October 15 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether Derek Forbort could play on Friday:
Yeah, he’ll play tomorrow. It’ll be good for him, his first NHL game. [Reporter: In the place where he got drafted.] Yeah, and being a Minnesota boy. [Reporter: What are you looking for from him?] Play his game. He’s a good skater, a good stick. Make good decisions, play aggressive. [Reporter: Young guys in those first games, does it depend on their personality how they handle them?] Yep. You know what? Nervous-ready is good. Nervous-not ready is not good. [Reporter: You get a sense for that pretty early when they’re out there?] It’s probably the very same as playing your first game of the year or your first playoff game, things like that where you’re always trying to do something good and you get a hit or make a good play or get the puck out, get it in, sort of simplify it early. [Reporter: It’s been kind of a long road for him – more than five years since he was drafted – so you’ve seen him in development camps and training camps. What has changed in his game? What has gotten better about his game?] He’s a more assertive player than he was. I think he’s a little bit more attention-to-detail. One mistake’s not going to define your career. Just don’t do it over. That’s what we’re trying to get out of all young players’ games, is the mental error or the bad decision, that sort of thing. He has a pretty good grasp on that, so the next part is obviously playing at this level, see if he can.

On who the best baseball player on the team is:
Couldn’t tell you. [Reporter: How about you? Did you get some licks in?] Give me 20 years, I’d put a run on ‘em all. I don’t know. That’s a good question. [Reporter: You’ve got Trevor Lewis. He’s a good athlete, can do a lot of things.] I don’t know. I know they’re for the most part all big fans. … Take out the European boys, and they probably all played some. That would’ve been a good question 20 years ago because the NHL used to have the Molson slow-pitch tournaments, so you could’ve gone there and been behind the screen. Figure out who the best one was. Remember those? Niagara Falls. They had a team. Big fundraiser.

On whether he has seen improvement in practice this week:
Yeah, we focused a lot on the offense part of it, and not letting any of the checking part go away on us. We’ve done a lot of end zones, power play stuff, transition stuff. You know what? Our team’s very seldom about a work thing. It might be an individual – get involved in situations or sometimes overwork with some of our guys. Instead of being a little bit more patient, they’re trying to force it a little bit. Our attitude’s not an issue with any of that. It’s just getting a result.

On Los Angeles and Anaheim’s scoring struggles to open the season:
Tough to win nothing-nothing. Still not a rule for that. [Reporter: You seem to be in a good mood.] You know what? It’s easy. I know, I’ve been through it a lot. If I was fresh or new I’d be different, but I’ve been through it enough that I know that you stick together and circle it and don’t point fingers. There’s enough of that that goes from the outside, right? Don’t point fingers, stick together, work your way through it. It’s the best way, always.

On relying on the club’s leadership core:
I think everybody’s been through it. It’d be hard to come up with a player in the NHL that hasn’t lost three games. If you know that one, you should write about it. I think – what’s the question again? [Reporter: The fact that you’ve only got the two goals in the three games, I’m just wondering if some of the struggles, if you lean on that strong leadership group.] Well, the leadership group … now is the offensive group, the offensive leader group, I’d say, too. So to “lean on it”? That’s a big responsibility if that group has gotten both of those covered. The biggest part of the leadership group’s not here anymore, so you’re assuming who the leadership group is, obviously.

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