April 15, 2012 9:30 am

Sutter `always looking to move forward’

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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