Last year, the Los Angeles Kings bemoaned their lack of depth on defense.
This year, things were supposed to be different.
Then Sunday happened.
Los Angeles lost the services of both Jake Muzzin and Matt Greene in a 2-1 exhibition win over Colorado, per LA Kings Insider. Both were sidelined with upper-body injuries; Muzzin left after getting hit hard by Blake Comeau eight minutes into the game, while Greene made it late into the second period before exiting.
After the game, head coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t saying anything in terms of injury outlook.
“It’s a new year, it’s not new rules,” Sutter said, referencing his stance on sharing health updates. “It’s the same rule.”
Losing Muzzin or Greene for any length of time will hurt the Kings.
Last year, Slava Voynov‘s suspension and Alex Martinez’s health issues forced L.A. to dig deep into its reserves, which saw the likes of Jeff Schultz and Jamie McBain get games. The team ended up relying too heavily on Drew Doughty — who averaged 28 minutes per game — and eventually missed the playoffs.
(Worth noting that Muzzin is often Doughty’s partner on defense, and averaged a career-high 22:42 last season.)
This year, the Kings addressed their depth issues by adding veteran blueliner Christian Ehrhoff in free agency. Ehrhoff was a busy man on Sunday night, getting over 30 (!!) minutes of ice time in the wake of the Muzzin/Greene injuries.