December 19 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter
On whether there’s a “common thread” to the success of the three California teams:
I don’t know if there’s a ‘common thread,’ but I mean, it’s not something that just happened. San Jose’s been basically a two-or-three round team for the most part for quite a few years now, and Anaheim and Los Angeles have both won Stanley Cups. So I don’t know if there’s a common thread. We know we’re in a tough division – that is for sure.
On the challenges of traveling west and playing the three California teams:
I think you include, Phoenix, too. Don’t go past that. The Kings won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and Phoenix beat Chicago out. There’s a lot to be said about that, too. So there’s four teams – and now you include the Canadian teams. So, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary. Tough sleddin’.
On Manchester-incubated players finding success in Los Angeles:
You can say they’re ready to ‘do it,’ but the key is they don’t have to play major roles. So if it’s not a good team here, you can bring all the kids up you want, and they’re going to struggle if you [don’t] surround ‘em. That’s a fact. If you go back with this team probably a handful of years ago when Dean started, and they were having a tough time, you’d bring kids up, and nobody talks about ‘em because the team’s not doing well enough. So when the team does well – the reason the team does well is because…the kids are surrounded. They’re not put in that position, and quite honest, this is a very young team, but the key is the players that are in the Drew-to-Brownie’s age group have playoff experience, which a lot of teams don’t.
On whether Martin Jones has been insulated:
We’ve had to insulate him a lot, for sure. I mean, the advantage he’s had…is he’s had the advantage of being here during playoff experiences, basically almost four months of playoff experience of being on the ice and watching every day. So that’s not an insulation. That’s a baptism.
On how players such as Martin Jones are able to slip through the draft:
I think there are lots of guys that do that. You know what, basically not everybody gets to see everybody, and a lot of times when they see these guys, [it’s] the third game they’ve played in three nights. It’s very different, right? Kids are traveling on the bus for 14 hours. You might not see ‘em. You see him one night, and he has a rough night. The next night he’s great, and you know what? There’s a lot more luck in it than anything.
On any noticeable difference in the team’s play in front of particular goalies:
Not really. I mean, we’re pretty good. We win more than we lose. [Reporter: But even when you have someone like Jones, who seems so unflappable, stand-up..] How many games has he played?
On whether Colin Fraser will play tonight:
We’ll see tonight.