October 17 quotes: Mitchell, Brown, Sutter
Willie Mitchell, on what needs to be “cleaned up: from the Tampa Bay game:
I think in that game, I think something we talked about and we probably weren’t the best at – their centers are a very important part of their hockey club in Tampa, and we wanted to play over their centers to deny them speed on the rush, because what they did was make the long pass, and then what they do is kick back that long stretch pass to the middle with speed, and if you don’t have your F3 over top of that, it becomes very difficult for the defense to get gap control. Then, if you don’t have gap control, that gives them their strength, which is on the rush. So I think that was probably the number one thing.
Dustin Brown, on the Nashville Predators:
They’ve got a couple new faces, but they’ve kind of had that same mindset for years here. They’re very work-oriented and will grind it. You look at their top two lines, they’ve got some pretty skilled guys there. We’ve got to be aware of them because they work extremely hard, and obviously on the back end, Weber’s a premier D. We’ve just got to be ready to work against a team like this.
Brown, on aspects of Nashville’s game that require attention compared to other teams:
I think the two things are being aware of Weber and his shot, and also being aware of Hornqvist around the net, because he’s one of the best players in and around the net. Those are – I don’t want to say two guys you’ve got to [be on] – but two things about their team, is when he’s on the ice, you’ve got to be aware of his shot, because he can beat a goalie from the blue line with his shot.
Darryl Sutter, on what he likes about coaching against Barry Trotz:
I don’t like coaching against him. He’s a good coach. Part of the challenge in this league is there are probably about seven, eight really experienced guys that are pretty successful guys, and he’s one of them.
Sutter, on whether he expects a “complete, full 60 minutes” following a day off:
It’s the new CBA. You have a mandatory four days off a month now. So this is one that we mutually agreed upon a month ago.
Sutter, on seeing “other aspects” from the centers despite the lack of goal scoring:
Oh, we’re really strong at center. If you could say going into every game you had Kopitar, Richards, Stoll, Lewis, Carter, Fraser, you’d say, ‘We like that.’
Sutter, on why Jeff Carter has had success against the Predators:
I’ve only coached Jeff against these guys I think three games. So I really don’t look at the history part of it. [Reporter: He had a hat trick against them last year.] He’s a goal scorer. He led the Western Conference in goal scoring last year. So there’s a good chance he had good games against lots of teams.
Sutter, on how he spent his off-day:
We worked from 10-to-4. We’re not part of the players’ deal with days off. We worked.
Sutter, on whether it’s frustrating to “be told” when players have days off:
No. I mean, quite honest, our guys, even last year, that’s not an issue. We go to them, and even though you’re supposed to do the mandatory four days and pick ‘em ahead of time – look at our schedule this month. It’s almost impossible to pick days which are good days. But obviously yesterday was a day when you look ahead into our schedule, I mean we’ve got to play tonight, get home in the middle of the night again, and then play Dallas. So yesterday was a day that set up better for us. You don’t pick days to practice or not to practice based on games you’ve played. It’s games you have to play.
Sutter, on whether he sees “anything different” from Nashville, a team with personnel turnover:
Yes, substantially. If you look at their roster, I would say ‘substantially.’ [Reporter: What is different in the way they match up?] I would say their four new wingers are substantial, and Cullen’s substantial, and obviously Seth in the back end is substantial, and Ekholm is substantial, so just off the top of my mind – I’m sure you read stats this morning – there’s six substantial roster changes in their team. Two Swedish boys (Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg), the boy from Chicago (Viktor Stalberg), and the first round pick they got in the trade (Forsberg) replaced Kostitsyn and Erat, so that’s substantial. I think Eric Nystrom and Matt Hendricks are substantial.