Slava Voynov

Shaky defense was Kings' undoing in the playoffs, and fixing it could prove difficult for GM Dean Lombardi

Shaky defense was Kings' undoing in the playoffs, and fixing it could prove difficult for GM Dean Lombardi

The presence of defenseman Alec Martinez was a big reason why the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup. Martinez scored the overtime winner to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals and then scored the second-overtime game-winner in the Cup-clinching Game 5 of the Final against the New York Rangers.

Two years later, Martinez's absence was a big reason why the Kings lost in the opening round to the San Jose Sharks. Coach Darryl Sutter made the point immediately following the game — that while no team can use injuries as an excuse, Martinez's groin injury left the Kings desperately short on the blue line.

It forced Sutter to overplay his two top...

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