Jake Muzzin, left, signed a five-season contract extension with the Kings that will keep him in uniform through the 2019-20 season. (Fil photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)
The Kings took another bold step toward solidifying their future when they signed defenseman Jake Muzzin to a five-year, $20-million contract extension Wednesday. Muzzin, 25, formed a strong defense pair with perennial Norris Trophy candidate Drew Doughty and joins a growing list of Kings with long-term contracts.
Muzzin signed with the Kings as a free agent on Jan. 4, 2010, and after an apprenticeship with the team’s American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., emerged as a very useful player. He has 41 points, including 12 goals, in 132 career games with the Kings. He also played in all 26 playoff games last season and recorded 12 points, including six goals, as the Kings won their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. He was the leading goal-scorer among defensemen in the playoffs.
Muzzin’s new contract will keep him in a Kings uniform through the 2019-20 season. He hasn’t made his season debut after suffering an upper-body injury before the team’s season-opening game Oct. 8. His status for Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Blues is uncertain. He said earlier this week there was no timetable for his debut.
Here’s the final part of Monday’s interview with Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin:
Muzzin played with wingers Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli while they were with the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs, the Kings’ American Hockey League team. So, Muzzin isn’t surprised by all they have accomplished, particularly while skating on a dynamic line with center Jeff Carter.
“They’re sick,” Muzzin said of Pearson and Toffoli. “It’s exciting. You go through the minors with these guys and watch them grow, and it’s exciting to watch. Just take a seat and watch because it might be a show for a while.
“They have playoff experience. They’ve contributed and played a big role in that. That’s huge, I think, in individual growth on and off the ice. Mentally, knowing what to do. Physically, knowing the grind. They’ve been through it. They stepped right in and took off. It’ll be exciting to watch their growth.”
Here’s part two of Monday’s interview with Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin:
Muzzin suffered an undisclosed injury only days before the Kings opened the regular season with a 4-0 loss last Wednesday to the San Jose Sharks. Brayden McNabb took Muzzin’s place alongside Norris Trophy candidate Drew Doughty for the first three games of the season.
Muzzin couldn’t say with an degree of certainty when he might play again.
“I do not know,” he said. “Maybe later this week.”
The Kings’ six-game homestand continues tonight against the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center. The Kings then play host to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Minnesota Wild on Sunday and the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 23 and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 26.
Meanwhile, Muzzin will continue his workouts until he’s cleared to play.
“We’ll see,” he said. “The guys are playing great. Big win (Sunday over the Winnipeg Jets). We have to build from that. There was a good feeling in the dressing room. I’ve been working out during the games. Riding the bike. Just in the room, watching and yelling at the TV.”
The Kings held an optional practice Monday, one day after recording their first victory of the season. Only a handful of players, including goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones, participated in the workout at the Kings’ practice facility in El Segundo.
Injured defenseman Jake Muzzin was on the ice and working up a sweat, going a little harder than perhaps he should have, and the team’s medical personnel would have wanted. Muzzin admitted as much later during a short conversation with reporters.
“I probably shouldn’t have done some of them today,” Muzzin said of joining several of his teammates for some fairly intense drills. “You want to play, so you do them. You’ve just got to wait until it heals, so it doesn’t create a bigger issue down the road.
“It’s frustrating, but it happens and you’ve got to deal with it the right way. If you don’t, like I said, it could be a while. Just deal with it now.”
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin said Thursday he could be sidelined for games Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., and Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center. He skated with his teammates Thursday, but couldn’t play in Wednesday’s season-opening loss to the San Jose Sharks. He was injured earlier in the week, reportedly suffering an upper-body injury.
“Practice-wise, skating, lungs, everything feels fine,” Muzzin said. “It’s just kind of a fluky injury that I have to sit out for a couple of games.”
Brayden McNabb replaced Muzzin in the Kings’ lineup Wednesday.
“You prepare to play in the first game and all summer you get ready for that game and it’s an emotional game with the banner going up and all that stuff,” Muzzin said. “To be sidelined and have to watch, it’s frustrating, but it’s part of the game. Everyone gets hurt and you’ve got to miss a couple games.”
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty spoke at some length Thursday about helping to ease Brayden McNabb’s burden during his debut with the team in Wednesday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks. Doughty and McNabb formed a defense pair with Doughty’s regular partner, Jake Muzzin, sidelined by an injury. Muzzin could be sidelined a while longer after suffering what he said was a “freak accident” earlier this week.
“He’s got all us veteran guys who are trying to help him as much as we can,” Doughty said. “(Assistant) John Stevens is a great coach. He teaches you a lot of little things you wouldn’t know coming up from the AHL or showing him whatever it might be. Brayden has a huge upside. I could see him continuing to get better as the season progresses. Like I said, I’m going to try to take him under my wing and do everything I can help him and get him into the lineup permanently. I like being in that spot. I’ve got to make a move. I’m not the kid anymore. I’ve got to do some things differently.”
For the record, Doughty is 24 and McNabb is 23.
Jake Muzzin sat out of the Kings’ season-opening loss to the San Jose Sharks because of an unspecified injury. Muzzin, one-half of the Kings’ top defense pair along, was hurt earlier in the week. His status for
Sunday’s Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., remains uncertain.
Brayden McNabb took Muzzin’s place in the lineup and played a regular shift alongside Drew Doughty. McNabb’s plus-minus rating was minus-1. He played 23 minutes, 27 seconds. Doughty was a minus-1 in a team-leading 27:28.
Jake Muzzin’s daring dash to score the first goal in Game 6 vs. the Ducks, May 14: The Ducks won three consecutive games after dropping the first two in the first playoff series between the Southern California rivals at the Honda Center. Muzzin’s goal midway through the first period, set the Kings back on a winning course. Their defense and goaltending enabled them to tie the series at 3-all with a 2-1 win.
By now you probably know that Jake Muzzin, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown scored to give the Kings a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period as they roared to a 5-2 victory Monday over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. Muzzin and Brown scored on the power play.
What you might not know is that the Kings’ power play improved to 16 for 56 (28.6 percent) over the last 16 playoff games, dating to Game 3 of their first-round victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Kings’ power play clicked at a meager 15.1 percent during the regular season, 27th-best in the NHL.
“We’re trying to simplify it a little bit,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said of the rejuvenated power play. “We’re just trying to get pucks up to the D-men, trying to get shots that way. My mentality on the first one, just kind of get a shot off, a one-timer, no matter what it was. If it hits the guy, it hits the guy. Just want to get that in their heads, that we’re going to be shooting pucks. The more you shoot, the more other things open up. We took advantage of those things.”
The Kings continued their superb play with a 6-0 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Six different players scored for the Kings (20-7-4) and rookie goaltender Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in only his third NHL game. So, far Jones is 3-0-0, having given up only two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks. The Kings’ power play finally clicked, ending a streak of eight-plus games without a man-advantage goal. Montreal was dominant in the first period, but couldn’t crack Jones and was well-beaten by night’s end.
Here are three things about the game: