March 18 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether the league is supposed to be cracking down on delays similar to the one in which Mats Zuccarello retrieved a new stick from the bench following an icing last night:
Yeah, I think it depends on the referee and it depends a little bit on the coaches. [Reporter: Do you say anything to them at that moment, or do you let that go?] Yeah, there’s usually a trade-off in there somewhere. I’m not going to make too big a deal about it. I don’t like any of the delays or anything that’s extended – the reviews. I’m not a big fan of that.

On what has stood out about Anze Kopitar’s play in this productive stretch:
I don’t think there’s anything that sticks out. There’s more than points to Kopi’s game. He’s about the team. I’ve said that always. We’re fortunate to have two or three of those guys like Jonathan and him especially that it’s all about winning that’s the important stat, and that’s all that matters to those two.

On Matt Greene and Marian Gaborik’s progress:
Greene’s on LTI and Gabby’s on LTI and Gabby’s close to skating, so wherever that goes is where it goes. Don’t expect any of them back for the regular season. … We’ll change when they see the doctors again, and that’s the update I get, and you get once every couple weeks.

On what Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez have done recently to help the team win:
It doesn’t matter which game it is, when Muzz is playing the physical, get-in-the-grind game, that means he’s got the puck a lot, because he’s worked to get it back and he’s making good plays with it. That means he’s keeping connected with the forwards. Other than that, we try and get those two to shoot pucks and move pucks, and not [just] him, when they’re doing that, they’re fine. When Marty’s playing his one-on-ones, and playing his rushes properly and using his skating ability, then he’s effective, too.

On whether the team is playing its best hockey of the season:
You guys are basing it lots on goals because we’ve scored some goals lately. [Reporter: But you’re winning.] Well, Jeez, after the New Jersey game I thought the sky was falling. We’re getting close to accomplish what we want, so we want to get it. We’ve gone through a stretch here where we’re playing top teams or teams that are shutting down teams, and everybody’s different, so we’re just trying to adjust to that and not get away from our game. Again, it’s a stretch of the schedule that as a coach you have to manage it properly too, in terms of how you’re using guys out there. If somebody’s not pulling their weight, we’re not going to look very good, so to say that we’re playing better than at any point, I don’t think that. I think that maybe as a group we are, but I think that we have guys that have to raise their games substantially for us to go to another level there.

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