March 11 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On awareness of milestones, and Anze Kopitar picking up Jeff Carter’s puck:
I didn’t know why Kopi picked the puck up, I didn’t know. Obviously the players are if Kopi knew. The one that I would’ve noticed the most would be a guy like Vinny, who’s going to get his 1200th [game played] in. That’s the one I’ve noticed more.

On Tanner Pearson’s recent play:
Five-on-five he’s given us a more solid game, and obviously he’s scored, probably in our last 10 games, he’s probably got, what, six or seven? [Reporter: Six in the last 12.] Six, or something like that? We need that. We need him to get his game back up, and with Tanner, he’s got to work from small parts of the game first, and then he has success the other way. When he stops working in the hard areas, then it looks like he’s not involved. Hey, he had to sit out a game because of that. [Reporter: Was it more self-policed from him? Was it more the entire staff or you were working with him, because it seemed like right at the beginning of that last long road trip, we start to recognize that maybe he’s starting to improve his game a little bit, and it looked like he had a solid road trip.] He got sat out on the road trip, so he didn’t have a very solid road trip. … I mean, you don’t sit guys based on one game. It’s based on a lot of things. We moved Jeff from center to wing to get him going. We have guys like Tyler who hasn’t scored an even strength goal, I don’t know if it’s in 2016. I’ve said it lots. Be thankful our record is what it is.

On “loading up” with Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar on the same line:
I think at home you can do it. We’ve done it lots with Jeff and Kopi over time, but in a lot of ways, Jeff has probably played more good wing in his career than he has center. When we got Jeff, we didn’t get Jeff to play center. We got him to play with Mike Richards, and he did, and if you look at the last Cup we won, if you look, in the big games, Jeff was playing right wing with Mike Richards, and if you break it all down, it’s like Jon talking about Tanner and Tyler and those guys. The biggest reason those guys are having dips in their games is they’re now in a different role. They played sparingly – if you look at the winning goal that we scored against the New York Rangers, our line was Clifford, Lewis and Toffoli. Pearson was playing with Richards and Carter. If you look in those big games, those guys weren’t playing together or significant minutes. They were pushed around, and now they’re having to do it, and they’ve struggled with it, and the season goes along, the last half is way different from the first half, and you can judge a lot of players’ performances in the last half. You can get a better read, for sure you do.

On the New Jersey Devils:
I’m sure their goal, with Lou going to Toronto, is totally different. It’s a rebuild and trying to make playoffs at the same time. I think Schneider, until he got hurt, was leading the league in minutes, save percentage, he was basically leading all those areas. I think obviously they’re a totally different type of team than ours. … They play a different game than they have in the past. They play a lot faster. A lot faster game, and they spread the game out more than they have, for sure. For sure they do.

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