Kings coach Darryl Sutter rarely disappoints, as he almost always has something interesting to say. However, perhaps the most intriguing thing that surfaced during his post-practice chat with the media today surrounded an update on defenseman Matt Greene.
Of course, Greene only returned recently after missing nearly the entire regular season following back surgery due to an injury suffered in the team’s first game of the season. To the surprise of many, he then played in back-to-back nights during the road trip earlier this week, but was not on the ice for today’s practice.
When asked for an update, here’s what Sutter shared…
– On Greene: “(It’s) not related to his back, but he’s day-to-day again with something else…It has nothing to do with his back…We don’t talk about injury. If they’re on IR, they’re on IR. If they’re not, then they’re – especially at this time of year. You know what? We need him to get minutes. So, I said before, we need him to get game situations in. It’s disappointing.”
– On if having home-ice advantage in the playoffs is irrelevant, considering what the team did last season: “You know what? I’m not sure how irrelevant it was because the last game that we won in the playoffs was on home ice – and that does make a difference. So, the teams that secured home ice advantage in a shortened schedule early, which the three division winners did, did it because they basically sprinted out of the gate. They secured their positions. Even though Anaheim and Vancouver didn’t (do it until later) – Division titles don’t mean zip. All they are is dirty flags, right? But home-ice is important early because if you look at a team like Anaheim, for example, they can have some guys take games off if they feel it’s important, or cut minutes back – which is sort of what we did. Our whole goal, and everybody’s (goal), is to secure a position as soon as you can, then work from there. So, once we secured sixth (place), that was like a load off for us. The next part is trying to get healthy and see about home ice.”
– On the impact of losing two key defensemen for most of the season: “The reason we made the playoffs is because of Muzzin and Ellerby. Very Simple. We made it because of those guys, not because somebody else was hurt. We might not have made the playoffs with those guys (Greene and Willie Mitchell), we don’t know. We made it because of Muzzin and Ellerby. Those guys did an awesome job for us.”
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