Competition on defense

Darryl Sutter discussed the competition for playing time on the blue line after practice on Thursday, which included a pointed evaluation of Jake Muzzin’s play and could potentially serve as motivation for the defenseman who turns 24 in one week.

Darryl Sutter, if he’s made a decision on who will replace Alec Martinez in the lineup:
“We’ll put Muzzin in, for sure. We took Muzzin out, because he was horse. . . – road apples – in Anaheim. I talked to him about it yesterday. Most guys play like that one NHL game, they’re doin’ time again. He’s got to get his foot on the right pedal if he wants to play again. He’s going to play tomorrow, and he better have it on the right pedal, or somebody else gets a chance. That’s not being harsh or anything. That’s just exactly what it takes to be a defenseman.”

Sutter, on competition for defensive spots:
“We’re playing four guys that basically have zero experience. They should try and beat each other out of the position. Competition is a good thing.”

Sutter, on Kyle Clifford as an example of someone who has competed for and earned his playing time:
“Kyle left last spring with the purpose of wanting to be a regular, every-game player. So when we ask about why this guy’s playing, or this guy’s not, or whatever – you’ve got to get better. We want to try and be in the playoff race, not trying to watch it.”

Sutter, on when Andrew Campbell could draw into the lineup:
“We need a seventh guy here. He hasn’t played at all. I really don’t know. We play four in six, so we’ll just see. Obviously, with bringing Campbell up, that means Marty is [on the] seven-day IR.”

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