December 8 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On how he breaks the schedule into segments at the start of a long road trip:
We really haven’t looked at it like that. We’re finishing three in four nights.[Reporter: Is there any way that your team plays differently? Do you like to play home and road the same way? I mean, is there something different about playing here?] Well, I’d like to play all the games at home, but the league doesn’t allow it.

On strong performances on the last road trip, and home / road splits:
I threw out the first three games of the year and moved on. Everybody else was sinking the ship. We were sort of moving on with it, and since then I don’t think it’s really mattered. We’ve pretty much played the same way. You try and eliminate mistakes, and in this league if you have too many of ‘em you lose, and the other way you win, so I really don’t put a whole lot of emphasis on the home-road stuff. The biggest problem you have on the road, obviously, the one big advantage a team has is last change. I know the last trip we were on, that’s where it gets highlighted where we had guys on the ice for a lot of the goals, and those are circumstances where they’ve got to do the job while they’re out there, otherwise you can’t play ‘em. That’s ultimately what it comes down to.

On what aspect of the team’s defense stood out during the home stand:
Jonathan Quick stood out for me.

On Jonathan Quick continuing to impress his teammates:
Again, it’s this league. You look at the team we’re playing tonight. It’s like asking that question – what’s the difference between the start of their season and now? Goaltending. There’s no way around it. If you have a star goaltender, and he has an off night, it’s the first thing a coach talks about, or the first thing that gets asked, but if a star defenseman or a star centerman has a bad night, they don’t ask about that. They just think you had a bad night, it’s given. So, how important is the goalie? I’ve said it lots of times. If I had to pick one goalie to play in a big game that I’m coaching, I’m taking Jonathan Quick.

On limiting shots against during the most recent home stand:
Other than the odd game…that’s the type of team we are. We’re not giving up shots. I believe in more shots for and less shots against, and it’s not the shots against, whatever we’re giving. It’s when we’re not at even with the other team or more, because there are nights where the power play, or as I’ve said before, depending what building you’re in, the shots get kind of proportioned the wrong way. You know what? I do more of that after the game in terms of where the shots are from and that sort of thing. I’d prefer just to outshoot the other team.

On what he’s looking for from Jordan Weal during his current opportunity:
Play like he can play in the National Hockey League. You can’t make mistakes, you can’t put yourself in a position to assist on another team’s goal, play hard, play to your strengths. I don’t know what’s different about him than anybody else.

On Drew Doughty’s accomplishments prior to his 26th birthday:
I’ve been fortunate to be on teams, play with and coach outstanding defensemen, defensemen that handle a lot of situations, and he does that. He plays a lot and, touch wood, can play every game.

On balancing game preparation and ensuring players get enough rest:
You have to balance your players, you have to trust your leadership group. It’s not me making a lot of those decisions, you let them weigh in all the time. Balance your schedule. The schedule’s not easy. [Reporter: It just seems to me that it’s very important. You care that every minute counts for the rest for these guys, just seeing on the road how you operate.] If you’re just in the schedule right now, it’s critical. We played back to back, and then we traveled all day yesterday. Quite honest, it didn’t matter to me if we skated today or not. Guys feel they wanted to get their feet under ‘em, get a little sweat on and get the hell out of here. That’s what it’s about. That’s why when you asked that question to start the road trip, it’s not got anything to do with how long it is or how many games you play. We don’t play for two more days after this one, so whatever we can do to conserve what we have for tonight is the best way, and then reset again. You get into being able to really manage your energy more than anything else.

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