December 4 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether he has liked Marian Gaborik’s recent performances and production:
Yeah, he’s moving well. Just getting in those areas where he’s got to get to to score. I think he’s a little more efficient. [Reporter: And the connection with him and Kopitar?] Hey, one guy’s a great playmaker and one guy’s a great scorer, so it should work. [Reporter: It should, but they keep saying, ‘ah, it’s not as good as it could be,’ that kind of thing.] I think Kopi has pretty high standards of what he expects out of his [linemates]. He expects a lot. Not of himself, but who he’s with, too, and I think when they’re on, he enjoys it, and when they’re not, then he gets upset about it.

On Trevor Lewis leaving practice early:
Hard practice, and [he was] dinged up a little bit, so he left. [Reporter: Is he available tomorrow?] I don’t know. I literally just did it this morning, so we’ll see how the day goes.

On Matt Greene’s shoulder surgery this morning:
Home resting. Sore. Real sore, yeah. They had to shave him. He’ll be sore. [Reporter: But didn’t find anything unexpected?] No. They knew exactly the procedure they had to do. It’ll be a while. Long-term.

On Tyler Toffoli not scoring at his earlier rate this season:
Tyler’s been struggling in his game. He hasn’t been as sharp. What’s he got now, two in the last – he had nine in the first 10 – so he’s got two in about 14. He hasn’t played as well lately. He’s been talking about it – sort of like with Gabby – skating and those things, getting more good opportunities. He had two great ones last game. He shot right into the glove, one was, I think, he couldn’t get it up. As long as he’s getting good chances, and if he’s not, then you’ve got a problem. [Reporter: So, just to be clear, the chances that you’re seeing, there’s no ebb or flow?] He’s got to finish [or] it doesn’t do any good.

On Drew Doughty’s minutes:
Yeah, you’ve got to overlook some of that because of all the overtimes we’ve had, when you think about it. Even though you look at it like Kopi, who’s probably two minutes, it’s up because of that. How many overtimes have we had? In the last 10, quite a few. It’s funny, I was asked that before, and I was thinking about it with Kopi, actually Kopi, his minutes are down, actually, from other years. We haven’t used four lines as much as we have in the past, and Drew, I think the four-on-four, and again, Drew, I bet his penalty [-killing] minutes [are up], other than having to kill his penalties. It’s driving a couple minutes away from him, going over to that rest box. I used to tell my son when he was little, I said, ‘Brett, why do you always go over to that penalty box?’ He said, ‘I can see good from there.’ [Reporter: You know, there’s some logic to that.] Yeah, when you’re little. Get a better view.

On what he wants to see from his bench in close, late-game situations:
Play our game, possession game. That’s what we do. Just don’t make the big mistake and hang on to the puck as much as you can. It’s not really something that changes very much with us. It’s not going to change much. We’re still trying to hang on to the puck as much as we can and not play in your own zone. Any time the other goalie can make a save or get you a whistle, you’re down there. Don’t miss the net.

On whether he sees any difference from Sidney Crosby this year, compared to recent years:
I don’t. Actually, I think he’s playing a really strong, I guess what we’d call a ‘200-foot game.’ I think his numbers are down, but if you look at them now, he’s playing on that line with Kunitz and Dupuis, and when you put that line out, it saws off any line in the league. Maybe he’s playing a more complete game, even more so. Their lineup is deep. It’s like four good lines deep, the way have guys spread around. They have Hornqvist playing the third line, and Eric Fehr and Matt Cullen are on the fourth line with the Russian boy, so pretty deep. Everybody’s talking about it because Crosby’s numbers are down, but the team’s not getting enough credit for goals-against. It’s probably one of the best they’ve ever had. They’re playing a game that’s more suited for success. … When you ask about Sid, it’s probably the whole team’s like that. They’re playing a more complete game, and they’re coming off scoring five in San Jose and dominating the game, when you look at it. I watched their last home game – it’s always good to watch – and that was against Edmonton, and then part of the San Jose game. We know what we’re getting in to.

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