March 21, 2013 1:36 pm

March 21 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether Jonathan Quick’s last game was a step forward:
“Consistent. We want consistent play out of him…It’s no different than every other player. You want him to be consistent. Maximize their skill set.”

On whether Quick was better “positionally” better in his last game:
“Maximizing your skill set. You’re probably over-analyzing it because they’re all different, right? The best way to do it from a goalie review is second, third opportunities, rebounds, faceoffs. That’s what you read how the goalie’s playing.”

On whether he’s been happy with Penner’s compete level:
“I think it depends who we’re playing, and who we play guys against. It’s the advantage of playing at home. You can try and match guys up, and if they are prepared for that challenge, then we like it.”

On Mike Richards’ recent play:
“We’ve moved he and Jeff around, quite honest, to try to get Jeff back to shooting pucks. Not so much Mike. Mike’s looking to make plays more than he’s looking to be first on our forecheck. Things like that. That’s his mentality. So when you want him to do that, you’re trying to make him as fresh as possible…so because of the schedule, we’ve scaled minutes back on some guys, but we’re trying to get Jeff shooting pucks again.”

On Mike Richards’ intuition and his sense of positioning:
“And Jeff – both have played a lot of center. Jeff really hadn’t played a lot of right wing until he came here. But he’s such a natural player that when you have two natural centers play together and guys that communicate really well in terms of talking to each other and getting to know each other on the ice that they feel for each other. Mike’s greatest strength is his ability to compete and ability to see the game at a high pace. So you want him to be able to play at a high pace, and then try and keep him as good of a position as you can, always.”

On his comment Tuesday that the Kings got their [butts] kicked by Dallas:
“Actually we didn’t. We got very out-goaltended. We took three chickenfeathers penalties – tripping, hooking. They scored on two of the three of them, and quite honest, position and zone time we pretty much controlled the game if you break it down. We won in the faceoff area. We won in zone time. We were out-goaltended and we took two or three bad penalties.”

On Kari Lehtonen’s attributes that impress him:
“He’s a number one goalie who can play lots of games. He’s had a little bit of injury trouble. He’s a tough guy to beat down low. It’s not so much how many shots you get against him. You’ve got to get pucks in certain places on him. He handles the puck really well. He recognizes situations, moves the puck up the ice really well [and] recognizes when the guys in front of him are tired and he’ll force whistles. It all comes with experience. He’s probably a guy that has flown under the radar to date, and I’m not saying [that] because we’re playing him tonight, but he’s probably an underrated goaltender.”

On Quick’s confidence and whether he is still the goalie who “led the team” last year:
“I mean, that’s your opinion that he ‘led the team’…He played more minutes than the other guy last year. The biggest part about becoming a top player in this league, whether you’re a top defenseman – how teams key on Doughty, or teams want to play against Kopitar – is find a goalie’s weaknesses. Everyone has one. Obviously they’ve worked on that. It’s got nothing to do with Jonathan’s confidence. It’s [that] teams have found out where to work him. So he’s got to become a top player to become a top player consistently…It’s like, friggin’ once around the league as a pitcher, right? Next time they’re friggin’ sitting on that, and pretty soon he’s only thrown 15 pitches and they’re walking out to see him. It’s the very same. This guy hasn’t done anything different than that. He’s had one kick at the cat. So you’ve got to sustain it. You’ve got to sustain a high level of play, or otherwise you’re not that player. Is he capable of being that player? Certainly is. But you have to experience it. You can’t teach it. You’ve got to learn it. We get too caught up here in individuals. I said that when I came here. Everybody’s locked in on star status. You know what? If it was just ‘locked in on star status’, this team would have won the Stanley Cup the last 20 years in a row…It doesn’t guarantee you playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee wins. It doesn’t guarantee nothing. It guarantees good interviews and ‘oh, look, there he is.’ It doesn’t guarantee a performance. That’s the difference, right?…The best thing for him is competition, and Bernier’s good competition. The best thing for him is to play at a high level.

On whether challenges in the last Dallas game originated from goaltending or penalty killing issues:
“Quite honest, the second one was [the] Eakin goal, and it’s ‘bad goalie’. The Jagr goal is Jagr. Last time we had a 48-games schedule, Jagr won the scoring race. He doesn’t do everything quite as fast as he used to, but he still has things that he does better than most guys in the league, and usually it’s when he has the puck. There are three or four things that he’s still very good at, and you have to respect that. But you have to be able to take it away from him. That’s the best thing about him. That’s like me talking about Selanne. I never got to coach Jagr, but I’ve seen him enough that even though he’s 41 or whatever the hell he is, he hasn’t lost that desire to try and exploit the other team in certain situations. He’s still fun to watch except when you’re coaching him.”

On Jagr’s comment after the last game that he wanted to go back on the ice and play again:
“Good for him. They’re not going to build a schedule for that, are they?”

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