Sutter talks defense and practice time - LA Kings Insider

After Darryl Sutter answered questions pertaining to last night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, he opened up on the topic of the team’s young blue line and the challenge of developing and working with young players with the limited practice time in the compacted schedule.

On Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov:
“Well, Muzz has come a long way. I hadn’t even seen him play. I had seen him last year at the All Star Break play, and that was it. We didn’t have a training camp this year, so I had never seen him. So to go from where he was on the depth chart to a guy that’s playing teen-minutes – he’s playing 17, 18, 19 minutes – is significant. Slava has still only played…a hundred NHL games. I think he’s struggled with his game the last month, for sure. What has he got from it? I don’t know. The experience of winning a championship, everybody gets something from it. But he had only played, if you look at it, he’s played very little NHL games.”

On Drew Doughty:
He played last year with Scuderi all the time. You look at his first 20 games probably, he was a minus-10 this year…Now he’s a plus player. So there’s obviously something to that. It’s no different than what Mike’s doing here – putting a bunch of young guys out there and they’re fighting for a playoff spot. I mean, that’s a big reason why. It’s no different than us.

On whether Robyn Regehr and Doughty are still developing their chemistry:
“Big time. You know what? It just doesn’t happen. Even though they play together five on five, even tonight, Drew gets some power play time, Robyn doesn’t. Robyn’s a penalty killer, Drew’s on the back end of it, so the only time you see them together is five-on-five, four on four. There’s lots to learn and do there. The key is always how young guys respect the veteran, the veteran is trying to help the young guy get better.”

On the late trading deadline impacting Doughty and Regehr’s acclimation:
“You know what? it’s not just the deadline. It’s the whole year with young players, right? I believe that boys like Slava, their game has dropped off [due to] no practice time. It’s just always about recovery, recovery, travel. When you think about it, by the time we got in here last night, that’s what time we’ll get into LA tonight. You know what? That’s all you’re doing is recovering. That’s all you’re doing. You know what? That’s part of it.

On when the team’s last really good practice was:
“We’ve had a couple that we’ve been able to in the last probably two weeks. I mean, we’ve had a really good record. We’ve played really well. The only way you have a good practice in with the schedule and the way its been this regular season is to have a day off the day before, because then they’re fresh. So any time you can see that where there’s a game and then two or three days, then you’ve got them away from the rink for a day, then you’ve got a good practice.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.