"Exciting time," Schultz said Sunday. "Worked hard all year. Didn't think this day was going to come. But I have an opportunity to help the team win.''
Schultz spent the whole season with Manchester in the AHL, but he has 29 NHL playoff games under his belt from his days with the Washington Capitals. Schultz and Sutter spoke Sunday morning.
"I had a little chat with him this morning and he said, 'Just go out there and play,''' said Schultz, 28. "It's hard to replace a guy like Robyn. But I feel like I'm capable of doing a similar job of what he can do.''
The Kings need Greene and Schultz to plug away and give them decent minutes, not just to have a chance against Anaheim, but also to avoid Doughty, Voynov, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez being overtaxed if the Kings advance deep into the playoffs.
Remember how run-down star Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara looked during last year's Cup finals? You don't want that to be the case for Doughty if the Kings get that far. Keep in mind that the Sharks made it a point to hammer away at Doughty in the first round, and he was the Kings player who took the most hits over those seven games. Those hits add up.
One positive development for the Kings this season has been the improved play of Martinez, who had a huge post-Olympic showing and has continued that strong play in the postseason, opening the scoring Saturday night. Martinez can handle more minutes and he will be given that opportunity. Heck, he can even stop pucks. His save on Corey Perry in overtime Saturday night prevented what looked to be a sure goal and a Ducks victory.
"I guess I channeled my inner goalie playing in the driveway when I was younger," said Martinez, who grew up in Michigan. "I just tried to get in front of it. I knew [Johnathan] Quick had just made a save and was trying to get over, so I just tried to get down and get front of it.''
You can bet the clip was shown when the team had their film session Sunday morning.
"Actually, Darryl gave me a hard time," smiled Martinez. "He said that my rebound control wasn't very good. I told Billy Ranford, our goalie coach, that we should probably go over it today. Darryl told me I either have to kick the rebound out wide, not up the middle, or at least cover it and get a whistle. I guess I'll work on that next time.''
Until Mitchell and/or Regehr are options for the Kings, Martinez can count on his ice time to climb. There's going to be more pressure on L.A.'s top remaining blueliners to carry the mail. It's a different script than 2012, but the Kings seem intent on finding ways to win this spring.