Unlike his predecessor, Darryl Sutter doesn’t seem to put much stock in a goalie’s record against certain opponents. Jonathan Quick gets the start tonight against Nashville, even though Quick’s career numbers against the Predators — an 0-4-1 record, a 3.01 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage — are substantially worse than those of Jonathan Bernier (5-1-0, 2.00, .933). Terry Murray went the other way, and said he “absolutely’’ looked at a goalie’s history against certain teams. Murray regularly told the story of how Kirk McLean, then with Florida, regularly beat Philadelphia (click here for an item from last season). To be sure, the stats only carry the argument so far. Every team changes over the years, so the goalie isn’t facing the exact same team every time, but in this case, Bernier has seemed to hold something special on the Predators. Sutter was asked by Jim Fox today about his philosophy, in general, about playing certain goalies against certain teams, and didn’t share much.
SUTTER: “You clearly have a No. 1 goalie, right? If we’re, pretty much, in a Game 7 situation every night, what would your philosophy be? That would be a better way of putting it. It’s not coaching genius or anything. I’ve said that I’m comfortable with either guy, but if this is Game 7 tonight, who are you playing? Or go ask Barry (Trotz) who they’re playing. I don’t think records have much to do with anything. A lot of it is scheduling, and totally different teams, age of player, all that stuff.’’
Sutter was also asked, by a Nashville reporter, for his impressions of Quick since Sutter took over the Kings, and Sutter was highly complimentary…
SUTTER: “He reminds me of older guys I coached, even though he’s still a young guy. He reminds me a lot of (Ed) Belfour. He reminds me a lot of (Mike) Vernon, in terms of his compete. There’s that top group, and he’s real close to that top group right now.”