Sutter endorses Doughty for Norris; morning skate quotes

On Drew Doughty “getting a lot of Norris hype”:
He should. Best defenseman in the league. Hey, if they’re just going to give it to the defenseman with the most points, then change the award. Change it. He’s the best defenseman in the league. Easy. Not even close. In every situation, he’s the best defenseman I’ve seen. And I’ve said this before, I don’t jump on guys wagons because I coach ‘em or because we’re playing against them tonight. It’s pretty honest, and he’s the best defenseman in hockey. [Reporter: Is he that much better this year, though?] Yes. Yes. [Reporter: What’s been the difference this year?] He’s a year older, a year better. What he this year, 26? Hopefully when he’s 36, they’re saying he’s having his best year. … It’s hard to explain it when you’ve got what he’s got already for a resume. How many guys, 26-year-olds, other than probably Duncan and Brent, can say they’ve got what he’s got, and they’ve got one more? And they’ve both got the Olympics, too, just like him. You can’t explain it. He’s head and shoulders above every other defenseman in the league, and when he has an average night, it’s still – O.K. And quite honest, my only problem with having Drew out there all the time – it’s a great problem – is the right guy with him. And Drew can’t do everything. [Reporter: Has Jake been the right guy?] No, we’ve had lots of guys there this year. And that’s another reason why Drew’s taken such a big step up, because he’s played for the most part since I first came here, he’s played with Scuds, Willie and Robyn. He’s played very little with Jake Muzzin, quite honest. He’s played more with those three guys than anybody, and now, instead of the old guy playing with the young guy, it’s Drew as a 26-year-old playing with young guys, so he’s packing a lot of cover in there. We really haven’t played six D, when you look at it. That’s why, when you ask his question, that’s why he’s for me clearly the best defenseman. [Reporter: Do you remember his last bad game?] Yeah, but I don’t have to talk about it. He plays half the games. It’s sort of like Jonathan. Even though they’re both stars, they really don’t get the attention that they should. [Reporter: But you’d start your team with both of them, right?] Yeah, there are three guys you could start on. In the past 50 glorious years, other than one other player that defined the first 40, those are the three you build a franchise with.

On hot Los Angeles and St. Louis special teams coming into tonight’s game:
Our power play is probably half-a-goal per game for us, when you look at it. And if you look at the last couple games, we haven’t scored [on the power play]. That power play [goal] could’ve been the difference. You can’t put too much emphasis on it, because then it becomes that you’re only relying on the power play for your offense. But still, it’s momentum. [Reporter: Is it the best it’s been all year?] No, it hasn’t been really good the last three or four games. I think at the start of the trip, was it Boston, I think we scored three goals, and did we score against the Rangers? I don’t know. We were really good early in Washington, just didn’t score, and there weren’t a whole lot of power plays after the first period.

On playing three straight teams with strong defenses:
Different types of games though, right? [Reporter: Systems-wise, you mean?] Yeah. Jersey’s more of a defend-in-their-own-zone, that sort of thing, where Washington, both teams check really well. It wasn’t a whole lot either way, even though there were a whole lot lot of shots. The skill stands out, but the systems stand out, too. It’s tells you good teams.

On the first game versus a 1967 team since the 50th anniversary celebration began:
The Blues? Their 50th, too? Oh yeah, it would be. Well, I’ve played them probably 500 times. Like, you do it, playing and coaching, it’s sort of significant. [Reporter: Special coming back, the first game against a fellow 1967 team?] I really hadn’t thought one second about that. It’s nice to celebrate 50. It’d be good if every team could do that.

On the players on St. Louis he has been impressed by:
Actually, the strength of the St. Louis team, the reason they have such a good record is the depth of it all. If you think about it, it’s pretty seamless in all of it. Especially up front, their forwards are for the most part a real veteran group that plays the right way which gives you a chance to win every night. You’re going to have stretches of games always – it’s the way the league is – where you don’t score, or maybe you don’t get the save you wanted or your penalty killing, your power play’s off a little bit. But you can stay consistent by your consistent guys, the guys who play a lot, who take minutes for you. [Reporter: Anything you do differently without a guy like – Pietrangelo has always played so well against you guys and played so many minutes.] Well, quite honest, as I said, Shattenkirk’s going to take a lot of that. He’s with Bouw, and he’s taken a lot of minutes, and playing against St. Louis this year, we’ve seen two new [defensemen] – in some ways, three, because we hadn’t seen Bortuzzo a lot. We see three guys who we haven’t seen a lot – Edmunson and Parayko and Bortuzzo – so they’re guys we haven’t seen a lot, and they played well against us.

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