April 4 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On Alec Martinez’s status:
You’re going to get nothing from the coaching staff for the rest of the year until September about the status regarding players. It’s not a good idea for coaches to relay messages through the media to the other team. [Reporter: If he weren’t to play, what confidence do you have in Jamie McBain after not playing for so long?] He’s played really well for us this year, and we’ve used 11 or 12 defensemen, and very seldom do you make the playoffs or go play after the tulips are up without using that many.

On newcomers Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel:
They’ve been in the organization for two years. They won a Calder Cup last year. They’re both here to watch and learn. It’s an advantage you have after the deadline if you have salary cap room to see if players can put their foot on the right pedal at this level.

On what makes Jamie McBain effective after missing long stretches:
We haven’t done that yet this year, so I don’t know. I don’t know how many games since he’s played, but I wouldn’t think it had been that stretch before.

On the team’s recent play:
Yeah, I think we’ve had a little bit of trouble on the road after we clinched. I think we had, where was it, the Dallas-Chicago back-to-back where we had high-scoring games that we won, and then since then on the road we haven’t played as well as we would’ve liked, but you know what? At the same time, our goals were to make the playoffs as quick as you could – [and] only Washington did it ahead of us – and finish in the top-five in goals against, and we’re going to do that. So that was our goal coming into the season. We’ve done that.

On the challenge of finishing first in the division:
I think if you make the playoffs as quick as you can, you know what? I can remember all the times I’ve won divisions, but I can’t remember what years they were. I can remember other years where you play in finals and play in conference finals and win cups way more than that. When you’re trying to get to the playoffs as quick as you can, then that always gives you a chance at a division title, and that’s the same. It is.

On whether he wants to have regularity in lines in advance of the playoffs:
I would think that the schedule, the injuries, all that comes into it so much. There’s very little continuity in anybody’s lineups. If you look at ours the last two or three weeks, we’ve had a lot of different players and a lot of different lineups.

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