December 21 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On whether the team gained energy from the penalty kill early on Tuesday:
Yeah. I think penalty killing wins you more games than power plays do, that’s for sure. [Reporter: But it doesn’t get the attention, right?] I think there’s such nuances with your penalty killing in terms of faceoffs. It’s changed a lot in terms of where guys are on the ice and a lot of different siuations over the last few years that have changed the penalty kill. Obviously there’s a lot fewer power plays now, a lot fewer penalties to kill. The percentages, I’ve said it before – somebody wrote that last week, they asked me about it – those percentages are all [road apples] now. When you look at it … if you’re just basing it on the trip, I think we’ve had 10 power plays in five games and 15 kills, so that’s a three-to-two penalty thing, right? Now if you can keep it in that three-and-under, and we’re seeing teams that have two – we’ve had one game on this trip with zero power plays, one game on this trip with one power play, one game with two. And you break it into periods, and things like that. It’s interesting.

On styles of play during the final 10 minutes of a tied third period:
I wouldn’t think our style would be any different than anybody else’s, first off, and the final 10 minutes of the game is not true now. They blow the whistle if the game’s tied, regulation. 65 minutes or less, not 60 minutes. I think we got stuck on that last year. Talked about it. Regulation win is 65 minutes, that’s why they put the column there. They put the column in for that reason. That was the come-off of why shootouts are [road apples], right? So they put another column in there to make it more important. A regulation win is 65 or less. It has nothing to do with the last 10 minutes. What’s the difference if it’s 2-2, or if you score in the last second of the 65th minute? That’s the difference, a totally different mindset. [Reporter: Is there a way to settle it in your mind that it wouldn’t be a shootout? Does it make sense to go another five minutes? Is a tie OK?] It’s just too hard. You want it settled, the players want it settled because it’s a team game. It’s a team sport. Shootouts, we’ve always said it – I don’t like talking about it because you’re looked on as – [Reporter: Yeah, I understand.] If it was just about shootouts, then why don’t you win the Stanley Cup with shootouts? The Stanley Cup Playoffs, you’ve got to play all night to win, and that’s right. That’s how it should be. It’s the ultimate team sport. You don’t take the defense off and put the offense on or have five guys that play the whole game. It’s not the way our sport works. You know, have guys run out to the field and warm somebody up and then somebody runs off the field and picks up the stick. It’s different. I love the three-on-three way more than the four-on-four. I said that. I said they should go to three-on-three because you’re not deciding it four-on-four. Our coaches and players are too good four-on-four. We’re too good. It’s like they took the red line out. We’re too good. They should put it back in. They don’t use the blue line right, so why don’t they take it out? Make it narrow. That’s another big thing they should do in the league, right? We have all these reviews. There was a six-minute one the other night. Six minutes to watch the – what do you call it, the coach’s challenge? Well, why isn’t the blue line, if they’re not going to use it, why do they make it that big? You keep the puck in the zone, the puck’s on the blue line. If you carry it in the zone, it’s got to be over the blue line. So they took the blue line out of the neutral zone. Every reviewable call that you see, all these challenges that they look at – the skate’s in the air, or off – it’s the blue line. Use the blue line. The puck’s on the blue line. Why does it have to be over the blue line? You keep it in on the blue line. It can be out, only this much touching it to keep the puck in the zone. Why when you enter the zone wouldn’t it be the same thing? Why does it have to be over? It should be on. Every one of those plays, there would be so many more goals. All you guys want more goals – ‘well, how come he’s not scoring?’ – well, friggin’ how many goals have they taken away this year? They’re all because of the puck and the blue line. It’s nothing to do with skate-in-the-air, nothing. It’s where the puck is. Why, entering the zone, wouldn’t you just have to touch? Why’s it got to be over? It’s stupid. Somebody should bring it up that’s not a former player or a coach. Somebody should bring it up. Somebody should, because they won’t listen to us. [Reporter: But isn’t that the way the game has always been played?] No. [Reporter: That changed, at some point?] They changed it because they took out the red line, so guys go stand up there, and that’s changed. Put the red line back in. But they won’t do that. Why don’t they? Just take it out, and make the blue line this big. Then it’d be over, sooner or later, right? Over the blue line. It’d be on-side. [Reporter: Weren’t you also a proponent of penalty boxes?] Sell seats. Why wouldn’t you serve the two-minute penalty on your own bench? You’ve got the one linesman who stands there and does nothing, anyway. He stands by your bench most of the game. Look at the other night, we had a four-minute – I could go on about this stuff. [laughs] How about, we got the four-minute penalty, Tyler Toffoli. Where were we? [Reporter: Boston.] So did you guys upstairs, did you remember this play, Jon? [Reporter: I remember, with Chara?] Yeah, you remember that? OK, so then it’s a four-minute power play? You just watch the four-minute power play and how long they had six men on the ice, and he went right by the linesman. All the guys looped broke out of the zone coming up and then opposite – six-on-four. So, what’re you guys out there for? It’s bad enough – I told Ty – you get a high-sticking penalty, because you’ve got to go pretty high to get Chara, right? So if they can knock your feet out right there, I told the referee, I go, what’s his name there, the Russian. He bent over his head this way, right? So if you trip somebody there with your stick on the ice and knock Gabby’s skates out, that’s not a penalty. But if you touch Chara in his face up there, that is. Say what you want, do what you want. It’s a perfect world for those guys, right? Because everything they do is always right, and you’re wrong. ‘You guys are all wrong. I was right.’

On whether he got the response he was looking for from Marian Gaborik:
He’s a good guy. Just needs to be a better competitor. It’s true – if you’re not going to score goals, then you’ve got to do everything [else]. Who in the league – you guys pick three or four guys in the league that can do what they want and used to score and go? I can.

On Anze Kopitar’s season:
He’s a captain, he plays a lot of minutes, he plays a lot of situations, and he’d like to score more. [Reporter: Do you see anything that differentiates this year from any previous year in his career? That’s my final question.] No, I’d say he’s the hardest working player on our team.

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