December 10 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On what has changed in Christian Ehrhoff’s game, compared to earlier in the season:
I guess he scored a couple goals. What would be the difference? Didn’t score early in the season, he scored now. I guess that’s the difference. Is that the question? [Reporter: Is he more comfortable with how you expect him to play?] Go ask him.

On getting Michael Mersch into a practice after travel delays with Ontario earlier in the week:
We could’ve put him on the bus. If it’s too much an issue, he should’ve told us. We could’ve sent him back. [Reporter: He wasn’t complaining. My point is it’s nice that he was able to get a practice in, I would assume.] It would’ve been nice to have him at the start of the trip. Shouldn’t go on the trip with 12 forwards. When you’re gone that long, it should not be that situation. We did that last year, and it caught up in January. It’s why we didn’t make the playoffs.

On numbers indicating that fighting remains in the Pacific Division but is down in the NHL:
I haven’t seen any at all. I couldn’t tell you. We’ve only played eight games in our division. I don’t think there’s much anymore at all. The best players on our team are guys who play hard but very seldom even get penalties. Look at Kopitar and Carter, and Drew had that little stretch there, but our best players, they don’t take penalties. It’s got nothing to do with fighting. I don’t think that’s even a part of the equation anymore.

On adjustments he expects to see from Pittsburgh after last week’s game:
They’re a pretty good club. Not adjustment-wise, I think getting Letang back obviously makes a big difference. It was a five-three hockey game. It was an empty-netter also, wasn’t it? I don’t think it’s a big adjustment. They played two pretty good games against us and Anaheim, and they had come off beating San Jose. You know, you don’t always win every night. Like, that’s for you experts upstairs to evaluate all that [road apples], to tell you the truth. A lot of times you played really well and win. Sometimes you play really well and lose. If you think about how difficult it is in this league to get 50 wins out of 82, I mean heck, if this was football, you could be 4-8 and make the playoffs. In hockey, you’ve got to play over .600 to make the playoffs. Pittsburgh is a really good hockey club right through their lineup.

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