June 6 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter
On the thought process of playing Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli with Jeff Carter:
We wanted to get, first off, our four centermen in that position, so we just felt we matched up better. Tanner and Tyler played together lots in the American League, a little bit here. Got a pretty good player with them.
On how Anze Kopitar’s “two-way game” has evolved:
I don’t think it’s this year. It’s a top-end guy both ends of the ice. Probably it gets talked about more now just because the team’s done well. When you look, he’s nominated for the Selke, but now the Selke is not just about a checking guy, it’s about a top two-way guy. If you look at Kopi’s numbers in the playoffs, his play-making ability is second to none in the league. Those are real numbers. When you put his whole year together, that’s going to be a pretty significant number.
On whether Justin Williams’ personality matches his play:
He’s a very competitive player. I think there’s a lot of players like that on our team. It’s not like they’re big, physical players. They’re tenacious players. That’s probably a good thing to call Justin, he’s a tenacious player. Strong with the puck, handles the puck, makes good plays.
On what Jeff Carter has done to become a “complete” three-zone player:
I don’t think much different at all. I think he’s sort of like Mike, where they just win. You can count on them all the time. Really great practice player. Well-trained guy. Takes care of himself. It’s funny, when you ask about that for Toffoli and Pearson, that’s a perfect role model for them.
On the camaraderie that has allowed the team to perform in key situations:
Well, that’s why you’re still playing. It’s why there’s only two teams still playing. It’s why the New York Rangers are still playing. Said it over and over and over. It’s not about the star factor, it’s about the complete package.
On an Anze Kopitar assertion that his line didn’t perform well in Game 1:
I think Kopi busts his ass every night, for lack of a better word. Somebody brought it up yesterday, and it wasn’t Kopi. Kopi played more minutes, big minutes than anybody on our team. In crucial situations he does it, so. He never has a bad game.
On his attention to whether the team is developing and close off the ice:
I don’t think that’s something I have to talk about. I mean, we’re a very good team for good reasons. Not just come to the rink and play. There’s a lot of preparation. The team’s matured a lot in the last couple years. That’s because guys came into that role. It’s still a really young team. Everybody talks about it being an experienced team. They’re a playoff-proven team. But there’s still lots to learn. I keep saying it in different ways. Yesterday it was about Drew. But that’s what the team is about, it’s about the whole thing. It’s not about the individual. We kind of keep it in a real tight circle. It’s mostly the leadership on our team that does that.
On aspects of Mike Richards game that others may not see:
I think he gives us that strong leadership. He’s really good with the young players. Doesn’t matter, he’s going to play the same way all the time. You can count on him, Mike Richards, always in a big game.
On Slava Voynov and the importance of young players to have a “short-term memory”
Well, they’re on a bigger stage now. Slava, there was no issue with his game the other night. He was chasing, protecting other mistakes. Slava is a really good player for us. If you look at it, we had some guys the other night that were playing in their first game in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s a big adjustment for players. Doesn’t matter who they are.
On any adjustments to be made against a fast Rangers team:
They’re a fast team. We’re a fast team. I mean, when we were down to San Jose, there was people in this room that said, Geez, you guys are a slow team. The puck goes faster than the feet do.
On whether Game 2 becomes more important the deeper a team advances in the playoffs:
No. Game 1 was an elimination game. Game 2 is an elimination game. When it’s over, then we’ll answer that question going into Game 3 and we’ll answer it going into Game 4 and we’ll answer it as we go forward.
On his impression of Henrik Lundqvist:
He’s a top goalie in the league.
On the importance of establishing a strong start in Game 2:
We’re in the Stanley Cup Final, so we might have to play from 4:30 till 9:30 tomorrow. If you’re ready at 4:30, hopefully you’re doing the same thing at 9:30.