January 10 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On the Kings being in the top eight but not where they’re “used to being”:
We’re used to being around the top eight, so that’s where we are. We’re hanging around the top eight. That hasn’t changed at all in three-plus years. It’s more competitive. Everybody’s saying the same thing. The league has changed dramatically with the new format, being divisions and fewer games played, the way home-road is set up in your division, making the playoffs with wild cards. It’s changed dramatically. Everybody is trying to stay out of that wild card spot, and always trying to put yourself in a three-hole.

On what he likes about the Kings’ play, and what he’d like to see improved:
We’ve shown a lot of resilience since Christmas. We’ve talked about it. We’ve come from behind every game we’ve played, especially over the last little bit, obviously, with giving up goals early, things like that. But we’ve come back in every one of those games. That’s what our team does. Obviously we’re used to being a really good goals-against team. The last three or four games we haven’t been as effective as we want to be. We can improve on that, we score enough, we’ve been good at staying out of the penalty box. There’s critical times of games when you’re using different lineups that you see it where it could be better, but maybe it can’t be. Maybe that’s just what it is.

On whether Mike Richards will play:
You’ve got to talk to these guys. I never ever talked about that, so these guys that have all the inside – so what’s that paper, the Insider, whatever? Mike Richards, he’s like coaches. He only gets people to talk about him when he does – Mike Richards, the last time we played the Winnipeg Jets, played 17 minutes and 50 seconds, and really, Mike hasn’t been feeling all that great, and I’ve been trying to watch him. He was one of the guys last week when we gave guys time off, he was one of the guys who was here every day. It’s always, it doesn’t matter where you go, there’s always just two or three guys, they always want to kind of go around the horn instead of going right to the point. That’s the way it works.

On the Kings’ schedule:
With ours, just the way it’s worked…since we’ve had the four days of Christmas, we had the four days this past week, and then, with the All-Star Break is six between games. So, other than that, it is jammed for everybody, and I think the last time we played you guys, they were going to into that. Remember? We went home and it was like a five or six-day. You get that somewhere in your schedule, and you have to manage it. That old way of hammering guys when they lose a game or the bag and all that, that doesn’t happen anymore. That doesn’t exist in our game. You’re trying to keep guys ready for games – that’s it – and health is a factor, and energy is a factor, and when you have younger guys who are in a fluctuating lineup, then obviously you’re working more with the preparation and all that stuff.