March 22 media availability: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

The Kings didn’t take the ice at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday morning, though Darryl Sutter spoke with several reporters and broadcasters during Minnesota’s morning skate. During a condensed stretch of 18 games in 35 days, and with Los Angeles about to play the second half of a back-to-back set – they’re 9-1-1 in those games this season – Sutter was asked today about keeping players fresh some 70-plus games into the season, and what has influenced the team’s play during challenging portions of the schedule.

Darryl Sutter, on keeping players fresh 70-plus games into the season:
Well, we’ve already played a back-to-back in this stretch, so this is another one. There’s been a lot of travel. You know, you just can’t use it as an excuse. Quite honest, our top end, you keep your top end as fresh as you can, and they’re the guys who ultimately drive the bus. If you get into a big stretch of games, what you need is your foot soldiers, any given line to do some digging and have a good game. They’re as important as your stars. When you don’t have a good one in that stretch, always they have to pull the weight. You need it very clearly. It’s a long year. This is [73], so when you’ve played 72, and we’ve used 11 defensemen, 17 or 18 forwards, I’ll tell you what, there’s 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 forwards, they better pull their weight. They’re not just going out there to go up and down the ice. Go up and down the ice, they better go out there and do something in terms of whether it brings some energy or score a big goal or a big hit or a fight or whatever it is, they better do something. Otherwise they’re not doing their job.

Sutter, on depth’s influence on the second night of back-to-backs:
Yeah, I think it’s a lot of things. We really haven’t had much of a four-line team this year. Very seldom, if you look at it. I don’t think that’s really been that big a part of it. It’s our ability to check that wins us a lot of games. The power play’s been for the most part really good all year and has scored big goals for us. I mean, we’ve got three great players, Quick, Doughty and Kopitar, so there are nights where that’s the difference, too.

Sutter, on whether he has liked the team’s recent looks on the power play:
Yeah, we were really good last night, just didn’t score. We haven’t had many lately. One or two – what did we have last night, three? [Reporter: Four.] Hey, that’s what I said, the power play is checking. … Hey, the power play could’ve tied it up last night, and it damn near did.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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