February 18 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

On whether he ever announces lineup changes:
No, we’ve got everybody in warm-up, though, tonight.

On whether Kevin Gravel coming out of the lineup has been due to numbers and not wanting to play three rookie defensemen:
Absolutely. Performance. Go with the best six, for the most part. [Reporter: If performance is a part of it, what part of the performance is it – is it snarl, jam, that type of stuff?] Absolutely. [Reporter: How has his overall game come along since he first made his debut towards the end of last season?] He’s a little more mature in his game. He has to play a firmer game.

On whether the raised goals-against in the last four games is due to goaltending and defense:
Yep. [Reporter: Those are the two interlinked? You can’t just lay it on one or the other. That’s not the way it works, right?] You can’t give up soft goals. We’re not going to give up many shots, so we’ve got to make some saves, first and foremost. The goaltender has to be one of your most important players. You need two. We’ve relied on one, and we need that one to be better than average. If we want to be a playoff team, our goaltending has to be better, whether it’s the three guys, two guys or one guy. I don’t want to go past that because guys belabor it. It’s because it’s been a story of the year every night. You need to go past that. We’re in a playoff race. We started a playoff race the other night and we were down one and couldn’t get any saves.

On the Florida Panthers’ strengths:
Number one, their defense leads the league in shots for. They’re second in even strength goals from their defense, their centermen since they got Barkov back, with Trocheck and Barkov, one guy’s got 20 goals, one guy’s missed 15 games and got 13 goals. They’ve got two really good lines because they do that. Huberdeau’s been back for five games. Excellent young player. [Reporter: They look like a playoff team to me.] Good team. They’re healthy and they have a good team. You know what? They have a Hall of Fame goalie and a really good number two goalie, and they can use ‘em both, so if you get good goaltending and you get a defense that are playing at both ends of the ice, they don’t have to play one guy 25 minutes. They balance their minutes out really well and they’re really good down the middle of the ice. Those two guys can play a lot, and if you just look at the last game we played, Trocheck played against the Kopitar line, and if you break it out, Trocheck might’ve handled Kopitar’s line. If you look the other way, Barkov and Jeff played against each other and it was a good match.

On Jaromir Jagr:
Amazing. He’s still fabulous. You know what? Because I’ve always seen him since he came into the league, in a lot of ways he’s a better player now than he was when he came in. [Reporter: Why? I mean, yes, I agree, but what do you see?] I think, number one, he’s a better shooter than he was, for sure. He was a great one-on-one dynamic player when he came in, but I’ll bet if you asked him, he’ll tell you he’s got a better shot now, for sure, and you know what? He may have lost a step, but he still works really fast, and he’s a big guy. I mean, the league’s about big guys. He hangs on to pucks and he still has a great leadership ability. You can tell when he plays with those young guys, he makes young guys better, which is not always the case. Hey, he’s a Hall of Famer already. Some of those guys that have been stars or are at the end of their careers, you’ve seen where they kind of have their own game going, and he doesn’t. He’s a team guy. It’s amazing. [Reporter: Have there ever been players that you have coached in your career that you would compare their approach at all to someone like Jagr?] Well, in terms of age, or what? [Reporter: Not in terms of age, just in terms of the all-encompassing lifestyle that he seems to have, everything that he does. When we read about Jaromir, I don’t know him very well obviously personally-] We had one last year who was very similar in terms of stature, it would’ve been Vinny. In terms of his whole lifestyle and how he prepares and takes care of himself and locker room respect and all that, recently, that would be him, for sure. Hey, those guys who play a long time and win championships, there’s a good reason. Really good reason. It’s not like it’s some mystery.