March 19 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On what has allowed Milan Lucic to fit in with the Kings:
He’s a good player. [Reporter: What makes him a good player?] Because there’s a package there that’s got a great emotional response. First and foremost, [that’s] a great strength of his. It’s something you’re always looking for on your team. It’s a great quality, always, in your opponent, too, those guys that play with emotion.

On whether last season placed more urgency on the regular season:
Not really. I think we did everything we could last year. We ran out of emotion. We had three years of heavy lifting. Nobody else did that. We just about made it last year, and we could’ve had four years, then, of it.

On whether there’s pride in winning the division:
We’re trying to make the playoffs. It was the goal, and that’s our goal. Make the playoffs, and then we’ll have a parade for doing that. Heck, just think, we’re keeping pace with Anaheim. It’s got to be frustrating that they’re not 20 points ahead of us by now.

On the Boston Bruins:
They [have] a really good road record. They have, I think next to San Jose, the best road record in the league, and they’re second or third in the league in goals for. So right there is enough of a challenge for you. [Reporter: Do they have any weaknesses you think you could exploit?] When you play teams only once or twice a year, and you only get them once in your building, then you know the team that they are and the respect that you have for them. I’m not into finding weaknesses, because there aren’t many. They’re basically very similar teams that are used to having some success.

On whether he prefers Jeff Carter at center or wing:
He plays both positions for us, and it’s not a problem, either way. He didn’t come here as a centerman and we didn’t play him as a centerman. We’ve played him off and on the last two years as a centerman and we’ve played him off and on as a right winger. He plays with a lot of different guys. Really important player when he’s on his game.

On Kris Versteeg:
I think we’ve moved him around and we’ll continue to move him around. I think that his experience is noticeable. I think in situations he understands the time and score of games. I think because he’s not a big guy he’s got to skate, and when he doesn’t skate, then he gets himself into trouble or in positions where a bigger guy can take advantage of him. We can do that coming in, and he’s fit in. [Reporter: It’s probably helped that he’s played up and down the lineup throughout his career.] Yeah, he’s done that a lot, and he’s done it at different positions. I think the only adjustment that he’s had to make here – because he hasn’t done it for a while – is we’ve used him a little bit on the point on the power play. I’ve seen him do it in junior, and I’ve seen him do it off and on at this level, so you know what? Just trying to fit him in there a little bit. I’d like to use him on the power play a little bit more somehow, but it’s hard because of Ty and Jeff being right handers also, and they’re going to be out there.

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