December 21 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the road trip:
We got what we wanted. The two games we lost, we gave up too many goals, obviously. Other than Columbus, they’re real similar-type teams. I think Ottawa and Toronto are bigger teams than the other ones. It’s funny you’re done with some of those teams. We have to play some out here, and we’re done with Pittsburgh and Columbus. It’s the way it works. [Reporter: You have Buffalo here in February, I think.] Yeah. We get Toronto back here in January, Montreal in late March.

On what Dwight King will have to do to make himself “immediately available” for selection:
He can’t do anything to make [himself] immediately available to play for us because he’s not immediately available. Talk to the Mayo Clinic. Got nothing to do with me. [Reporter: Good to see him on the ice with the team for the first time since October 3?] Yep, obviously. Really, it’s kind of a disjoined [situation]. Back on the ice, so, when’s he back on the ice with the team again? With the way the break falls, he’s not gaining nothing by being on the ice with us today or tomorrow because we get three days off. Don’t expect him in 2015.

On whether Jonathan Quick’s presence rubbed off on Martin Jones:
Well, if I was sitting in that locker room by Jonathan Quick, and Jonathan Quick is the best goaltender in pressure situations in May and June, and if I was Martin Jones, I would’ve picked a lot up. [Reporter: Do you think he did?] You talk to Martin Jones, don’t talk to me. How would I know?

On whether Jonathan Quick’s night off was due to getting him a rest with a break approaching:
No. We felt it was a six-game season for us, and the ratio was debatable whether it was going to be five-and-one or four-and-two. It really had nothing to do with Jonathan. Need the other guy to be sharp, win games.

On Trevor Lewis’ return to the lineup:
Felt good. He said after the game he had no issues. It’s a good thing we had him on that line that game because his wingers were a little bit behind the game. [Reporter: You value his abilities, but is he the kind of guy who people don’t really miss until he’s gone?] I mean, he’s an important guy. You take him out of your lineup, our speed on our third and fourth lines was very evidently missing without Trevor in the lineup. That’s the biggest thing that you see.

On whether he had seen Martin Jones’ potential:
Yeah, I had seen Martin Jones’ potential. Remember, Martin Jones played junior in Calgary, so I had seen him years ago. I had seen him before he was on the Sharks. [Reporter: Did you think this was a guy who’d be able to handle a starter’s role on an NHL team?] Yeah. He’s played on big stages and had been a pretty big part of that. He’s a world junior goalie, a top junior goalie. They all have to do their four or five years before they become NHL ready. Whether they are number one goalies, you don’t know until they win 60 to 70 percent of their games. Then you do that. You don’t do it on a one-year deal. There’s nothing that says anybody’s a number one. How many number one-anointed goalies have one good year, and then you go, ‘Geez, they’re a back-up goalie,’ and then you go, ‘Where the hell did they go?’ … San Jose’s always had good goalies. Antti Niemi was a very big part of their team. He was a Stanley Cup goalie, played in the Stanley Cup Final, won a Stanley Cup. They’ve always had a good goalie. [Reporter: Going way, way back, what’s Arturs Irbe doing now?] I don’t know where he is. … Maybe he’s a prime minister or something.

On Michael Mersch:
I think he was excited to get in, and I think he’s kind of lost his energy the last couple of games. We’ll make the decision if he plays a home game or not. We need some production out of our left wingers. After Looch, it’s a significant drop.

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