December 3 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On whether there’s a particular player who plays best alongside Anze Kopitar, or whether he’s good enough that he can play with virtually everyone:
He should make players around him better. That’s what elite players do. Look at #19 on Chicago. Play a lot of kids. He plays with everybody, right? Kopi does that. It’s not just about points for Kopi. I mean, it’s got nothing with who he plays with. Look at how he played in Arizona. He’s more of a complete game, and when he’s a complete game, he’s a better player. [Reporter: I was just asking because with Gaborik-] Hey, Gabby’s got to produce. The guys that play with Kopi, it’s one thing to say ‘Kopi makes guys better,’ those guys who play with Kopi, you remember, you’re playing against the other team’s best players, so you’ve got to produce. That’s the challenge of playing with Kopi. You’re on the ice against better players all the time. When guys don’t produce, it’s generally because they’re not performing up to the standards necessary, or they’re not capable of it.

On his impression of the Montreal Canadiens after having seen them live last month:
I’ve seen ‘em lots on this trip. The impressions of Montreal is Montreal’s a tough place to play for everybody, not just for the Los Angeles Kings. It’s a tough place to play. The impressions on this trip are this is their fourth game coming into us. They win 2-1 in Detroit and they lose 2-1 in Anaheim and lose 2-1 in San Jose. They have for sure the best goaltender in the world in any sort of situation, so that’s a big challenge. [Reporter: Their offense, though, has slowed down quite a bit since they faced you.] Everyone’s does. I’m sure you’re criticizing, but everybody’s does. Once in a while you don’t score, and once in a while you do. If you don’t give up much you give yourself a chance to win. They have three two-one games on this trip, they’ve given themselves a chance to win every game because they don’t give up much. Once in a while you don’t score – that happens. If everybody scored every night, then the score would be 18-18 going into overtime. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s the way it works.

On how Kyle Clifford compares to fighters from his era:
We don’t talk about it much anymore, and we don’t pay much attention to it, and if it was just about fighters, there were a lot more. There were not many guys that didn’t have fights, so if you’re only talking about three or four guys, well, that’s because those guys had 15 or 20 a year, so it’s not that big a deal. What’s important about it is still that the compete part of it’s still important. The dirty stuff, the cheap shots, now it’s controlled by a review. It’s controlled by a replay now, whereas before, we controlled it. Players controlled it. So now it’s controlled by a phone call and a take-money-away from players, right? That’s how it’s controlled. Hey, it works to some extent. We have a physical sport. I’m not one of those guys that’s into taking it out of the game, because that’s not what the game’s about. When you talk about those guys, now all these guys are really good players. Everybody talks about the speed in the game and all that, well, the great players are always fast. It doesn’t matter. They were always fast, but what allowed them to be faster was guys who couldn’t skate but could fight. Now the guys that fight a little bit can really skate. Your fourth line’s as fast as the first line. The old days, those fourth lines, they couldn’t play – and they didn’t play. They didn’t. You played with three lines. The fourth line guys, they got the good seat. It’s the biggest difference in the game. It’s got nothing to do with fighting, and I know everybody gets on these little things [to talk about] fighting. It’s like embarrassing to watch highlights last night on TV. That’s embarrassing when they were talking about – that’s just social media last night, clearly talking about Vancouver and who they play today. [Reporter: Toronto.] Well, that’s just guys who don’t know anything about hockey, who never watched nothing, talking about that stuff – or never played. That’s clear with them. They’re showing highlights of McSorley hitting Brashear, and they’re showing Todd Bertuzzi with – [Reporter: Steve Moore.] – well, what the hell’s that got to do with anything? It’s 20 years ago. What are those guys talking about that for? They have nothing else to do. Cover? I mean, shouldn’t they be covering what they want to cover, like great young players and fast and great goaltending – why don’t they talk about that? Everybody talks about this ‘great change’ that we have to have in the game, but the experts all go right back to before the change. I couldn’t understand it. If I’m a hockey fan only and I’m watching that, I’m going, ‘Jeez, what are those guys talking about?’ Anyways. [Reporter: So it’s a better product now.] Yeah, it’s a way deeper pool. The fourth line, they’ve got to produce for you. They have to produce, or somebody else plays on it. That’s the way it is. It’s not before where you just had a designated guy who was that guy. That’s not in the game, and that’s good.