What will Sutter say? Coach talks Kopitar, Nolan, Quick, etc

Following the Kings one hour practice on at TSC, here’s what coach Darryl Sutter had to share…

- On Jordan Nolan’s performance against the Stars on Thursday: “The fourth line gave us a little bit of juice. We just want him to get that – it’s not confidence – but it’s got to the point where he was turning too many pucks over on the boards coming out of his own zone, and then it affected his lack of time spent in the offensive zone. We just kind of go game-to-game with him. We need two or three more minutes out of the line, and I don’t like splitting them up. He’s got to play the right wing. He’s not as good on the left side. ”

- More on Nolan and the fourth line: “We need two or three more (minutes). It doesn’t sound like much, but in the course of the game, it’s like four shifts…If you look at Kopitar’s line last night, they probably played two or three minutes too much, and that’s not because they were doing anything great as a line. They’ve had a hard time, but that’s partly my fault because I’ve played them more than I should, and that trickles down to the guys below them. It’s not so much Jordan, it’s just the group (and) how it spreads out.”

- On Nolan’s confidence: “I talk to him lots. It’s pretty simple, if you want to stay in the lineup, you’ve got to play to your ability, right? He’s a big guy, he’s got to play physical and go to the net. Also I’m not one of those coaches that has a guy that plays three or four minutes for just one reason, right? The game’s gotten past that. So you gotta be able to contribute in all areas of the game, and it’s really…He hasn’t played as well at any point this year as he did at any point last year.”

- On Anze Kopitar’s line struggling: “You know what? It’s got nothing to do with work, or compete, or effort. It’s just that once in a while it seems like one of them is off a little and then it affects the other players. And that’s what happens with high-end guys. Willy has struggled to score this year, so he’s a guy that’s always at a high pace, a high effort, right? You know what? He’s always trying to do everything he can, but sometimes it’s time for Willy to not do too much. Just do a little bit less. And Brownie will get like that too, where he’ll lose his identity once in a while, and you’ve got to reinforce that. Or Kopi, because he’s a special guy, he’s trying to win it, right? Instead of just be Kopi.

“So you’ve just gotta try to find your way with them, and they always come around and come back to it. My only thing as a coach is, you never want to split them up. If you gotta split it up, that means one of them is dragging it off where they just need a little…Sometimes two or three shifts…Being away for a while. You know they’re the first guys in. They were the first guys in this morning ready to watch, and they were asking last night to come in and watch their shifts, right? As a line. And they do that, right? Because they want to be good, they want to be better, and they want to see themselves. A lot of times it’s better just them seeing it than somebody else telling them.”

- On Jonathan Quick’s play over the last week: “I think he’s been solid. That’s what we’re trying to do. Trying to get guys to be consistent and solid. Don’t worry about the results. Don’t worry about wins, losses, any of that stuff. It’ll take care of itself. Sometimes you play great and you lose. Sometimes you play average and win. That’s the way the league is. That’s the way sports is. Just be consistent. When you’re not getting the practice time that you need; then you have to be able to manage that. You have to be able to manage your preparation, your focus, what you’re responsibility is, and that’s what I want him to do. If he does that, then his compete allows him to (succeed) because he’s a competitor. But it doesn’t do him any good to be all over the map. So, you’ve gotta just be really tight in how you see yourself and focus. Then you find it.”

- On if it’s harder to turn the page after a tough loss like last night: “Nope. Pretty easy actually… They had eight 3-on-2’s against us. Usually we’re one a month in that area. They had eight after the 10 minute mark last night. It’s just, we were pushing too much. We’ve sort of had an easy scoring time of it for two or three weeks, right? Where we were getting everything we wanted. Last night we weren’t. Started to just sort of play on the wrong side of it a little bit. Those are your internal battles. You start playing on the wrong side of the puck; then you gotta deal with guys that have way too much open ice. And look at the two guys who scored for them – Jagr and Whitney.  They had too much open ice. And against top players, right?”

- More on bouncing back from a tough loss: “Other than kids with less experience, it’s playing those playoff games that helps gets them back (mentally). It doesn’t mean you’re going to win or lose, but it gets them back, right? It’s easy to do because they have a little bit of bend. Now they understand what it means to be ready again.”

- On if scoring early would have made a difference last night: “Well we were really good at it quite honestly. But you know as the game goes on and you see it; it’s going to be the first goal. First goal’s gonna be the difference. You just know that. Because both goalies played really well, and you know when one team is out-shooting the other one; they’re both on, right? It’s gonna take a…And you take a look at the goal they scored; it went off Drew. You know what? So that’s…Then we start pushing a little, and Robby pinches down, which is not what we want him to do there. But you gotta take a little bit more of a chance. Then he gets caught, and it becomes a chase play again.”

Finally, be sure to click the link below. It’s the MUST READ article of the day…

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