February 26 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter
On the Olympians rejoining the team in advance of tonight’s game:
It’s be like the whole team going to travel somewhere the day before. You know what? They got here a day [early]. That’s why we set it up. There’s no way around it. I don’t think it made sense to bring ‘em all the way back to L.A. and then turn around and come here again. Basically, Brownie and Quicker are pretty good. Other than the flight, they haven’t played, and actually with Jonathan, during the tournament he had a three-day break in there between after the first game and then…Slovenia, I think. So, really, with three goalies, he had three days in there between games and practices in terms of what he took. With him, it’s just the travel.
On whether he’ll “play it by ear” in assigning ice time to Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter:
No, you don’t play it by ear. Drew Doughty is a special player. If we don’t play Drew Doughty, then we’ve got a problem. Same thing with Carts. Obviously you need four lines. You’re playing three games in three and a half days. It’s not where they’re coming from. It’s what we’ve got to do. So you’re probably pulling your forwards off two or three minutes anyways to be able to accomplish what you want. With Drew, that’s a little bit different deal.
On what Patrick Roy has done well with the Avalanche:
We’ve seen them in training camp. We played them in the preseason, right? We played ‘em up here and then in Vegas. You know what? They’ve gotten excellent goaltending this year, and obviously with the kid coming in, MacKinnon doesn’t get enough credit. He could score 30 goals. So obviously Patrick’s leadership – at the end of the day, Patrick, even though he was a goaltender, he was known as a great leader. So he’s taken those kids and pushed ‘em…Quite honest, they’re a strong team up front. So if they get the goaltending, they’re a strong team. They’re going to score.
On what he’d like to see from the Kings tonight:
Get off to a good start. Keep it simple. Keep your shifts short. Be as good at the end of the shift as you are at the start. Try and get some flow to our game. Kind of do what we do.
And, lastly, Darryl Sutter offered a recollection about playing at McNichols Sports Arena after yesterday’s practice. I had been planning on using it for my LAKings.com story today (post coming), but it didn’t end up in there. It’s not a particularly useful quote, but it does reference the thinner air that the players will contend with today – not that this Kings team relies on Denver’s altitude as an excuse.
Darryl Sutter, on restarting the NHL schedule at a high altitude:
Altitude – there’s not much difference than Calgary’s, when you look at it, if that’s a factor at all. Been doing it for a long time now. I’ve never used it as an excuse and never allowed it to be a factor. The first thing you did when you walked into the old arena…remember the sign when you walked into the old arena?… 5,280 feet.