May 28, 2013 3:19 pm

May 28 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the preparation for Game 7:
“I think we’re ready.”

On whether the rule of the puck-over-the-glass is too “punitive”:
“Well, it’s a rule that they put in several years ago because the general managers felt that there were players that were intentionally doing it, and it’s tough when [they’re] not. I think that some of it’s been talked about publicly and privately too whether that is a situation that should be so hard. You look at it the other night, a player like Kopitar is going to do that a thousand times, and 999 he knows where it’s going all the time. So that’s a tough play, and then conversely, earlier in the series too. It’s both guys that aren’t intentionally doing it. But you know what? That’s the rule. It’s interesting, because they put that rule in and then they standardize glass.”

On whether he’d prefer the puck-over-the-glass rule to be changed to icing:
“I really haven’t looked at it like that. I never really was a big fan of the rule, quite honest because ice conditions in all our buildings. The puck is not always flat on the ice, and that’s not the players’ fault.”

On whether he plans to discuss tension or any Game 7 intangibles with the team:
“No. I don’t think we have to talk about tension or any of that stuff.”

On whether it matters that the team never faced an elimination game last year:
“I don’t think it matters at all, to be quite honest. I think that both teams have enough veteran players that have played in deciding games. Game 7s are not that big a deal, when you look at it. It’s winning the fourth game is a lot bigger, and that’s what’s way more important. Game 7s is, quite honest, for outside the locker room to make a big deal out of it. It’s not that important.”

On any memorable Game 7s that he played in or coached in:
“I think when I was in Calgary I think Anaheim beat us in Game 7. I think we beat St. Louis one year in Game 7 when I was in San Jose…They don’t really stick out in my mind, quite honest, because that’s how you I see it. You either win four games or you lose four games. That’s what sticks out in my mind. Not Game 7s. Quite honest, I remember three-game series and five-game series. Best two-of-threes and when there was three-out-of-fives.”

On whether he feels he’s starting to get more from his top players:
“I think we need more from our left side, period. We’ve got two even strength goals the whole playoffs from our left side. When you’re talking about lines, that’s one out of three guys that aren’t pulling their weight.”

On whether the first goal has helped to set the tone in this series:
“Well, the league is – and more and more so – when somebody comes from behind…everybody talks about it, right?…Especially this season when there are so many games jammed in, and it didn’t start once playoffs started – it started when the season kicked off – chasing the lead or not having that energy for offense has been tough for everybody, and I think this series even defines it even more, just because of the closeness of the teams. Look at it – our conference, four teams going to Game 7s tells you how good the conference is. It tells you how close the teams are. That’s clear. There’s not a top-bottom, and it’s probably the way it should be when you look at it. [Reporter: How much of that is a function of the cap and what the league wanted when that came in a few years ago?] I think everybody tries to keep pace with any cap, and our conference is like that. I think that the teams are really, really close.”

On what allows players to become heavy-minute players, and how he gauges how to use them:
“I think…you’re trying to get a read on your guys early in a game, because primarily top guys are playing against top guys not so much in any sort of a checking role. Even though there haven’t been a lot of goals scored…it’s not in a checking role. It’s pretty much a heads-on role, and those guys are high-minute guys. Usually when they’re on, they carry the momentum of their team or the weight of their team or the shift-to-shift consistency of their team, and I think both teams have players that can do that, for sure. [Reporter: You said you try to get a read on early. What do you mean by that, just the way they’re skating, the way they’re looking?] Yeah. I mean, some guys are banged up. Some guys can’t play as much. Some guys can play through it. It’s just situation things. You know your players well enough, you can tell when they’re really sharp, or if somebody’s not quite on, then you can kind of work your way through it.”

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