November 27 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On Anze Kopitar’s season-high minutes played at Tampa Bay:
Probably overtime. [Reporter: But he’d been playing a high number of minutes on the trip, too.] The first three or four games of the year he spiked into the two-three, two-four thing, and then we got it back down. It’s a reflection on not so much Kopi but everybody. You want to keep him in that, and it’s the same as Drew. Carts and him, I’d like to keep them in that 18-to-20 thing. That’s where you’d like to keep them both. [Reporter: Just looking at his production, obviously that’s down. Does that concern you?] I don’t think it is. Actually, his goals are right on his career-[mark].

On Kopitar being on pace for roughly 44 points:
So if he gets three assists tomorrow, then after tomorrow he’ll be projected for 55 points. His goals are right around here he’s got to be. I think he’s playing well. [Reporter: That Tampa Bay game, was that a reflection of some of his best hockey of the season?] I don’t think he’s had, other than – he hasn’t had any off games. He’s a top player. He’s going to have four out of five outstanding ones, and one that’s above-average. When he has an above-average one, somebody goes, ‘something’ about Kopi. He’s playing a lot of minutes. It’s certainly not a reflection of him playing better, it’s a reflection of when you’re on the road, we had some guys, we just go back and see who was on for goals-against. If guys are on for four or five goals-against on a trip, it means they’re not performing very well and we can’t have ‘em out there.

On whether the trip was beneficial in integrating Milan Lucic into the team:
We haven’t been on the road very much, so I don’t think it’s got much to do with Looch, I would say. [Reporter: Just for some guys who are new to the room, maybe an opportunity to get to know each other a little better?] We’ve been here since September 1, the whole team. I don’t think that it has much impact on it.

On Chicago remaining a “higher-tier” match-up despite their changes:
Well, the changes are on the wings. They’re still a dominant team right down the pipe, and there are four or five go-to guys who are still horses. I’m not saying it because we’re playing them tomorrow, but Toews, Kane, Hossa, Seabrook, Keith, Hjalmarsson. Dominant guys. [Reporter: It’s that same idea, though, right? Keep that core together, and then build around it?] They’re guys. They know they’re going to be there a long time. Just go off the last time we played ‘em. Kane and Toews dominated the game. They dominated the game.

On recollections of Brant Myhres in Calgary:
I had Myrhes in San Jose, too. [Reporter: But you still wanted to bring him back after what happened in San Jose, basically.] I’ve done that several times. I knew Brant, and there was a time there where you needed that player. It wasn’t just Calgary. It was two years in the American League, too. It wasn’t the Flames, he played in Lowell and Omaha. … Myhres was a legitimate enforcer. He was well liked by his teammates, and he was an important player. As I said, I think we signed him in San Jose, too. He came in as an unrestricted player there, too. So it wasn’t just Calgary.

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