January 3 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter
On the team’s even keel approach, and how it applies to the losing streak:
We’ve played well enough. If you look at it…prior to our last time we played St. Louis, we’d gotten points in five straight games. Four of them were overtime losses. Now we’re not getting the extra goal, so you’re not getting points. Quite honest, last night was one of our highest, when you break it all out – we had the puck for 64% of the game. It’s maybe the highest since I’ve been here. So you don’t lose. That’s good to say, but it means that you’re not finishing. You know what? You’re not getting the end result, so you have to do a better job. When you have 70 attempts, regardless of whether they count, and you do it by puck possession time, you should win. So then it becomes the detail part of it, like Greener’s penalty, two faceoff goals. It just becomes isolated, like wee little things. A penalty becomes a bad goal. When we’re not scoring, it’s like every little thing. So it’s way better to show ‘em what they’re doing, make them feel good than make ‘em feel bad. You know what? When they win four or five? There’s four or five people who go ‘Oh, are you guys ever going to lose?’ It’s like I told them…now, hey, everybody’s going to say, ‘Are you guys ever going to win?’ I said, you know what? Just tell them we’re going to win every game for the rest of our careers. If it was an older group, or guys that you knew weren’t dialed in, or sort of playing a practice round, that’s not the case. We haven’t been scoring goals, which means we have been getting basically zero secondary scoring, zero, which is hard. There’s a fine line. And then your goaltending has to be great. It can’t be just average…You know what? Hey, you talk to ‘em always about game day and focus and staying in the moment and all that stuff and shift to shift, and putting ‘em together, and periods, and keep putting all that stuff together. At the same time, then say OK, ‘Let’s just take two minutes to look at the big picture, right? You know what? Anaheim’s still a push team. Chicago’s still a push team…We’ve done a good job of trying in that push, so just do it. It’s all relevant, and it’s all real.
On chances similar to Jeff Carter’s early chance on Thursday, and how to foster “burying down”:
I think Jeff Carter having those chances, and then Kopi having those chances, so that’s what they want, too. It’s just ‘more is better.’ I thought Jeff scored there. They made a great play, and he just missed. If I’d have drawn it up before the game and said ‘jeez, Carts, in the first period you’re going to get a six-foot friggin’ [chance], you’re going to bury it and just line up at center,’ he’d have said, ‘yeah, I would.’ If you’re not getting ‘em – there’s times that where you don’t get ‘em. Quite honest, against the same team like St. Louis, you don’t get ‘em, and we did. So it’s the way it is. I’m not going to dwell on it. Be ready for Vancouver.
On Matt Frattin’s performance on the road trip:
He gave us a really good work ethic…He played right wing, and then left wing, and if he wants to stay in the lineup, hey, he got knocked out of the lineup because of Tyler Toffoli. Tyler Toffoli came up here and scored nine goals. He was a right winger and knocked him out. Simple. So he’s struggling to score, so you’re trying see the guys that have a little bit more of that off-side buck. They’re willing to play a 200-foot game the way everybody wants to play it, so that’s Frattin’s thing. He’s got to do that, and then try and contribute. His energy’s been good, which it should be. He works hard in practice. He’s a good kid, and you talked to him and stuff, and he’s dialed in. It’s not like he’s going ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ You know what, I want him to succeed…Even like last night, they were efficient guys, if you look at it in those numbers where we break it all out. Tyler was our most efficient player, but he had too many great opportunities blocked. So I said, ‘That’s the next part for you, Tyler. It’s not just Jarret and Fratts.’ I said ‘If I leave you together, the next part is finish those, otherwise that’s a third line that’s not scoring, which means the other line is going to score maybe one a game against you, and then we’re down one. We’re chasing again.