Lombardi – Kings have ‘more juice out there’ with Sutter

As mentioned last hour, Kings GM Dean Lombardi was a guest earlier today on Mark Spector’s radio show up in Edmonton. We’ve already posted his apology to the Oilers over how he reacted to the fallout of the Ryan Smyth trade last summer. Now, here’s what he had to say about coach Darryl Sutter and the recent transformation that has seen the team go 6-1-3…

On why the coaching change has worked out so well over the first 10 games – “If there was a perfect formula for it, I guess everybody would do it and it work all the time. But, I really don’t know how to answer that, other than feel. Obviously, I have a great relationship with Darryl that spans six, seven years. Knowing him as a person, as well as a coach, you just get a gut feel that he’s the right fit. I’ve always had enormous respect for Darryl – not only as a coach, but actually more so as a man. When that goes through to your players, the type of person he is, you can only benefit from that. Again, I don’t know. These are ‘feel’ things, just like intangibles and chemistry in your room. So far, we’ve had some results. But, we both know we have a lot of work to do.”

On what’s been different with the Kings in the last 10 games compared to earlier this season – “If you’re looking for one of the things that generally can happen with you chance coaches, there’s a little more juice out there. Darryl’s made a few changes. But, mostly, to me, it’s in the mindset of the players. So, I think we’ve had the benefit of that initial burst when you make a change, where the players are ready to listen.”

If you missed it, here’s Lombardi’s apology to the Oilers (link).

Still more to come later this afternoon.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.