FRIDAY: Sutter has a lot to say after Kings practice

Sutter Ikiri KingsComments from Kings coach Darryl Sutter following the team’s practice on Friday at TSC…

Q. During the San Jose series when you put together Carter’s line with the two young wingers, what was your thought process?

SUTTER: We wanted to get, first off, our four centermen in that position, so we just felt we matched up better.  Tanner and Tyler played together lots in the American League, a little bit here. Got a pretty good player with them.

Q. Can you talk a bit about Anze Kopitar. How much has his two-way game evolved this year?

SUTTER: I don’t think it’s this year. It’s a top-end guy both ends of the ice. Probably it gets talked about more now just because the team’s done well.  When you look, he’s nominated for the Selke, but now the Selke is not just about a checking guy, it’s about a top two-way guy.
If you look at Kopy’s numbers in the playoffs, his play-making ability is second to none in the league. Those are real numbers. When you put his whole year together, that’s going to be a pretty significant number.

Q. Justin Williams, he doesn’t come across maybe as fierce as you might expect for a guy who’s always there when you need him. Discuss maybe his personality and if it does match his play.

SUTTER: He’s a very competitive player. I think there’s a lot of players like that on our team. It’s not like they’re big, physical players. They’re tenacious players. That’s probably a good thing to call Justin, he’s a tenacious player. Strong with the puck, handles the puck, makes good plays.

Q. We saw Jeff put up good offensive numbers in his last two stops. What did he do to become the complete three-zone player he’s been?

SUTTER: I don’t think much different at all. I think he’s sort of like Mike, where they just win. You can count on them all the time. Really great practice player. Well-trained guy. Takes care of himself.  It’s funny, when you ask about that for Toffoli and Pearson, that’s a perfect role model for them.

Q. Asked some of the players yesterday about the ability of this team for so many different players to rise to the occasion. What is it about the camaraderie, maybe the uniqueness of this team that allows so many players to step up in the big moments?

SUTTER: Well, that’s why you’re still playing. It’s why there’s only two teams still playing. It’s why the New York Rangers are still playing.  Said it over and over and over. It’s not about the star factor; it’s about the complete package.

Q. Kopitar was saying he didn’t think his line played as well in Game 1 as it could have and should have. How do you assess what they did and what do you need to see from them?

SUTTER: I think Kopy busts his ass every night, for lack of a better word. Somebody brought it up yesterday, and it wasn’t Kopy. Kopy played more minutes, big minutes than anybody on our team. In crucial situations he does it, so…  He never has a bad game.

Q. On the complete package, yesterday Marian Gaborik was talking about when he decided to come here and join a team that had won a Cup, that it was as much about off the ice. From a coaching standpoint, do you do anything to make sure this team is developing off the ice?

SUTTER: I don’t think that’s something I have to talk about. I mean, we’re a very good team for good reasons. Not just come to the rink and play. There’s a lot of preparation.  The team’s matured a lot in the last couple years. That’s because guys came into that role. It’s still a really young team. Everybody talks about it being an experienced team. They’re a playoff-proven team. But there’s still lots to learn.  I keep saying it in different ways. Yesterday it was about Drew. But that’s what the team is about, it’s about the whole thing. It’s not about the individual. We kind of keep it in a real tight circle. It’s mostly the leadership on our team that does that.

Q. You talked about Mike just being about winning at this stage of his career. He’s done all the things.

SUTTER: He hasn’t had his best year yet.

Q. What are the things about his game that you think most people don’t see when he’s not scoring?

SUTTER: I think he gives us that strong leadership. He’s really good with the young players. Doesn’t matter, he’s going to play the same way all the time.  You can count on him, Mike Richards, always in a big game.

Q. Darryl, Slava had a couple hairy moments in Game 1. How critical is it for players to have a real short-term memory there out on the ice during games, maybe even particularly for younger players?

SUTTER: Well, they’re on a bigger stage now. Slava, there was no issue with his game the other night. He was chasing, protecting other mistakes. Slava is a really good player for us.  If you look at it, we had some guys the other night that were playing in their first game in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s a big adjustment for players. Doesn’t matter who they are.

Q. When it comes to dealing with the Rangers’ team speed, Jonathan Quick said you were ready for it. Justin Williams said maybe you weren’t quite ready for it. Have you made any adjustments or is it just stay the course?

SUTTER: They’re a fast team. We’re a fast team. I mean, when we were down to San Jose, there was people in this room that said, Geez, you guys are a slow team.  The puck goes faster than the feet do.

Q. About Game 2, does Game 2 of a series become more important as you get closer and closer to the end of this trip of trying to win a Stanley Cup?

SUTTER: No. Game 1 was an elimination game. Game 2 is an elimination game. When it’s over, then we’ll answer that question going into Game 3 and we’ll answer it going into Game 4 and we’ll answer it as we go forward.

Q. What was your impression of Lundqvist? Was he as good as advertised in that first game?

SUTTER: Game 1?

Q. Yes.

SUTTER: He’s a top goalie in the league.

Q. How important tomorrow is it for you to get off to a good start to establish and dictate the play?

SUTTER: We’re in the Stanley Cup Final, so we might have to play from 4:30 till 9:30 tomorrow. If you’re ready at 4:30, hopefully you’re doing the same thing at 9:30.

Q. Can you tell us anything about Regehr as far as your thoughts on him being an option?

SUTTER: He’ll probably play tomorrow.

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