Muzz Be Doing Something Right
Defenseman Jake Muzzin is making the most of his opportunity with the Los Angeles Kings this season. The former Manchester Monarchs defenseman started this season in Manchester but was recalled by the Kings in January following the NHL Lockout and has not looked back since.
Muzzin skated in 45 of the Kings 48 regular season games. He has always been considered an offensive defenseman but he exploded with seven goals for the Kings which matched his professional best from the Monarchs 2011-12 season. Muzzin also had nine assists, 16 points and led the Kings with a plus-16 this season. He was recognized as the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in March.
“Well, I do not think any defenseman expects to come into the NHL and produce offensively but I am also confident in my game and this season it all came together for me,” explained Muzzin.
As Muzzin put together a strong season in Los Angeles, he started getting national recognition for NHL Rookie of the Year but when the finalists were announced, Muzzin name did not make it among the three finalists.
“There were lots of good rookies this season,” said Muzzin. “Everyone had a good year. I don’t really even pay too much attention to that stuff. I am just worrying about the playoffs and beating the Sharks right now.”
The blueliner could have been a 2012 Stanley Cup Champion as a member of the Kings but was the victim of a numbers game. Instead, Muzzin was a spectator in the press box as a Kings Black Ace after spending the entire 2011-12 season with the Monarchs developing and improving his game.
“Last year, there were not any injuries to the blueline,” recalled Muzzin. “Playing in Manchester was good for my development as a player and what I needed to do to be better prepared for the NHL.”
Muzzin’s extra time in Manchester has paid off for the Kings as they attempt to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. He has continued his success into the Kings post-season run registering three assists while skating in all of the playoffs games for Los Angeles to date.
“It is definitely way more intense,” said Muzzin. “Every play, every shift you have to win. There is more pressure to be that much better. If you do make a mistake, it will cost you.”
As the Kings battle through the playoffs, the team’s and Muzzin’s focus remains the same.
“Just win the next one.”