Sutter on Gagne: `You move on in a hurry’
Here’s an “uh-oh’’ statistic for the Kings. Chicago’s second-line wingers, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, have a combined 35 goals this season. The Kings’ second-line wingers tonight, Trevor Lewis and Andrei Loktionov, have zero. The Kings moved Loktionov into the spot vacated by Simon Gagne, who isn’t on the trip. Gagne left Monday’s game after hitting his head, and there hasn’t yet been a status update. Gagne has a scary history with concussions. He is believed to have previously suffered three concussions in one season, and had one in the playoffs last season. After today’s morning skate, Darryl Sutter was asked if Gagne’s current situation is “scary,’’ given his history of concussions.
SUTTER: “Well obviously, but I don’t even know the extent of it. We saw him after the game, and then I didn’t see him yesterday morning, so I really can’t give you any more than that. You know the (concussion) history as well as I do.’’
And that was about the extent of the empathy, on Sutter’s end. Sutter was asked about filling the role of Gagne, who has seven goals in 34 games this season, and gave the following answer…
SUTTER: “Hey, to be perfectly honest, some of veteran players haven’t been productive in terms of offense anyway. So it’s an opportunity for a younger player. The game is about depth, and there are injuries. You move on in a hurry.’’
That “younger player’’ will be Andrei Loktionov, who had been a healthy scratch in Sutter’s first three games. Loktionov, a natural center, will be back on left wing, and he hasn’t showed much offense in 15 games this season. I asked Sutter how much he knew about Loktionov’s game, either from watching him, watching video or talking to coaches and management…
SUTTER: “I saw him play in the American league last year and I saw him at World Championships. I know he’s a skilled kid. I know he would prefer to play center, but we’re pretty strong at that position. He’s probably been bumped out not because of what he does, but just because, with Kopitar and Mike Richards and Jarret and Colin as our fourth-line centerman, it’s a pretty good group. So if you want to get in the lineup, you’re going to have to move out of position, and he’s a talented-enough player that he should be able to adjust to that.’’