April 13 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On how much he buys into the narrative of a “motivated” San Jose team:
I think that every team that gets to the playoffs at this point is quite motivated. I think you go from 30 to 16, which means everybody’s goal going in is to knock that to that number. We all play each other enough now in this conference that we all know that, looking at the big picture, there’s eight teams still playing that could win the Stanley Cup. I don’t think there’s any difference in motivation or who they’re against.

On whether there’s anything inherent in players whose production rises in the postseason:
Well, if that was every player in the league – well, that’s not true, though, is it? [Reporter: No, but I’m just trying to think if there’s any commonality between guys that you’ve coached in your history that see their point totals rise.] The more you play playoff games, generally there’s a reason for that. Certainly you’re a good player, and the more playoff games you play, that means that you’ve had success.

On Milan Lucic’s versatility and being able to play with anybody:
We feel he fits – and we’ve talked about it lots together with those guys, including Looch. A lot of it depends on who we’re playing, what the score is, whether we’re home or road. A lot goes into it. A lot more than who’s more comfortable. I think he’s totally with both guys flexible playing with both and has had just as much success. You’ll see him here in this series, too. [Reporter: Is there something about him that makes him able to do that, like some players are more comfortable playing with one guy? He seems to have the versatility to play with almost anybody.] No, [reporter] was talking about Jeff and Kopi. One shoots right and one shoots left. Those are both our number one and number two centermen, so it wouldn’t matter who he was playing with. In San Jose, he’d play with their number one or number two centermen, which means he has the ability to play with top players and against top players. That’s it, no more. It’s not that complicated.

On whether facing the same team repeatedly is more exciting for a coaching staff:
I think what happens during the regular season is as important as it is every game. As soon as it’s over, you’re at the next game, the next opponent, so if we were playing San Jose tonight, you’re done with San Jose sometimes for a month or two months or three months, so it’s just only. But when you’re in a series, it runs together for you, and I think that good coaches and good players, it’s sort of alluding back to what the question was about better performances at playoff times, or singling guys out for better performances, it’s the same for coaches and players. There’s a reason for that. There’s a reason for success. There’s a reason for long, a lot of games, things like that, and that’s a part of it. It’s because it carries over from game-to-game. You shouldn’t have to always go watch the movie to remember what happened. It should be right there, and that’s how we work.

On Vincent Lecavalier reaching his last playoff series, and how he is emotionally:
Well, there’s a lot of assumptions in that question that it is his last playoffs. [Reporter: Well, he said he’s still on track to retire.] Did he tell you that today? [Reporter: Yeah.] OK, so he’s not in that mode yet. Hopefully he’s still pushing it out for at least two weeks. If it was just one game, then it’s a game-time decision by the coaching staff. So how would he feel? He better be feeling very motivated. [Reporter: I mean, with players that are kind of older, hitting that stretch in their career, is there-] It’s a long season. Sometimes it’s hard on ‘em, sometimes it’s too much, sometimes you can’t rise up, sometimes they’re strictly motivated by playoffs and they pick their game up in playoffs, sometimes they become first stars. In my mind, being a huge hockey fan, I can remember older players lifting the Stanley Cup that even though they might’ve beat you, you’re very proud of what they accomplished, and I’m sure a player like that would be, too. [Reporter: You hoping to talk him out of it?] No, just going back to that, you think about the only time that he played in the Stanley Cup Final and won a Stanley Cup, think about who lifted the Stanley Cup for them and where he was in his career. Who was the player? [Reporter: When Vinny won? Andreychuk.] Draw that conclusion.

On Alec Martinez:
We’ll make a decision on all our players tomorrow. We had eight defensemen out there today. They’re all available to play tomorrow, and then three of them could be hurt, or three sick. [Reporter: Who starts in goal?] I think that’s a given.

Rules for Blog Commenting

  • No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other comments, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • Please do not discuss, or post links to websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.