February 25 postgame quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether the Kings looked like a championship team:
“We struggled for the first half of the game. I think Jordan Nolan’s fight gave us a little energy, and obviously the power play goal in the third was huge.”

On whether the third period penalty kill was as important of a turning point:
“Oh, they’ve got a good power play. Percentage-wise, it’s a really good power play, and personnel-[wise] it’s a really good power play, so you have to try and manage your way around it. My biggest concern, obviously, is we didn’t have a power play yet going into the third. I think…we had…only nine power plays in five games, so the only time we get to practice it is in practice.”

On whether Monday’s performance was the best of the season:
“Not tonight it wasn’t, no.”

On whether this has been the team’s best stretch of play this season:
“[We] played well in Edmonton and Calgary, yeah.”

On whether he was happy with Davis Drewiske, given the added ice time:
“He didn’t get any more minutes than he normally gets.”

On the team’s third period performance:
“Well, it’s a tied game going into the third. Their team played last night, so you’re hoping you have a little bit more than they do in the tank. It’s simple. The schedule is such – and you hear other teams talking about it – back to back is hard on the guys that played the night before.”

On whether there is a rule that you can decline a penalty shot and take a power play:
“I don’t know, but I could make it up and say I don’t know. No, you can’t. I don’t think you can, can you? It’s funny, I told Brownie this morning – because we were watching shootouts early this morning – I told Brownie if you get a chance, go in there and fake forehand, go backhand on him. As usual, the players don’t listen to the coach. He went in, faked his backhand, went to his forehand.”

On whether better goaltending and defense was the difference between the two Anaheim games:
“Clearly both. But that game also, we chased the lead. Everybody forgets about it – we didn’t give up seven. We gave up six. Seven was an empty net. We came two-nothing down. We tied it two-two. We made it four-four. The difference in the game was that. It wasn’t that dramatic of a difference in the two games.”

On whether this game was a measuring stick:
“There’s no measuring stick in a 48-game schedule when you play as much as there is going on here. There’s no measuring stick. It’s just every game is park and ride, right? Pay the toll. Get in the fast lane.”

On whether he looks at the standings:
“Absolutely. Shorter season, the math tightens up. There are going to be eight teams that make it and seven that don’t.”

On being in the top eight:
“It’s good. We were [in the top eight] the other afternoon. When we walked out we were in it, and by the time I got home and got my jammies on, we were out of it.”

On whether he’ll enjoy the victory until tomorrow:
“Not really. Before the game was over, I was thinking about Detroit, who was guaranteed sitting up there watching us. I kind of figured that.”

On Dustin Penner being in a reflective mood after the game:
“My goodness, what is he, 29?”

On if he’s noticed any difference in Penner’s play from when he was scratched earlier in the season:
“Yeah, he’s playing. He gets to play. I’ll make the decision before the next game again.”

On any team winning on any given night:
“That’s what the salary cap did, right? It made everybody equal. That’s why you’ve had seven different champions. Teams that make it, teams that don’t make it. [There’s] clear parity in the league. It used to be top guys, bottom guys…Now everybody’s the same. Really, when there’s no out of conference play, [there are] 15 teams, right? So the three teams that had great starts are teams that are 15 points ahead of everybody.”

On when he’ll decide who starts on Wednesday:
“Probably Tuesday night.”

On whether there’s an update on Alec Martinez:
“No. He’s on injured reserve…when he comes off injured reserve, you know the update. Active, non-roster, inactive, injured, hurt, sick, not dressed, healthy scratch, on waivers.”

On whether he’s any closer to coming off IR:
“When he’s off, then he’s off.”

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