February 27, 2013 11:44 pm

February 27 postgame quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether the team “stole” this one:
“We played them twice. We thought we deserved better in Detroit, so…Hockey God, right? We played really well in the third and we struggled in the first, but quite honest, they’re a good hockey team, too. Everybody’s searching for the perfect game.”

On the play along the boards by Trevor Lewis and Dwight King to set up Anze Kopitar’s goal:
“Kinger and Lewis are good on the walls. That’s why, quite honest, it was the biggest problem we had tonight was that our wingers weren’t very good on the walls, and I was just trying to find three sets of wingers that would give us that in the third and got lucky.”

On creating luck:
“It’s not easy to win…I don’t think there was much in our tank, quite honest.”

On Jonathan Bernier:
“He was awesome. First period, their five on three, you know what – no rebounds, a couple of big saves. It’s what you need to kill penalties…Our penalty kill has been struggling. We get two big kills in the first. A lot of it was our goaltender. [That was the] difference in the hockey game.”

On holding opponents below their scoring average since the last Detroit game:
“Well, we have to play that way if [we] want to be a playoff team. That’s not hard to figure out…Just do it every night. Add every game up, and it’s pretty close to dead-on three-two every night…You know what, sometimes it’s four-one, the game. Look at our games. Just do it. So if you allow more than that, you’re not going to win. The thing we’ve got to work on, it’s not goals against, it’s save percentage. So Bernie continues to get [it] up…Jonathan Quick has to move up. We play 17 games in March. His save percentage has to be better. It’s simple. When you do it in the league, our goals against is now probably top-five, six or whatever it is. But our save percentage has to be better. There are statistics that hold true, and that’s one of them.”

On whether it’s strange that the reigning Conn Smythe winner is being asked to improve his save percentage:
“Well, it is improving. Look where it started and look where it is. So it is improving, right? There’s only one way that it can improve – it’s when he gets to play. You know what? We want to emulate the Boston Bruins. [The] Boston Bruins are the team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago. So you should try and emulate them, right? They give up the fewest shots, we give up the second-fewest shots. So then it comes down to the guy that’s stopping the shots, right? So when we’re playing those kids in the back end, this was the best game they’ve played this year. The four guys that haven’t played a lot of minutes in the NHL, including Slava – that’s the best game they’ve played. So you still need the goaltending, right? It doesn’t matter. You could say ‘Oh, jeez, those kids played great,’ but our save percentage and our goaltending was average. Tonight, our goaltending was great, and those kids had their best game. We scored big goals, scored a power play goal. Kopi’s goal. Big guys are supposed to score goals – [better] chance of inning.

On whether he had envisioned Bernier starting this many games this early into the season:
“Quick wasn’t ready to start the season, was he? If we had started on time, he wouldn’t have played until January. We kind of just went with it, right? Competition’s the best for everybody. Those defensemen see Martinez is getting ready to play. Somebody’s going to play. We can only dress six. I’d like to dress everybody. But you can’t.”

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