Trailing three times and needing overtime to get the win was all just part of the process for the LA Kings. Following their overtime win in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, here is what coach Darryl Sutter had to share…
Q. What do you remember about the games with the Rangers, how do you think you match up?
SUTTER: I’ll deal with that tomorrow.
Q. How thrilling was it at that moment on the bench?
SUTTER: Well, we came through a lot of adversity through the game. Down early. Same as last game in here. Power plays. Then the second period with the momentum with all the power plays they had. Just kind of stuck with it. We said if we won the game, it was going to be a great series. That was our mindset.
Q. Did you almost give up hope in the third period?
SUTTER: Oh, no.
Q. Once you scored that goal, did you feel like the game was yours?
SUTTER: There’s never an issue with hope. Hope is dangerous and hope loses you games. You don’t get to Game 7s. Quite honest in the series, as a group we thought our best games were 1, 5 and 6, so… Tells you how close the teams are.
Q. Justin Williams again in Game 7.
SUTTER: You need everybody when you get to Game 7. You’re not into the individual part of it. There’s always guys that score big goals, make big plays. But you need everybody in your lineup.
Q. How big a factor do you think fatigue could be?
SUTTER: We just have to reset again. We do it so well. We did it during the regular season. We did it before the Olympics. We did it after the Olympics. We did it before the playoffs started. We did it after Game 7 of the first round. We just have to do it again. Certainly it’s a challenge. You play a fresh team. But at the same time if you look at this series, we felt we played so well in Game 1, we lost 3-1. I know playoffs are based on wins and losses, but we talk about a lot more than that, so…
Q. Personally is there a little bit more satisfaction for you having your long tenure here as a coach here in Chicago and a player?
SUTTER: Yeah. Lived here a long time. Not just a coach and a player. My family was raised here.
Q. Is it more satisfying winning here against the Blackhawks doing it?
SUTTER: No. It was really satisfying to beat San Jose, and it was really satisfying to beat Anaheim. The road to the Western Conference goes right through Chicago.
Q. Up against the Rangers, what are your initial thoughts on them?
SUTTER: Great goaltending. Great defense. Great forwards. Great special teams.
Q. Got no chance?
SUTTER: I’d say it’s against us. We’re up against it again.
Q. Dustin Brown said this was the most emotional series he’s been a part of. Did it feel like that for you?
SUTTER: I don’t really get hooked into my own emotion during the game. I get hooked into the players’. That’s what my job is. Not to yell, scream, holler, all that stuff.
Q. Three Game 7s. Your roster coming into this game was 64-2 in Game 7s. Something about Game 7? You seem to own it.
SUTTER: We prefer not to get to Game 7. But when you’re playing the defending champion, there’s a good chance of it. As I said earlier, when it was 3-3, coming into tonight, it could have been the other way, the three wins and the three losses. Game 7 is about winning the game, doing whatever it takes.
Q. Anything special about your team?
SUTTER: Certainly you have a different team. You have a different roster for just about every one. You look at tonight’s Game 7, Jeff Schultz was a big Game 7 in Anaheim. Robyn was a big part in San Jose. This is Willie Mitchell’s first Game 7. It goes on and on. It’s about the team. There’s a lot more involved.
Q. A number of guys in the room said this is a special group. What do you see in this group from your vantage point that makes them so special?
COACH SUTTER: Well, we’re going to try and beat New York, then we’ll be really special (smiling).
ALSO: We broke it all down on NHL Network Radio after the game with a slew of top shelf guests. Check it out here.
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