October 29 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter
On whether he has ever coached a team that has “been guilty of looking past an opponent”:
Well, I’m sure that’s happened sometime in the last 30 years. That’s human nature. It’s going to happen once in a while. But I think we understand. [Reporter: Would you say that this particular team would be less guilty of that infraction, just because of the group of guys that you have?] We’re used to it. It’s got nothing to do with the group of guys. We’re used to winning. This is a different group of guys than last year, and last year was a different group of guys than the year before.
On whether it means anything to him that Dustin Brown’s hits are down:
Yeah it does, because he’s got to play a certain way to be effective, and that’s important. [Reporter: He was saying that it’s more puck possession now, and maybe fewer hits, and that he tends to get more physical as the season goes on.] The season’s going on. We’re 12 games in.
On whether he’d like disallowed goals in which a referee deems that contact has been made with a goalie to be reviewable:
You know what? We’re talking about it because it has happened to us twice this year. One was right, and one was wrong. Should they review it? I don’t know. We’re watching baseball now – all those things are going to be reviewable. It has changed so many times, so what are they going to review it as? Conclusive, inconclusive? We’ve got enough rules. They’ve changed enough rules. Not very many of them were for anything, quite honest. Hey, [Jeff Carter] had a goal…that’s a goal, and that was a big point of the game. Against Tampa that was a very important part of the game, and it was the wrong call. And the other night, it was a very important part of the game, and he looked at it, and he made the right call, probably. What is [it]? There’s not an infraction on it. A player’s going to the net to try and score a goal, not to hit the goalie or anything. So I have no idea what it should be.
On whether the constant changing of the rules has led to more suspensions:
The players are so respectful now of the rules, and the changes in the rules. Once in a while they get [into] a grey area and what’s right and what’s wrong, but the guys are so much better at that. We’ve talked to our players, literally, and I think we’re really, really good at it, of being under sticks and all those things. Basically the reason there are more suspensions is because they’ve changed three or four words. It’s not because there is anything done different. They’ve changed three or four words so they can suspend you, fine you, whatever they want. Well, it’s all good. Quite honest…I don’t know how to answer it, because we try and keep our team away from that stuff. So if there are three or four guys in the league that continue to want to do it, then suspend ‘em. I mean, there are three or four guys that kind of make the rules, right?
On whether he has consulted with Rob Blake to gain perspective on the league’s decisions:
No, because we’re really clear on it. It’s like Cliffy’s the other night. Cliffy’s not trying to knee a player. The player turned back on him, and his knees are there. Our player didn’t try and intentionally knee their player. If they want to look at it differently, then fine. But we know what our players are. Rob was suspended four times. He was a friggin’ hard guy to play against. I kind of just push it aside now, because quite honest, once they got it, they got it.
On what he liked about the previous Phoenix game, and what adjustments he’d like to see:
You know what, our penalty killing is an issue, and it was an issue in that game, We have some guys that aren’t killing penalties now even though they’ve done it in the past because they’re not doing it very well, and we have some guys that are looked on as good penalty killers, and they’ve got to get back to it. One of my pet peeves is offensive zone penalties, and quite honest, we had an offensive zone penalty last game, too. So we had offensive zone penalties against Phoenix. I guess if there’s anything I want to do better, I want to do that better. But, you know what? They get an advantage tonight. They’re the home team, and they get all the change they want. It’s not an easy team to play, either. Both teams play a similar style, and they’re not an easy team to play. So what do we want to do different? Probably nothing. Score more than they do.
On Matt Frattin:
He was good this morning. He was good last game. Quite honest, I’ve said it before. It’s not Frattin. That’s clearly a fault of ours, that we tried to experiment with a player on the left wing in the NHL when he has only had success in his career as a right winger. I’m not going to move him out of position, and…Mike’s willing to play left wing, and has played left wing. As long as the line works, the line works. If it doesn’t work, then they go somewhere else.
On Mike Richards playing left wing:
Quite honest, him and Carter, even though one guy lines up at center, one guy lines at left wing, the only change for Mike is obviously when we was playing center, and Carter was playing right wing, he filled in at right wing in a lot of situations. Now he’s filling in where he should. It’s a difference in how you come back in your zone, how you take pucks on the wall. That’s about it. Quite honest, Mike has been fine. Jeff can be better as a centerman. Hey, he moved to left wing, and he has actually scored three goals. They’ve given him two, but he has scored three, so that’s his move there.