February 23 postgame quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the team playing well during a home matinee:
“I said that yesterday.”

On whether it was good to see Keaton Ellerby in an “enforcer” role at the end of the game:
“You know what, he was still trying to really find his way with our team. He’s the only guy that’s really different for the organization from last year. Everybody tries to forge their own identity. It wasn’t an ‘enforcer’ or anything like that. In fact, it was one of the things I said to Hexy after the game – they called the one Fraser-McGinn a fight, and then they called that one a roughing…so I really don’t know.”

On how impressive Jeff Carter has been:
“He’s been the best player since the first day of training camp.”

On whether Trevor Lewis’ goal caused a momentum swing:
“Well, we were playing well, so I don’t think there was really any momentum during the game. A shorthanded goal always gets guys excited, so that was good to see.”

On Stoll and Carter referencing the Detroit game as when things turned around:
“We played really well in Detroit. People sounded and looked at me kind of funny, but I thought we played really well there. It’s not always whether you win or lose. It’s whether you’re winning or losing.”

On Jonathan Quick’s improvement:
“I think the competition between our goaltenders the last seven games has been significant to our team’s success. I think both guys are playing really well, and we want them both to play really well to give us a chance to be a playoff team.”

On the performance of the top two lines:
“Well, the last time we played Colorado, we lost 3-1 and our first two lines, as you call them, were significantly outplayed by the Stastny line and the number nine line. Tonight we were able to counter that with those performances by those top two lines.”

On whether he has been surprised with Lewis’ recent production:
“He had a good playoffs for us last year, and he gives that line some more speed. Jeff likes speed with him, and we’ve had a hard time finding that, so I just said ‘the hell with it’, quite honest, in Edmonton, and put ‘em [together]. He was just playing right wing. I said ‘the hell with it’, you can play left wing. It works for now.”

On the heritage jerseys:
“Oh, I love ‘em. I think that’s fun…the best part, hey, it was fun walking into the locker room before the game, seeing ‘em hanging there. Even practicing with ‘em the last week. They’re cool. I love those jerseys.”

On whether the pageantry before the game was a distraction:
“Well…for [Dr]. Buss, we didn’t know that. But obviously with Lappy…I told our players ‘let’s go play like Ian Laperriere today.’ You know what? It’s nice to see the role guy get recognized instead of the star guy. It’s pretty cool. That’s what I told his boys. It’s nice to see your dad get recognized instead of him always talking probably about the star players on the team. It’s nice to see Ian get recognized.”

On what he remembered about Ian Laperriere:
“I remember him good. I coached against him once. Those guys always stand out. It wasn’t an enforcer role. It was a hard-working, come-to-play-every-night role. And the best part about Ian was he played a long time. He started out, worked his way up. Everybody questioned whether he was going to be able to skate well enough to play in the NHL, and he found a way to do it for how many years? 15? 16? Whatever it was, it was a long time.”

On whether he’ll reference Laperriere to motivate his team in the future:
“No. I did today. Who’s the next Legend? [LAKings Insider: Kelly Hrudey]. Oh, I’ll have to get Jonathan…[to] be as good as Kelly Hrudey that night. I coached Kelly too in San Jose. My brothers played with him in New York, and he’s from Edmonton…I coached Kelly Hrudey in San Jose, and if you look, we had probably a really good goals against. It’s why we made the playoffs as a really average team my first year in San Jose. It was Mike Vernon and Kelly Hrudey.”

On Hrudey previously saying that Sutter was tough on him in San Jose:
“Kelly? Good.”

On whether he’s a different coach than earlier in his career:
“Yeah, I’m quite a bit older…It’s just everybody’s different then. Kelly was battling to stay in the league. I had lots of fun with those guys, too. If you look, there was a big transition there. I think that was Kelly‘s last year, quite honest. He moved on to bigger and better things. He lives in Calgary…it’s not like they go away, right? The best part about coaching guys as you go forward – you see lots of those boys and it’s pretty neat.”

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