January 9, 2014 1:12 pm

January 9 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether the Kings and Bruins play similar styles of hockey:
I think the teams have similar types of personalities on their team. They both have two outstanding young goaltenders. Rask and Quick – both guys have won Stanley Cups. Both guys have arguably been MVPs, and both teams, even though they’re different – their contrasts in size – have two defensemen who play big minutes, and both teams have two centermen that are pretty much dominant guys, so that’s why you get similarities.

On aspects of Jeff Carter’s game that complement his goal-scoring abilities:
I think everybody in the hockey world is familiar with Jeff Carter. I think he’s a guy that can play two positions. He can play on your power play. He can kill penalties. He’s usually a good faceoff guy. He’s responsible defensively. He’s well-trained. He’s one of the captains on our team, and he’s only 28. We have a bunch of guys in that group – he’s a great model for these guys that are trying to find their way in terms of training and what it takes every day to be well-prepared. For guys like Toffoli, and even a guy like Pearson coming in here now, it’s [good] to watch players like that.

On Jarret Stoll’s recent production:
It’s his career numbers. That’s how he plays. What is he, a six-ten guy right now? I mean, six or seven goals and 10 assists? That’s his career. He’s not playing over his head, and he’s not playing under that. He’s been banged up two or three times. He was having issues this summer. He’s one of our most consistent players every night.

On whether he begins to pay more attention to the standings this time of the year:
There’s no separation. I mean, we’ve said it all along. This is a tough conference, and there are 14 teams, and it’s a tough division. There’s no separation. There won’t be.

On the playoff format, and the effect it could have on division winners playing a strong wild card team:
Again, that’s the way this conference is. There’s absolutely no difference in the teams. I mean, everybody’s giving Colorado credit because all of a sudden they went from where they [were] to where they are. Well, it’s based on personnel. There’s no difference with the teams. There are teams that have a little bit more scoring, teams that have a little bit more defense, but the teams are equal. There’s no difference. Quite honest, I think we’ve played five outstanding games in a row. I can’t critique our team at all. So everybody that’s basically looked on is wins and losses, right? But that’s really not what it’s about. Everybody’s playing as well as they can. That’s what the playoff format is – you had to deal with it this summer, and look at it, right? There are six teams that get in based on divisions…and there are two wild cards. There’s going to be a team that finishes ninth. When you ask that question, I say, ‘repetition.’ That’s all that is, right? Because there’s going to be a ninth place team with over a hundred points. That’s the way it goes. You make the playoffs, you can win a Stanley Cup. You don’t make the playoffs, you’re watching somebody win it. That’s the way it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. The schedule’s tough. Injuries are tough. Big guys don’t get hot, somebody’s in a little bit of a scoring slump, very seldom is it the team when you look at it. It’s not ‘the team.’ [Reporter: I just didn’t know if the two-versus-three is going to be tougher than it would be last year in the first round. That battle with St. Louis was unbelievable.] They had a better record, so we played in their building. The only thing you know for sure with our team is we’re not a high scoring team. It’s not going to all of a sudden be ‘Oh, we’re a high scoring team because somebody scored at the American League level.’ It’s way different. [Reporter: And it doesn’t matter, the fact that it’s a bracket now, as opposed to the re-seeding?] I’ve been through it enough to understand – I’ve been through two-out-of-threes, three-out-of-fives, one-16, you’ve got to come out of your division two times before you can go to the next round. I’ve seen all the scenarios…Until there’s a balance in terms of conference teams, until there’s a balance in your schedule, you’re going to have that imbalance, always. I mean, when you’ve got a 14-team and 16-team conference, you’ve got a totally unbalanced schedule in terms of home and away. You’re going to always have what you say is not quite the right format. Until you have that balance, until you have 16-and-16 or 14-and-14, an even number of games, meaning it can’t be a seven-team division, because otherwise you have to add games to the schedule and take games out of the schedule, and that’s not going to happen.

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