April 22 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the importance of scoring the first goal and getting off to a good start:
Yep, first goals are always important. Good starts are good. Not necessarily goals. Actually the game we won, they scored first. First minute.

On whether anything was gained from the pressure over the final period of Game 4:
I think our whole last game, we had a really good first period, and I think the referees got involved in the first 10 minutes of the second period and they got a little momentum. If you look at it, the first period was a really good period, probably for both teams. The second period would’ve been power play, penalty, power play, penalty, the first 10 minutes, if you look at the second period. I’m not taking much out of the third period.

On whether the team draws from past experience in elimination games:
Every game you play is an elimination game. I know that you guys who’ve never played the game make it a big deal, but every game you play is an elimination game. If you win during the regular season, it’s a chance to make the playoffs. Every game you lose in the regular season, it’s a chance to be eliminated. So every game you play is about elimination. It’s not about something special. Everybody that’s ever played or coached or been a big fan of the game understands it. Very seldom are series ever tied. Very seldom. How many game sevens are there, actually, in the playoffs? Think about it. Our goal is to win one game. I would assume that’s their goal, too.

On whether he believes in the idea that some players are “clutch” players:
I think there are young guys that are players that become clutch players because they score a big goal, like we saw in Tanner the other night. They’ll say he’s a clutch player. But for the most part, if you coach a long time, if you play a long time, that’s the reason why – because you’re good at it. It’s pretty clear. It’s why you see repeat champions or multiple championships, things like that. Especially in today’s game. You don’t get lucky anymore. It’s even. So if everybody’s just talking about a “clutch” player, then maybe it becomes even more important in today’s game because of the way it’s so even.

On the balance of playing passionately while avoiding discipline:
I think both teams recognize it, but there are three teams out there, and hopefully all three of ‘em do. That’s clutch, too. [Reporter: Do you chat with the series supervisor on game days or off-days?] Game days. … There’s been lots in the last number of series in the last five years, but he’s not out there. Hasn’t been a problem. I know it’s a big deal because they scored three goals in the last game, but quite honest, they missed calls in the third period. That was my complaint. It’s a fact. You can call that when it’s nothing-nothing, or when it’s two-nothing, then they should call it when it’s – I mean, they called six in a row in the second period. Other than the one at the start of the third period to McBain, there are nights when that would’ve been the only penalty. There were no penalties in the first period. It’s good – leave it alone. It’s a good period. Leave it alone. We’ve got all those reviews and cameras, it’s all meant so there isn’t error. That’s what it’s for.

On whether it’s a challenge for players to know how games will be called:
No, it’s not a big secret that everybody talks about discipline or ‘don’t take penalties.’ I think other than one series in this playoffs so far – the Washington-Philly game – but it’s probably the only game where you’d say the team was out of line a little bit. It’s not like that anymore. It’s barely contact.

On whether there are discussions about how some officials call games differently:
I think they go by the book, but I think just like players, there’s a great feel for the game that comes into it, always. We all know in the past there’s only a handful of referees, and now you’re seeing a lot more [who are] younger. More games, you need more officials. They’re learning, also. It’s like putting young players in your lineup. Hey, I think part of the job as a senior coach is to help those guys. Very seldom do you give them [—-]. That’s what I’ve seen.

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