season, and Greene acted as a mentor while recovering from back surgery. Said Muzzin:
“Playing with ‘Greener’ and just being confident and just being a physical player and going out and playing my game and not trying to play to not make mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen. Just go out and feel comfortable and play my game. With the older guys like ‘Scuds’ (Rob Scuderi) and ‘Reg’ (Robyn Regehr), how they play they bring their game. Every game, they’re ready to go. Just watch them play and learn on and off the ice.”
Muzzin also responded well on the few occasions when he was held out of the lineup.
“Just to challenge my self and get a little mad at yourself,” Muzzin said of his bounce-back performances after being scratched. “You’re not as playing as well. When you get taken out of the lineup, you want to come back and show that you belong in the lineup. You’ve got to play like that every game. That’s something I’ve learned this year, being ready for every game and preparing. You want to play. When you get taken out of the lineup, you want to show you belong in the lineup. I did that and came back strong.”