February 27, 2013 1:12 pm

February 27 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On what he took from the last Detroit game:
“Basically, we responded [after] we played Detroit…When you win a faceoff in the last few seconds and you still lose the game on that one faceoff, it can pull your team down. So it’s not anything that happened during that game. It’s how we responded the next night. St. Louis – and we talked about it afterwards – that’s why we’re, quite honest, a good club because we’re resilient like that.”

On whether the last Detroit game was a “starting point” for this group:
“We might look back at it and say ‘we didn’t get a point and we finished ninth.’ I’ll tell you in two months. I mean there are no starting points or finishing points in this season. Whatever happened last game, it’s over. That’s the way the game is. If you dwell on anything bad from last night, you aren’t going to be good tonight. When you’re in a tight schedule, you can’t dwell on anything, other than your next game. To find two or three good things to carry on, you’ve got to trust your team. That’s what we try and do. That’s the only thing I take out of that game.”

On whether the compacted schedule affects practice time:
“Absolutely. Because, you know what? You get a really good feel for your team, and you know from travel and guys know from traveling all the time that you get a really good read on your team in terms of the energy level…I said it yesterday, [Anaheim] played the night before, and you could see they didn’t quite have the energy. So you want to get them re-loaded for tonight. We’re [trying to give] guys 20 minute practices, some guys 40 minutes. You just manage it so much differently than any other times.”

On how the shortened schedule affects teams and players:
“The top players, end of shifts. How you’re using them. Their ice times. A lot of top guys are on power play, penalty kill, and they’re taking faceoffs. All those things we’ve cut. Other than the injuries on the back end, we’ve had to play Drew and Robbie more than obviously we’d like. Up front, we’ve tried to pull [minutes]. Really, guys are two, three minutes down, other than Kopitar. You know what? Somebody’s…talking about depth, you talk about depth, well depth doesn’t really friggin’ matter unless your top guys are [playing well], cause depth just means deep. If the top guys aren’t performing at a high level, it doesn’t matter how much depth you have. You’re going to win and lose with those top guys, and then your depth comes into it. That’s the biggest part, I think, of what I’ve seen so far.”

On whether the Red Wings’ systems have changed with Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement:
“They’re playing a little more of a push game where [before] there was a little bit more of a control [game], just because Nicklas was playing 30 minutes, right? Having the guy calling the plays and making the plays and slowing it all down – it’s a little different for them. They’re playing more of a push-the-play type of [game]. If you look at it, quite honest, Datsyuk and Zetterberg – this team has scored 57 goals. They [have 47 combined points]. So they’re still pretty central figures as to what’s going on. And then Brunner probably hasn’t gotten enough respect. He’s got 10 goals. That’s a significant number in the league when two guys are – they’re not a high scoring, dominant team offensively, but those guys are in on that many goals is pretty significant. Also, when their power play hasn’t been a dominant power play, like it was before, and they’re still [scoring], it tells you the impact that those two guys have.”

On whether the schedule has affected Keaton Ellerby’s acclimation:
“It’s just not on-ice that you’re working with [him]. It’s not Ellerby, specifically. You’ve got four guys with limited experience. It’s not ‘breaking them down’; it’s ‘building them up’ more than breaking them down. They don’t just learn by doing it right, they learn by watching it or talking with other players or talking with coaches. I think they’re all pretty much the same. We need Robbie Scuderi to do it by example, and then we need the other five guys – whoever’s in, the five guys – to not use inexperience as an issue.”

On whether Ellerby’s Florida background makes his acclimation different from players who have come up from Manchester and have been a part of the organization:
“You’re playing against a different level of people. Keaton hasn’t played that much. He’s played a few minutes in Florida. The Eastern Conference is significantly different than the Western Conference.”

On whether a 7:00 pm start time changes his preparation:
“No. You just have to remember it, right? We’ve had so many damn start times different. Noon, one, seven, seven thirty, eight, like, literally, you look at it – it’s crazy. You’ve just got to remember it.”

On whether he prefers a 7:00 start time:
“You know what, I’m fine. I don’t like noons. I don’t think anybody does. But…it’s like last week, Edmonton and Calgary – those are long days. Two eight o’clock games. Guys want to get going…Still, the best thing about being out west is you can start watching games at four…You watch games until you go to bed…Last night was awesome, because you started in the east and finish all the way over.”

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