February 3 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On Saturday night’s game:
“Yeah, you know what? We got down early and battled back. It was the one game we played this year I didn’t like our team game. It’s funny. People talk about your power play and all that, well, it’s such a small portion of it. Our power play’s been really effective the last three games. It just tells you the details of everything else and how you need great goaltending and how you need to play mistake-free hockey in your zone, how you’ve got to play on the right side of the puck. Basically, the fundamentals of keeping games in the range of what your team’s capable of doing, and that’s what we have to make sure we continue to work with these young guys with.”

On what he’s liked from his power play over the last three games:
“It’s not much different than earlier in the year. Just, they finished. They finished the opportunities. I felt we wanted to get more from the points in terms of – not so much opportunities – but just creating or presenting different looks to the other teams, and Mike gives us that playing on the point. It’s not something we really wanted to do, but that’s what works best right now.”

On pulling Quick in the first period:
“You know what? I hate myself for pulling goalies. I do. It bothers me because I just don’t like highlighting somebody. And it’s always taken as a criticism, right? My feeling is when you pull a goalie, first off, that guy that’s going in better be ready. And secondly, the guy you pulled better be ready again. That’s the way I look at it, because that’s the mental part of it. And that to me is more important than anything else in it. I literally, I bet I can’t count on – I know it’s not seven, eight times in coaching that I’ve pulled goalies. I just don’t believe in doing it, and I’d rather rally around them. It’s like an indictment. Right away, it’s an indictment. Hey, we want our goalies to play better. They’re not protected species, that’s for sure. Both of them have to play a hell of a lot better if they both want to be starting goalies, right? Our save percentage right now has to be a lot better. In a tight schedule, shortened schedule, your stats – if you use only your stats – then you’re going to be way up there one day and way down there the next day, because that’s what everybody uses, right? So it’s natural for you guys to look at ‘em and go, ‘they’re there’. It changes on a daily basis. You’re looking more at the consistency of it rather than the highs and lows of it.”

On Justin Williams and veteran forwards:
Sometimes, he just has to slow it down a little bit. Simon goes in and out during games. It’s an issue with two or three of our older guys. They can’t go in or out during games, or else we’re better off playing younger guys that are learning it. The whole thing – and again, I’m not singling Gagne or Willie out or anybody like that – but hey, this is a totally different team, quite honest, when you’re playing those kids on defense…It totally changes how your team has to play, or what you’re trying to do. So it puts a lot more onus on that veteran group to be consistent. If they’re not, then you’re just going to struggle with it. It’s really not that hard to figure out.”

On working deep in the defensive zone against a team with sizeable forwards:
“Anaheim’s top guys are bigger guys, right? They’re bigger, powerful guys, and they put you on your back and use their hands. So it’s not so much defending against them. It’s getting into position first. Quite honest, boy, Slava did an awesome job last night, and he’s our smallest defenseman. He did an awesome job. Well, you break it down, and he just needed some more help. We’ve seen that with him last year. He’s capable of doing that. He just needs some help from his partner.”