December 17 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether he looks at the road trip as a whole, or breaks it down into segments:
I think as a whole. Going into last night, we wanted to come back with being .500, so that was disappointing last night.

On whether the team plays differently on the road versus at home:
No. [Reporter: Any answer to it? It just seems odd.] It’s not really that odd. Two years ago this team couldn’t play on the road, either, if you look at it. I mean, everybody says, ‘Oh, this team’s historically been so good on the road,’ well, that’s not really true, when you look at it. Their home and road last year were the very same and the year before – the lockout year – was a tough road thing for us. Again, you’re putting the whole year together. You’ve got to go by trips and who your opponents are, what your schedule is – all that. You’re going on those trips, long trips, if you really want to go into it, do your road record based on conference and out of conference. And I won’t tell you what it is, but it’s going to shock you. We gave up too many goals against on the road this trip, that’s for sure, and our penalty killing clearly let us down at key times. If you just capsulized last night, I mean we played a really good game, and in three shifts we lost the game.

On whether Marian Gaborik is picking up his game:
Yeah, I said that after the Toronto game. [He’s] hopefully finding his way and getting more into those greasy areas. If you look at where he scored both of his goals last night, they’re basically tap-ins. They’re not from the outside. I mean, you’ve got to get there to score…He knows that. He’s a smart guy, and over the course of his career, most of his goals come right around the net. They’re like bang-bang hands plays.

On whether Jeff Carter has been getting scoring chances:
Not consistently. Not consistently. [Reporter: Any theory on that? It seems like when he’s on his game, you can really see it.] He hasn’t scored a goal for a month tomorrow. November 18th. I have it all marked down. [Reporter: Is he the type of player, Darryl, that you wouldn’t look for someone to make him better? He has to be the guy that makes others better?] I don’t look at that like that. I mean, you’re putting way too much pressure on him. We’re trying to get our top guys to be more productive players right now. It’s not just Jeff Carter. We’re playing Jeff and Kopi together because we think by playing Jeff at wing, it takes some pressure off in terms of the whole game, and Kopi and him, during different points of the regular season last year and when we first got Jeff, also, they could prove to be productive last year. There was a time last year when Kinger and Kopi and Carts were our best line. You’re just trying to manage it game-by-game. Hey, the reason that you shift guys around is because top guys aren’t producing. That’s clearly, when you look around the league now, why guys get shifted around.

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