What will Sutter say? Comments from practice – Friday, Feb 22

After taking yesterday off, the Kings returned to the ice at their practice facility in El Segundo earlier this morning. Following a 45-minute on-ice session and then a meeting with the team, coach Darryl Sutter shared the following with the gathered media…

- On if he’s encouraged by the defense in the last two games: “It’s about our team, not about our young defense. If you keep the goals against down, you have a chance to win. If you don’t, you don’t.”

- Overall impressions of the defense in the last few games: “Other than one game on the road this year and one game at home, we’ve been really good.”

- On an update on Alec Martinez: “He’s getting closer and better. Until he has contact skates with the team, and he’s pushing for that. We’re home for a whole week, so at least we get a chance to see him every day. So we’ll just kind of go from there.”

- On where the team sits in the standings heading into a favorable home schedule: “We’ve played the fewest home games in the league. We’ve played four and 11, so it hasn’t been an easy schedule. I look at it again like we play three at home this week, then we go out for one. So if you break that out again, we’re playing three teams we haven’t beat yet. So, I can break that down again and I can just keep going, working backwards. We just have to focus on an afternoon game tomorrow and not get ahead of ourselves. In terms of where we are, quite honestly, i knew coming in that opening night was not going to be about the game, it was going to be about the ceremony, and it held true. Then we went to Colorado and played pretty well and we made a couple mistakes in the third period. So, that kind of set where we are. If we knock out the first two games of the year, we’d be looking pretty good in the big picture… Our players are in a pretty good place in terms of having been able to handle everything pretty well. That’s the best part of our team, I’ve liked the way they’ve handled the extra attention that’s come with it.”

- On why the team has struggled in day games the last few years: “I don’t think we have… I just go back the spring, and I don’t think we have at all. I think we’ve been actually pretty good.”

- On Jake Muzzin: “I think it’s a young defense and I don’t think one or two games are going to settle him. It’s a career, and a season, then home and road schedule, lots of things. It’s not just Muzzin. Young guys, we work on consistency with them all the time.”

- On Rob Scuderi: “Most younger players develop that and they’re able to play longer because of that. It’s like talking about somebody Muzz’ age to Rob’s age, maybe in ten years we’ll say, ‘How about Muzzin, he’s pretty consistent right now, isn’t he?’ That comes with experience.”

- On Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis saying they play better at left wing:
“Well, Lewie’s saying that because he scored there last night and he had two assists the night before. [Lewis] didn’t play left wing until halfway through the Edmonton game. I’d never played him on left wing before, and I’d never played King on right wing, and he’s done that. Nolan, I’ve played on left wing and right wing. Some guys are fighting to stay in the lineup by having to play other positions. Jeff Carter moved back to wing to play in a different situation. So I don’t look at it like Brownie’s getting special attention as to where he wants to play. Our players shouldn’t be concentrating more on where they do a good job but of concentrating on how they play. In fact, Dustin Brown played last year – mostly last year when I coached him – on left wing, not right wing.”

- On the lack of production from Dwight King: “I think Dustin Penner, Dwight King, Simon Gagne, Brad Richardson – who else hasn’t scored a goal this year? I’m not isolating Dwight King. We would have a little better record if one of them or all of them would have one more goal. We’re into 20-something percent of the games, now we’re almost into 33 percent of it. I don’t think that having no goals is beneficial to wondering where the player is or playing up to his capabilities or not.”

- On if he’s given any thought to sitting King: “I don’t. Quite honest, it’s like when you asked if Muzzin’s inconsist, you want me to say he’s inconsistent. You want me to say ‘Dwight King, I should sit him out because he hasn’t scored.’ Guys that work play. Guys that don’t don’t.”

Sutter then answered in the affirmative when asked if he’s happy with King’s work ethic, despite the results, “Yep!”

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  1. [...] RELATED CONTENT: Darryl Sutter comments following practice [...]

  2. [...] another day game for the LA Kings, something coach Darryl Sutter said he doesn’t think they struggle with.  So, we’ll see if they can continue the positive momentum they’ve shown over the last [...]