May 16 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter
On whether the pressure is on Anaheim, the home team:
I think both teams have won enough during the season and during the playoffs that if you can only play one game of a series, like you do in the Olympics or you do in some other sports, if it was just one game, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of pressure. Heck, if you had a choice as a hockey player or as an athlete to play one game, I don’t think you’d be pressured. You go, ‘Yeah, let’s go play.’
On why home teams haven’t fared well in Game 7s this season:
I’m just going from my own – if I had a choice of coaching Game 7, I want it in my house, and I know we’ve been through both. I lost Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final on the road. You always think there’s maybe one shift there or something where you could’ve made a difference in a close game. And I know from last year – we played Game 7 against San Jose at home, and it was a 2-1 game. That’d be me, personally, I’d want Game 7 on our rink.
On the confidence of playing their 52nd playoff game since 2012:
It’s a lot of playoff games. You play until the middle of June even last year, even in the conference final because of the way the lockout and the schedule was, you’re still playing to the middle of June. It’s basically how you prepare for the whole season and what goes on. It’s not just the playoff games. The coaches were just talking about – Johnny and I and Billy have been through all that, and you look at the kids that you bring up from the American League, and everybody says it’s good experience for them, but you wish that you played more playoff games where they are. You look at Anaheim and Norfolk, those guys are still playing. It’s sort of the body of work. Hey, the more playoff games you play, the better players are, always in the long run. It might catch up to them, all those injuries, or not being able to train quite properly…but the teams that can consistently have that, that M.O. – there are teams still that are still playing and doing that – there’s something about it, for sure. [Reporter: Is that why teams always have to turn over some personnel every year, because otherwise the wear and tear would just beat up on everybody?] I think if you’d look at the teams right now that are still playing – because you always go ‘the team played last year,’ ‘the team did this’ – there’s a four, five, six-man turnover in it, and just the way it works. Obviously with the way free agency and the way the rules are now, but still, it’s an important part of putting players in. You have to do it, and they have to learn how to do it. Both of these teams this series, if you think about it, the guys that are playing different roles that played last year, or the guys that watched it last year, or the guys that come through the organization, still the most important part of trying to go along in the playoffs is being able to put those guys in and make those little changes. You can talk about it. I know who we’re play it tonight, but it’s interesting area to look at it, because we can say Toffoli, Pearson – even from the start of the year, Pearson, Toffoli, Gaborik, Schultz, what Martin Jones has done for us – heck, you can go on and on in those things, and Martinez playing a different role, Drew playing with a young partner instead of a veteran guy, and they can say the same thing. You can do it with Fowler, Lindholm, both goalies, Vatanen, Silfverberg, they traded for him last time, that kid. The list is every good team is like that. You have to be able to do it. You can’t just say that ‘That’s our team, that’s our team.’ Sometimes the cap affects you. It certainly did us in the start. We knew that pretty much your team, there were guys that had to go play in the American League, but we knew that if they did their job Dean was going to somehow find a way to get ‘em back. That’s how it works now, and it’s interesting. You look at the Rangers, Montreal, Chicago, it’s not just a team. It’s the guys coming to the team.