March 17 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether there is good balance in the forward lines:
If it works it is, if it doesn’t, it isn’t. Again, you need production and performance. In a lot of games, you need four lines. We had success in Chicago and Dallas by four lines contributing and three pairs. If they don’t, it doesn’t work.

On whether losses to lesser teams are “frustrating” given recent performances:
They’re all good teams. There’s no weak teams. It’s the best league in the world. There’s no weak teams. … Look at the Los Angeles Kings, who had one of the best seasons in the history of the team last year and didn’t make the playoffs. They were a good hockey team.

On whether he likes Brayden McNabb’s minutes alongside Luke Schenn:
Need consistency out of your third pair. Same as the fourth line. Move guys around, minutes go up, minutes go down, situations go up, situations go down. Brady’s a good young player. We’re still searching for the consistency night in and night out. We’re into March now. We would like to play in April and May.

On whether Milan Lucic has brought “everything you thought he would bring” to L.A.:
Yep. I think he’s given our top end of our forward group some size and some skill and that’s never a bad thing. [Reporter: What kind of a character is he? We talk to him and he’s very chatty and talkative. Is he a good guy to have on the club?] He’s really competitive. When he’s on his game, he’s a really competitive player, and that’s what he is. [Reporter: Does that show off to the younger guys? They look at him and say, “Oh, I need to do what he does. I need to be in the weight room, I need to show up early, I need to stay late, those kind of things?”] I think our team does that. I don’t think we’re trying to bring that into our club, our team’s been pretty successful at those things, that’s why we have a good hockey team. I mean, those guys coming in aren’t starting something new for us. They’re coming in and are supposed to do that.

On the key towards containing New York’s speed:
They’re a big team. That’s first and foremost. Their top guys are all big guys, if you look at it. They’re big, strong guys. They compete to score and they compete for their offense. It’s why they’re a really good hockey club. They’re a tough team to play, everybody in their lineup, because they run four deep and they use everybody.

On teams not finding success with only two lines and a shortened bench:
Just look at our team. Again, your mindset has to be to be a playoff team. We’ve used 11 defensemen this year, and we’ve used I don’t know how many forwards – probably 16. So that top-end only stuff, it doesn’t get you a win. The difference between superstars and great players, guys accept roles. Superstars don’t.

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