March 22 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On Jordan Nolan’s performance versus Dallas:
“The fourth line gave us a little bit of juice. We just want him to get that – it’s not confidence – but it’s got to the point where he was turning too many pucks over on the boards coming out of his own zone, and then it affected his lack of time spent in the offensive zone. We just kind of go game-to-game with him. We need two or three more minutes out of the line, and I don’t like splitting them up. He’s got to play the right wing. He’s not as good on the left side. We need two or three more [minutes]. It doesn’t sound like much, but in the course of the game, it’s like four shifts, if you look at last night. And it’s the schedule – it is the schedule, and how top guys play. If you look at Kopitar’s line last night, they probably played two or three minutes too much, and that’s not because they were doing anything great as a line. They’ve had a hard time, but that’s partly my fault because I’ve played them more than I should, and that trickles down to the guys below them. It’s not so much Jordan, it’s just the group [and] how it spreads out.”

On communicating with Nolan:
“I talk to him lots. It’s very simple. If you want to lineup, you’ve got to play to your ability, right? He’s a big guy that’s got to play physical and go to the net. But you have to also – I’m not one of those coaches who says a guy plays three or four minutes for one reason. The game’s gotten past that. So you’ve got to be able to contribute in all areas of the game, and he hasn’t played as well at any point this year as he did at any point last year.”

On a previous assertion that the Anze Kopitar line had struggled:
“It’s got nothing to do with work or compete or effort or anything. It’s just once in a while they get out of sync a little bit, and I think one was just off a little bit and it affects everybody. And that’s what happens with high-end guys. Willie has struggled to score this year, so he’s the guy that’s always at a high pace, high effort. He’s always trying to do everything he can. Sometimes it’s better for Willie just not do too much. Just do a little bit less. And Brownie will get like that too, where he loses his identity once in a while and you’ve got to reinforce that. [With] Kopi, because he’s a special guy, he’s trying to win it instead of just being Kopi. So you just kind of find your way with them. They always come around, come back to it. My only thing is as a coach, you never want to split them up. If you’ve got to split them up, that means one of them is dragging it off, or…sometimes two or three shifts is like being away for a while.”

On Jonathan Quick’s performances this week:
“I think he’s been solid. That’s what we’re trying to do. If you’re trying to get guys to be consistent and solid, don’t worry about end results. Don’t worry about wins, losses, any of that stuff. Take care of itself. Sometimes you play great and you lose. Sometimes you play average and win. That’s the way the league is. That’s the way sports are. Just be consistent, and when you’re not getting the practice time that you need, then you have to be able to manage that. You have to be able to manage your preparation, your focus, what your responsibility is, and that’s what I want him to do. If he does that, then his compete will allow him to [succeed], because he’s a competitor. It doesn’t do any good to be all over the map. So you’ve got to just be really tight in what you see yourself and focus, and then he’s fine.

On whether it’s harder to “turn the page” after a game in which the Kings “won every battle”:
“No. Pretty easy, actually. Actually, we didn’t [win every battle].”

On out-shooting and out-hitting Dallas and winning the majority of the faceoffs:
“They had eight three-on-twos against us. I wouldn’t say that was something – usually we’re one-a-month in that area. They had eight after the 10-minute mark last night. We were pushing a little too much. We’ve sort of had an easy scoring time of it for two or three weeks, where we were getting everything we wanted. Last night we weren’t, and we started playing on the wrong side of it a little bit. Those are sort of your internal battles. You start playing on the wrong side of the puck, then you’ve got to deal with guys who have way too much open ice. Look at the two guys that scored – Jagr, Whitney – too much open ice against top players on our team.”

On LA hypothetically scoring first against Dallas, a team traveling to play a back-to-back:
“We were really good at it, quite honest. But you know as the game goes on, and as you see it, it was going to be the first goal. The first goal was going to be the difference. You just know that, because both goalies are playing really well. Even though one team’s out-shooting the other one, they’re both on, right? You look at the goal they scored, it went of Drew. And then we started pushing a little, and Robbie pinches down, which is not what we want him to do there, but you’ve got to take a little more of a [chance], and he gets caught and it becomes a chase play again.”