September 18 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the first day of training camp:
It was good. Good to be back. They’ve done their work and they’re excited. I mean, they’re not used to having that amount of time off, and I think looking at it, just as an overview on the first day, I think they did good work.

On Milan Lucic potentially skating with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik:
We think it’s a good fit, and let it play out. That’s why we’re scrimmaging early in camp, and that’s why guys are going to play a lot of exhibition games. We’ve got spots to fill. Finding out where Looch fits, where Christian fits, where two or three of the young guys fit, so the best way to find out is during the game. You can practice all you want.

On Drew Doughty saying that he’ll play 24 or 25 minutes per game:
That’s what he plays. I mean, he’s played at least that every year, so for sure that would be his goal. He’s a top player and he can play a lot of minutes.

On three-on-three overtime:
We’re all starting – every one of us – [Reporter: From scratch.] No. We’re all starting as experts. Every one of us knows exactly, for sure, what we’re supposed to do three-on-three. [Reporter: Is it something you welcome? Do you like the idea of it before you even really saw it in practice?] I like the idea that we’ve used it as a test last year, and even that was a split, meaning it was overtime with a four-on-four and a three-on-three. But I like the idea of just going straight three-on-three. I think it’ll prove you’ll get a winner, and I think that’s easy for me to say, too, because the percentages have shown it at the American League level. So now you raise the bar again because when you think about three-on-three at this level, it’s a higher degree of skill again, so you’d think there should be more opportunities and there should be more goals.

On the logistics of the coach’s challenge:
You know, the coach’s challenge is really just two scenarios. One is goalie interference, one’s offside. The offside’ll be what would’ve happened. Maybe not at all, or it’ll be a way of delaying the game, perhaps. But the goalie interference one is one that’s more of a challenge because there’s a lot of goals scored where even when you’re sitting up top a bit, you can be sitting beside each other. You go, ‘that was goalie interference,’ and somebody sitting beside you goes, ‘No, that wasn’t goalie interference.’ So what are we going to [say?] If it’s scored against, we’re going to say, ‘Hurry.’ [Reporter: But will you set it up like baseball, you know, the manager calls up and says, ‘should we challenge?’ Is it going to be the same way for you?] Yeah. I mean, because on the ice, there’s a lot of time where you don’t see it as well as what’s in the video room or what’s up top. You know what? There’s going to be some challenges with that too because of your video and your technology being different in every building. It’s going to be different. I’m glad we put it in. I don’t want to get to the point where you’re slowing the game down again, and as coaches, we find ways to do it, and every rule that’s brought in or anything that you can use is a tool that maybe gives somebody a rest, or if you think it could change a little bit of momentum in a game or something like that, you’re going to try and do it. But I think it was coming, the goalie interference part of it, just because the rules have changed, whether they’re right or wrong, the last few years. This was probably the next step.

On Lucic’s presence, and whether he’s the type of leader he likes:
Yeah, he’s a winner. He’s new to Los Angeles, he’s not new to the league or he’s not new to hockey. I’ve seen him play for a long time. He’s the type of player we didn’t have, clearly. To be able to get him – hopefully he can play with Kopitar.

On players stepping up into leadership roles after several veteran departures:
It’s the way teams develop and mature. Very seldom, first off, does one guy play in one place his whole career, and there’s a time, there’s an evolution always in the locker room for players to step up and take more responsibility in those areas, and if you’re cut out for that and you’re ready for it and you’re mature enough, then you do it. We’re going to miss those guys, absolutely, what they brought to the locker room, for sure. But the next step is for the guys in here to take that responsibility. It always happens. That’s the way teams work. Look at an average career, how long a player plays in one place or how long his career is, there’s a big turnover. We haven’t had much turnover since I’ve been here, when you look at it. The team has stayed pretty much intact other than one or two players. This would be the first year that there is a four, five, six-player change.

On whether he’s seen Robyn Regehr recently:
He just sent me a picture a couple days ago when he was harvesting. I noticed his brother – they were out in their big trucks and combines. [Reporter: So he’s keeping busy.] Yeah. His line was something like, ‘Barley’s off. Starting on wheat tomorrow.’ Big red machines.

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