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February 22, 2013 1:54 pm

February 22 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether he’s encouraged by the results from a young defense over the last two games:
“It’s about our team, not about our young defense. If you keep the goals against down, you have a chance to win. If you don’t, you don’t.”

On whether he’s been impressed by the young defense in general:
“Other than one game on the road this year and one game at home, we’ve been really good.”

On the timetable for Alec Martinez’s return:
“You know what, he’s getting closer. Until he has contact skates with the team – and he’s pushing for that. We’re home for a whole week, so at least we get a chance to see him every day. So we just kind of go from there.”

On whether the team is ready to take advantage of the home-heavy schedule:
“Well, we’ve played the fewest home games in the league. We’ve played four and 11, so it hasn’t been an easy schedule. I look at it again like we play three at home this week, then we go for one. So if you break that out again, then we’re playing three teams we haven’t beat yet. So I can break that down again, I can just keep going, working backwards. So just have to focus on an afternoon game tomorrow and not get ahead of ourselves. If in terms of where we are and I knew, quite honest, coming in that the opening night was not going to be about the game, it was going to be about the ceremony, and it held true. Then we went to Colorado and played pretty well and made a couple of mistakes in the third period. So that kind of set where we are. If we knock out the first two games of the year, we’d be looking pretty good in the big picture. So that’s what we want to do. We want to just concentrate on the afternoon game tomorrow. Our players here are in a pretty good place in terms of having been able to handle everything pretty well. Quite honest, that’s the best part of our team. I’ve liked the way they’ve handled the extra attention.”

On why the team seems to struggle in day games:
“I don’t think we have. I just go back [last] spring, and I don’t think we have at all. I think we’ve been actually pretty good.”

On the Detroit game being a 9:30 am start, L.A. body time:
“We played a hell of a game. You look at Chicago and going into a tough environment, and damn near got [a point]. I don’t think we’ve struggled at all [in day games]. I think we’ve played quite well.”

On whether Muzzin is settling in after earlier inconsistency:
“I think it’s a young defense, and I don’t think one or two games are going to settle [him]. It’s a career, and a season, then home and road schedule, lots of things. It’s not just Muzzin. Young guys, we work on consistency with them all the time.”

On Brown and Lewis’ preference of playing on the left side:
“Well, Lewie’s saying that because he scored [Wednesday] night and he had two assists [Tuesday]. Lewie didn’t play left wing until halfway through the Edmonton game. I’d never played him on left wing [previously], and quite honest, I’d never played King on right wing, and he’s done that. Nolan, I’ve played on left wing and right wing. Some guys are fighting to stay in the lineup by having to play other positions. Jeff Carter moved back to wing to play in a different situation. So I don’t look at it like Brownie’s getting special attention as to where he wants to play. Our players shouldn’t be concentrating more on [whether] they do a good job but of concentrating on how they play. In fact, Dustin Brown played last year – mostly last year when I coached him – on left wing, not right wing.”

On whether he’s unhappy that Dwight King is yet to replicate last year’s production:
“I think Dustin Penner, Dwight King, Simon Gagne, Brad Richardson – who else hasn’t scored a goal this year?…I’m not isolating Dwight King. We would have a little better record if one of them or all of them would have one more goal. We’re into 20-something percent of the games, now we’re almost into 33 percent of it. I don’t think that having no goals is beneficial to wondering where the player is. Playing up to his capabilities or not [is more important].”

On when he would consider sitting King for a “longer stretch”:
“I don’t. Quite honest, it’s like you ask [about] Muzzin’s inconsistency, you want me to say he’s inconsistent. You want me to say ‘Dwight King, I should sit him out because he hasn’t scored.’ Guys that work play. Guys that don’t don’t.”

On whether the work ethic is there from King, but not the results:

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