May 9, 2013 6:10 pm

May 9 afternoon quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether the team is starting to get “that feeling back”:
“Actually, today I’m tired.”

On whether he got any sleep on the plane:
“I slept good. [Reporter: Do you find the trip goes faster after you’ve won?] They never go fast. Fast-er.”

On Robyn Regehr taking a puck to the face:
“Yeah, he got hit in the nose again. It was broke, so he can’t re-broke it.”

On the four “core” defensemen and their performance in Game 5:
“Well, I think if you go through the teams that are in the playoffs, and…every team will have – other than probably Minnesota, because Ryan (Suter) plays so much, and one other team – they’re probably four guys that’ll play 20-plus minutes. That’s why they’re in the playoffs, and the playoffs start, and usually those guys get two or three more minutes. Obviously Robyn and Rob are veteran guys that are sort of set for playoff-type hockey, and then Drew and Slava are obviously key guys for moving pucks, so they have to play well. Otherwise you’re down in the series, because those guys are going to play a lot…You know what? They’re our best defensemen, those four. So they’re going to play a lot. So it’s not like you’re not going to use one of them, because then you’re probably going to lose. It’s like when we talked about our top players, if they don’t play well, we’re going to lose. If you don’t play them, you’re going to lose, too. So…[Reporter: You play them a lot.] That’s the way it works.”

On the importance of closing a series out when the opportunity is there:
“Well, we’ve got to win four games, and that’s what it’s about. You’d ask the same question today if we were down three-two. You’d go ‘Oh, you’ve got to win tomorrow.’ Well, I think you’ve got to win every game. You make it sound like it’s easy just because you have a lead in the series, you’re supposed to close it out. Who says you’re supposed to close it out? Because you say it? It’s not that easy. It’s literally a shift-to-shift…series. That’s how it is.”

On the character of the team that allows them to win close games:
“You know what? Jeff said it best last night. When you go through the experience – it’s not just because you’ve won. You lose a lot while you’re winning. That’s the way it works. So you’re used to that. It’s not like there’s a pressure…there’s time on the clock, and let’s go.”

On whether or not he needs to repeat “the messages” to a team that he has already won with:
“You know what? We’re still a young team, so there’s always a lot of constant reminders. If you forget one thing, then you think one player forgets one thing. They’re not perfect. I know everyone wants to compare it to last year. Well, this is way different because you’re playing every other day and it’s hard. You know what? There’s no break coming right out of a 48-game schedule. There’s no break. That’s the toughest part, is actually the schedule for everybody.”

On whether he and Ken Hitchcock demand the same things out of their teams in this series:
“I think both teams use all their players as much as they can and then expect them to play to their potential. You can break it down into series, too. I mean, everybody’s talking about the matchups before the series. Well, what are they?…Everybody plays against everybody, power play or penalty kill. I assume that he expects a lot out of everybody too, and just maximizes their skill set. Everybody does something a little different. If the stats are all the same and you’re on an even skill level and you have the right type of leadership in your room, the teams are going to be pretty similar. If you do it, there’s no difference in the size, and there’s not much difference in speed when you do it by position. There’s not much difference other than their experience on the back end. They declared late in the year who their starting goalie was. We pretty much know who our number one guy is. So I think there’s real similarities in that in what you expect out of your teams.”

On whether this is the way “playoff hockey is supposed to be played,” given his background as a player in the Norris Division:
“I think we’d both like to score more goals, but I think…those old divisions where you had to win two series in your division, so you knew you were playing the same teams every year. That was quite a bit of difference. You played [those] guys how many times during the year, and you knew you weren’t going [anywhere] until you got out of your division, which is sort of the way we’re going again with the eight-and-sevens next year. We have to win one round in our division, so we’ll put more on that. I think that size matters. Speed matters. Smart matters, and you better have a little bit of all three.”

On the team’s composure:
“I mean, if you’re alluding to a handful of guys, that’s because they’re the leadership group. I don’t think that’s been the case. I think we have some guys that have played that need to play with a lot more composure than they’ve played.”

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