January 1 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the Philadelphia Flyers:
I think we’ve played really close games against them, not just this game this year. I know since I’ve been here they’ve been all real close games and we probably play similar-type styles.

On whether the team has embraced a challenge of holding off other teams:
I don’t think that’s true at all. I think that other than Anaheim, everybody’s been really close, and we had almost a hundred – didn’t we have a hundred points two years ago? – so I don’t think you’re chasing from behind. I think that the teams are all really close. I think the separation right now is probably starting at the bottom and not at the top. I think that Edmonton is what, five back now from the third hole? The fact is, I’ve said it before the season and I told the players this too. This division is not going to have a wild card team. Only three teams come out of it, and still, our only focus is you don’t want to be a team fighting for the third hole. You do not want to do it, because that’s what happened last year, and we had a good season, but we were fighting for the third spot. [Reporter: I was about to say – so you think some of the teams on the bottom now are going to start to come back?] No, I didn’t say the bottom. I think that Edmonton, being five-out from the third hole, when you get into the halfway point and you’re starting to get three wins one way or the other, meaning you’ve got to win three, and then you’ve got to lose three in a row, as far as the season goes along, it makes it tougher.

On finishing a stretch of 15 of 20 on the road:
Well, that’s good information for you to tell me. We haven’t as a group went at that at all. In fact, this last trip, it was split up, how we talk about it. Post-Christmas, it’s a six-in-10 for us, so we’re going into game five tomorrow, so that’s sort of our focus, to try and reset for an afternoon game.

On whether the team has a “road mindset” for Saturday’s home game:
I think it’s just different with the afternoon. It’s a quick turnaround again. If you’re just doing it from a neutral site thing, the advantage would not be to the home team tomorrow, based on rest and travel and so forth, so we just have to overcome that tomorrow. That’s all.

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