January 24 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter
On the last time he played outdoors:
Somebody else asked me that, and you think back when you were kids, but actually I played in Japan one year, and one of the teams [was] up in the mountains and you played outdoors. I remember that. But, obviously anybody who played outdoors, it sticks in your mind. For sure it does. Late night, outdoors, starting early in the morning. I think the best part of coming and skating the night before is the outdoor part of it because there’s a lot of players that haven’t experience that now, and in the cities there are not many outdoor rinks…most of them are covered rinks. Heck, most of the kids now are practicing on two or three sheets of ice. Not many get to skate outdoors anymore.
On how old he was when he began to play indoors:
Actually, in Viking, we were one of the few towns that had an indoor rink, so every Saturday we either played or practiced. I probably started there when I was five or six.
On how he knew when to come inside when playing outdoors:
They either hollered or truck horns, because it was far enough away, and it was at night, and quite honest you think in Alberta where we were raised, nights for the most part are clear and cold, so that lighting of the moon, or the lighting of the stars, that’s what you played in. I remember that vividly, that part of it, and then walking home in the dark. Hey, you take your boots off, put your skates on in the snow, use your boots for nets. You only had one puck, so when the puck went missing in four or five feet [of snow], you had to go find another. You got somebody’s puck, if you were lucky enough to get Kelly Hrudey’s puck, it would have KH in there. So between us boys, between seven boys, we you always had someone’s puck. I remember that part of it.
On whether the first goal is important, given that the team doesn’t know the conditions:
I think we know the conditions. There’s not going to be any deep mystery. I mean, we don’t play on great ice at Staples Center. We have good ice early, and as games go on, that’s how most buildings are. I’m sure the ice is going to be fine at the start of periods, and go from there.
On any special message given to the players:
No. Just get used to the ice, get used to the atmosphere and being outdoors. There’s not much more than that. I mean, we’re basically coming home from a five-game trip and leaving again. So that’s what’s important to us. We don’t have a lot of time or energy to think about much else.
On any advice to the team to reinforce that it is a regular season game, and two points are available:
I don’t think so…I think that both teams have enough guys that have won championships. They know the importance of each game. It’s not that big of stressing anything. I don’t think the advantage is anything that jumps out. We played well last night against a team we play tomorrow, so hopefully we get a different outcome.
On whether he has seen hockey’s California growth since his time in San Jose:
Certainly. I think you’re seeing it not only in the U.S., but you’re seeing it in Canada. You’re seeing a lot of kids go up and play out of California, Colorado playing junior hockey. You’re seeing a lot of kids from California go to university. We have one on our team, actually with Brett, my son, in San Jose. So there’s a big growth of California players. It’s natural. These guys brought it here. So it’s natural. I remember going to San Jose and we lived in a cul-de-sac, and by the end of the year, our kids had all the kids playing street hockey in the cul-de-sac. All of ‘em. So it’s just natural. It comes with anybody that’s athletic. If it’s available and their parents can afford it, kids are going to play.