Sutter wants `serious' hockey from defensemen - LA Kings Insider

Bonus points to anyone who picked up the reference in the headline… There aren’t many teams that can match the depth and balance that the Kings have on the blue line, but the St. Louis Blues might be one of those teams. The Kings have their defense lined up exactly how they like it, with three young puck-movers (Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez) paired with three stay-at-home veterans (Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene). The Blues have followed the same type of blueprint, and their underrated defense is a big reason why they allowed the fewest goals in the NHL this season.

Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo were both picked high in the 2008 draft, and both teams have carefully built the defenses around a mixture of styles and experience. When it was suggested to Darryl Sutter, in a question, that Mitchell had a particularly strong first-round series against Vancouver, Sutter not surprisingly pushed the discussion toward the Blues…

SUTTER: “We need serious, committed minutes out of our three veteran defensemen. If you look at the series that we’re going into, (there are) three or four awesome young defensemen on their team, so it’s going to be a challenge for our young defensemen. They have (veteran) guys like Barret Jackman and Roman Polak, and guys like Willie Mitchell and Scuderi and Greene are going to have to be as good as those guys. It’s not about the (Vancouver) series. It’s really got nothing to do with last series.

“Pietrangelo is a key guy. Barret is the shut-down guy, the physical guy. I’m not saying it because we’re playing them, but it’s a highly underrated defense. It’s one of the big reasons they’re a successful team. Bringing Kris Russell in, and having Shattenkirk where he is, and Pietrangelo, they’re a big part of their attack. Huge. … They’re mobile kids. I’m surprised they haven’t gotten as much credit as they should. Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Polak and the rest of them, the veterans who bring them along. It’s a really good defense.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.