January 15 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On how Brayden McNabb has fared when facing competition alongside Drew Doughty:
I think he’s played fine since we put him back in. It’s still really about the whole package part of putting it all together and making a good first pass, recognizing when he can make contact, recognizing when he has to close the gap. It’s just part of the experience part of it.

On whether he basis his defensive pairings around Drew Doughty:
Well, Greener has to play the right side, and Drew has to play the right side, so when you’re home, then you’re trying to – Schultzy kind of went in where Robyn was and he’s done a lot of work for us, trying to do that sort of situation stuff for us. Marty can go both sides. Marty hasn’t played a lot with Drew, if you look at it, because we like Marty’s ability on the other pair. So that means that pretty much it’s Muzz or Brayden with Drew. When we sit the night before a game or game day and try and see, especially more at home, you try and see who we’re playing and who you think’s playing together on their team, things like that, then you try and fit in your pairs. There’s a lot more I think of that match-up in the league, and especially with our team, than forward versus forward. I mean, there are faceoff match-ups, but it’s more defensemen match-ups. Hey, Muzz hasn’t been on his game since Christmas. It’s been a real struggle for him. It’s challenging, it’s been really challenging to pair it up properly.

On whether he has seen improvement from the fourth line:
Hey, they’ve got to be physical and they’ve got to stay out of the penalty box and they’ve got to do some forechecking. They took two penalties in front of their net last night. One of them ends up being in our net. Not good enough. It’s a fine line.

On how McNabb’s game has progressed this season:
I’m not sure it has. I think he had a training camp that he got better as the camp went along. The injury to Muzzin early put him in the lineup, and he managed that really well, and we were able to work our way around it with him, and he was much better at home than he was on the road, and then right about Christmas there were some points in his game where there were mistakes that were strictly preparation, doing it right, that those sorts of things started creeping into his game, so you’ve got to take him out. We work with him and show him it. You know what? It’s really hurt those guys not to have Regehr in our lineup because Robyn can play that side and cover up a lot, and we need them to respond better to it. I know they are young guys, but Muzz has a little bit more experience than Brady. I said it a while ago when you guys were talking about Brayden. He’s played more than I thought he would, and he’s probably played more than he thought he would, when you look at it. If you go one-through-eight in the organization at the start of the year and how it would’ve lined up, if we were doing that together, we could’ve lined it up…and make sense. [Reporter: He was your number seven guy on opening night, right?] When you look at it, if you would’ve done it in the summer and you would’ve said there were eight guys, including Schultzy, and if we carried eight, with eight we were going to be in unless somebody stole something in training camp, and that’s how you would’ve used him. You would’ve used him based on performance. So when you pencil it out to start the year, you always do it as if everybody’s a hundred percent – you have to do it that way – and who you think would play together, and then go from there. That’s what we did in camp, and as it turned out, we needed nine of ‘em. Hey, it’s some young guys who have had really, really ups and downs in their games. It’s cost us.

On Robyn Regehr’s recovery:
You know what? He’s better every day. That’s the only way I can put it. I thought, when you asked the other day…about him, I thought he was further along. It wasn’t looked on as a four-week injury when they first looked at it. They thought it’d be two weeks, and then sort of day-to-day after two weeks. So now we’re pushing into…close to four probably, aren’t we? [Editor: Regehr suffered his injury four weeks ago today.] …That’s not what Robyn says, that’s the doctors saying it when they look. They tell you that two weeks…and then, if the healing’s in place, then progress from there. It’s farther along. Every day is a day lost, quite honest. He’s had the two injuries now this year. He’s already missed 25 percent of the games. He missed 10? At least 10. [Reporter: He’s missed 14.] 14? So there you go. 25 percent.