Tonight marks game one of the Sutter-era with the LA Kings.
Following the team’s traditional morning skate at their practice facility in El Segundo, the newly appointed coach shared some thoughts. Here are 10 tidbits from his morning debriefing…
– “I think we’re ready to go. If you look at our season to date, we’ve struggled at home, right? So, we need to get out of the gate and get all of our lines and all of our defensemen playing well right off the start.”
– “(Mike) Richards is cleared to play. We’ll dress a couple extra guys in (the pre-game) warm-ups, just to be sure.”
– “Those young guys are dynamic guys and you see that in practice. The veterans are exactly what the coaching staff said they were. They’re quality guys, most of them have had success and they want to have it again. I’m just giving them a little more direction and away we go.”
– “I think you have to harness (the energy tonight) a little. But, I think at the same time, the way we have our lines (set-up), we have enough of a veteran presence on every line that we can handle it.”
– “There’s a familiarity there (with the roster), even not knowing them personally, but you know the players. You know what their tendencies are and how they like to play. That’s irrelevant. I know the guys and I’m comfortable.”
– “What’s unique for me in this, is (having a different) practice rink and game rink. I’m also feeling today like we’re on the road again because we go from here [TSC in El Segundo] to another rink [Staples Center]. I’ve never had that before. Even in San Jose, on game day we were at the big rink.”
– “The team has struggled offensively. But, I know the veterans. I know they’re going to come around. I have full confidence in that. But, I also think it’s important that the younger group that is struggling to score to, give them the opportunity – why not? That’s what their background is. So, put guys like Richardson with Kopitar) together and maybe it rubs off one or the other.”
– “Number one goalies carry a big workload. There’s always the sceptics who say they’re overplayed or underplayed. But, at the same time, there’s 15 (goalies) who play a lot in this league…When you look at our schedule, Bernier is going to have to play, and that’s a good thing. He won a lot of big games for this team last year down the stretch. So, I fully expect that he can do that again.”
– “I think we monitor how we play the next few games. Ethan (Moreau) is an awesome guy. He was a young guy in Chicago [when Sutter coached there] and I coached against him a lot when he was in Edmonton. He’s an awesome guy. I don’t even know what went on here in the first three months. But, he’s not out of the picture. Clearly, I want everybody here to play well. Then, we go from there.”
Game time vs. the Ducks is 7pm tonight.
As usual, we will be running a contest as part of the action. However, tonight’s game will have a bit of a twist – rather than the ‘first’ goal game, we’ll be playing the ‘third’ goal game. If you’d like a chance at winning a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers, simply leave a comment with the last name of the Kings player you think will score the THIRD goal for LA tonight. It’s easy to enter, you can even use your facebook profile to submit your guess below.