As noted in an earlier post, Darryl Sutter spent about 15-20 minutes, toward the end of practice today, by himself with the first power-play unit at one end of the ice. There seemed to be more talking than actual drills going on, and afterward, a couple players indicated that it was more about reinforcement than about reinventing the wheel, so to speak. Sutter has been more hands-on with all of the special-teams work, and it’s not surprising that he would dip his toe into the power play, given that it has scored only two goals in its last 42 opportunities. Still, Sutter basically shrugged and deflected, after practice, when asked about his direct work with the power-play unit.
SUTTER: “With the young guys, they’ve got some different skill sets and different ideas, so we’ll just kind of give them a little more freedom but, at the same time, make sure we understand the importance of us. It was weird. Yesterday we talked about how we hadn’t had a 5-on-3 since I’ve been here, and how we were going to get one. I knew it was going to be that type of game. Then we didn’t score. Then we did an awesome job against, when they had the 5-on-3 too.”
Sutter also indicated that he desires more of a collaborative effort with assistant coaches John Stevens and Jamie Kompon — and goalie coach Bill Ranford, who is in Los Angeles part-time — and Sutter chuckled when asked if he would got the rest of the season with the coaching staff intact.
SUTTER: “Yeah. Absolutely. I put a lot of stock into that. That’s the most important part about closing the gap, is familiarity with the players. I don’t believe it’s coach and assistant coaches. I believe it’s all of us working together. We can all handle different parts. When we talked about the power play, it’s not like it’s me on the power play. A big part of it is the players. I’ve got no issues with staff.”