In terms of motivational tactics, there’s the carrot-and-stick approach, and then there’s Darryl Sutter’s approach, which seems to involve using the stick as a whip and whittling the carrot into a bayonet. Maybe it’s not quite that severe, but Sutter is certainly demanding. His public persona might seen laconic, but behind the scenes, Sutter is intense and demanding. Sutter’s sense of humor is actually underrated, but when it comes to hockey games, there is no joking around. Has Sutter stepped up the intensity even more in the playoffs? Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards took on that question…

DOUGHTY: “He’s definitely a great motivator. Before the games, it seems like he’s more pumped… I’m surprised he doesn’t lace up the skates and get out there himself. He’s always making sure we’re ready to go. He’s constantly on us, whether it’s on the bench or in the dressing room. He’s making sure we’re ready, and he’s great at doing that job. At the same time, he’s got a great system in place and he gets what he wants out of all his players. And if not, you’re not going to play. I know, for me and a lot of the other guys, it’s almost scary playing for him, because if you make that mistake, he’s going to be all over you. It’s not fun when he’s all over you, so we’re all playing our best for him and for each other.’’

KOPITAR: “He cranked it up right away, as soon as he replaced Terry. He’s really intense. Maybe he has amped it up a little bit, but he hasn’t changed a whole lot.’’

RICHARDS: “Just all year, he doesn’t allow you to take that breath and sit back. He’s always looking to move forward. No matter how well we play, there’s always three or four things that we can improve on. I think when you have a guy like that, it really allows you to push forward and do more things. You can never be satisfied with what you’ve done on the ice. There are always two or three things that you can get better at. He definitely lets you know when you need to.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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