LA Kings forward Mike Richards wasn’t the only one with a lot to say prior to the Kings leaving for Calgary today. Coach Darryl Sutter shared thoughts on Anze Kopitar‘s health, the instigator rule, his return to Calgary, the Kings schedule and much more.
For you soundbite readers, here’s a taste of the three-word Sutterisms – ‘going to live’ (status of Kopitar), ‘moved past it’ (his return to Calgary), ‘What is history?’ (Calgary’s record at home). His full quotes were as follows…
On Kopitar – “It appears he’s going to live. Going to pull through…He was fine last night. I try to be as honest as I can without disclosure, right? I said he was fine. It’s a good hit, a hard hit. Nothing wrong with it…Assuming we had practice today, he would have practiced.”
On the instigator penalty assessed to Richards after his scrap with Stars’ captain Brenden Morrow (video linked below) – “It’s sort of a funny rule, right? One penalty that you still deem as a good penalty is protecting your teammates, and with that heavyweight thing going away in the league, guys with heart and character are guys that have always protected their teammates. Without saying it’s grandfathered in, there’s not too many kids coming out that don’t wear visors, right? It may be a rule that’s gone past its time, sort of. It’s probably something that they should look at when you think about it.”
On what the NHL should do about the rule – “You know what, I’ve been all over with it in the few years… the way the fighting part of it has changed, the intimidation part of it has changed in the game, really I don’t even know where I stand in it anymore. I think it’s more of a case-to-case thing with me.”
On his return to Calgary – “Moved past it. You know what, you’ve asked it 500 times, and if it’s something that the media wants to, they can answer it themselves. As I said, I wish there was a day between games so I could get both ends covered. It’s good to go to Canada. Hey, we’re playing against, bottom line, a team that’s really close to us in the standings. Just like last night. I don’t know what the hell the difference is. I mean every coach that’s coached a long time usually coaches three or four places. I’ve coached in Chicago, San Jose, and Calgary, and so I’ve been lucky in the last two weeks to be at all those places. That’s the way I look at it. I think you guys make way too much of it. It’s like if you interviewed every player in the room that played somewhere before, I mean you’d have – if it wasn’t for the truth, you’d get in the way of a good story, right?”
On the Kings’ past struggles in Calgary - “Right now Calgary’s won – I think they’ve won 10 in a row in their own building. So I assume a lot of teams have had trouble in their building… I look at where we’re at right now. And that would be today and tomorrow. What is history? They’ve probably got six players new over there, and we’ve got six players new. I think the biggest challenge for us is to look at the individual challenges. You’ve got a star goaltender on their side, and you’ve got one here that’s trying to become one, so I think that’s a good challenge.”
On the travel the Kings will be facing this trip, including three games in four nights – “The thing I don’t like about these two games is obviously the turnaround. You play at eight and then six. That’s not a very good schedule. I mean I understand eight o clock because of Hockey Night [In Canada], but I don’t understand six o clock the next day. I mean, they want the best performances out of your players. We’ll be another middle of the night team again.”
Final note, big thanks to Jon Rosen for transcribing the above quotes.