Since Darryl Sutter took over the coaching reigns of the Kings, they’ve scored three or more goals in two of the seven games. That’s an improvement from where they had been, having only done it twice in the fifteen games prior. However, they’ve also had three games with one goal or fewer. Yet, somehow, they’re 4-0-3.
“We scored four goals once. That was a big difference,” the usually funny left winger began – before offering a more serious answer…
“He came in here and we pretty much kept everything the same. He may have put his own certain touches on it though. He’s really a hands on coach. Not to say Terry wasn’t hands on, in his own way. But, I’ve never seen a coach before Sutter come into the dressing room four minutes before we go on the ice and he’s in there getting pumped up just like we are. He’s a really good motivator.”
What’s the coach saying in a situation like that?
“My favorite is ‘A little mud with the makeup.’ People that take it too literally probably won’t get it. But, as a hockey player, you know what he means by that. You need to put the hard work in if we’re going to use the talent.”
We’ve seen coach Sutter lean over and talk to guys on the bench in-game. What kind of things has he said to you?
“He’s just being really positive,” said Penner. “He’s building you up. He doesn’t just do it with a few guys. I think he’s like that with everybody on the team. How he is with one player is how is with another. I think he curtails that towards what the (specific) player needs, but it’s the same type of general message.”
Whatever Sutter has been saying and doing, it’s working.