December 3 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether Marian Gaborik will travel to Arizona:
Probably not. Didn’t practice full today. He practiced but not where he’s pushing through it.

On Martinez having “jump” and “adrenaline” in his first game back:
We’ve seen that lots where the first game back from some time off – even though he was only, I think, 16 or 17 days – but these guys, when they’re out for those set times where it’s two weeks or four weeks, that first game is usually that adrenaline push game, and then you’ve got to be careful you don’t take a step back.

On what “start point” indicates the team is playing with structure and detail:
Every team that’s a good team in the NHL checks really well. I know the star part of it and the goal part of it and the great night part of it, but the checking part of it – checking isn’t the defending part, checking is being in a six-man unit all the time – that part of it, the structure part of it, those teams are all teams that are hard to play against and that’s how you can always get through – not the result part of the game, the ‘what you’re doing’ part of the game. And even last night, if we’d have lost last night, I wouldn’t have been unhappy with our game, and that’s what you have to stick to, because if you start singling out or just addressing it by one player who’s playing great or not playing great, then you’re always going to have trouble. The game is still above the whole game, even moreso. I think it’s moreso now in the salary cap and the more games era. It’s even moreso, the importance of everybody.

On the Kings not having to kill any penalties on Tuesday:
I think that it’s always the change, less is more. If you only have to kill two or three, and with where everybody is in the league – that three-to-four range, if you start pushing four, then you’re pushing trouble.

On teaching the players proper stick checking techniques and avoiding penalties:
So much of your checking, it’s another part of your game that – people talk about size of teams, well everybody’s within two or three pounds. And you see that, and you know that now. But so much of the checking part of it is being under sticks and your angles on your checking part of it, and if you look at stick fouls that guys take, hey, you’re talking about not being over. Being under. Because if you’re over, there’s a good chance you’re being called, or the two-handed checking with both hands in the corner, where in the old days that’s what everybody did. They drilled you in the back and pushed you and all that. Now you can’t do it. Guys are too good, and they just put you on your back and you end up taking a penalty because of it. Checking is so much about being under it and being quick to it and being out of it than it used to be. We see it with our guys. You have to teach your young players how to play like that. You have to do it. But if their stick’s on the ice and being under it, it’s the way the game is. If you don’t play it like that, then you’re going to spend a lot of time in your zone, you’re going to give up a lot more goals against. The goal of your team still has to be in that two-or-less over a season, and that’s a number that probably won’t happen ever, when you do 82 times two. When you think about what we’d done, even last year, if you can do that again, that’s really good. That’s what you have to try and do, because then you start pushing having to score four or five goals, and you’re not going to win many. It’s going to look nice some nights and it’s going to be exciting, but you’re not going to win consistently and you’re not going to be there at the end.

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