Darryl Sutter has long since grown tired of answering questions about the Kings’ road success in this postseason, and somewhat rightfully so. The Kings’ success, in general, has to do with how they play, not where they play. If the Kings played on Mars — Gary Bettman would sneer and tell you that ice can’t be made on Mars — the outcome of the game would still depend in large part on their ability to play with structure and discipline and the right attitude. The New Jersey Devils are 6-2 at Prudential Center in this postseason, and the Devils will have home-ice advantage for the first time in these playoffs.
SUTTER: “Home ice is a huge factor. The farther you go (in the playoffs), it’s a huge factor. You look at it this week. It’s a huge advantage for New Jersey. We’re going to be (traveling), with the time change, eight hours tomorrow. That’s a huge factor. It’s not so much confidence. We’ve been a well-prepared team. So, when you’re well-prepared, it’s not just about winning and losing. It’s about playing well. If you do that, then you play good.’’
Sutter was asked about the importance of trying to “take the crowd out of the game’’ by playing well on the road, but that’s not much of a factor. Really, the only time the crowd in Phoenix fell silent, in three games, was in overtime in Game 5, and that was because everyone in the arena seemed to be holding their breath in anticipation. Sutter did, however, offer his opinion on what can take a crowd out of a game…
SUTTER: “Different animal now. I don’t think we’ll be taking any noise out of the building. Quite honestly, I haven’t seen that. The only time there is noise taken out of the building is when they play `Jeopardy’ at Staples. I wish they wouldn’t do it. I don’t get that one. If you want Jeopardy, stay home and watch Jeopardy. If I’m paying 500 bucks, I don’t want to be watching Jeopardy. That’s a fact.’’
Presumably, Sutter is referring to in-game stuff such as the “Roster Challenge,’’ which truly is one of the largest enthusiasm-draining features in all of the NHL.