October 12 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether it’s good to start against San Jose for the third year in a row:
Close trip, sure. It’s in the division. You’re probably going to start with your division teams more often than not. The big difference for us this year wouldn’t be starting at San Jose, it’s starting at home against Philly. I bet not very often that ever happens, Eastern Conference versus Western Conference. [Reporter: That was the very first game, though.] Yeah, I know. That was probably why it was set up like that, but it’s interesting. Something different.

On whether he was happy with training camp:
Yeah, we’ve had a good camp. Obviously we’re like most teams, had a lot of World Cup guys missing, or even when they were back, we kind of kept ‘em out of it. Gave lots of other guys opportunities. Hey, the tough part of camp is always the roster part. We had some players that were sent down that were really good players, and they’ll help us some time this year, and I think other than the Gaborik injury and the Pearson suspension – that’s the same position player for us, meaning left wing – we’re happy with our camp.

On how Devin Setoguchi put himself in position to make the roster:
I think obviously the injury to Gaborik had a big impact to that. He came in good shape, still got really good speed to his game, so we’ll give him an opportunity to see if he can help us.

On Derek Forbort and how the younger players progressed:
Yeah, I think Forbs, he started on the roster last year, started the season. In fact, we’d seen him during the season. We have a bunch of those defensemen like that. It kind of gets overlooked, like Forbs and Nic Dowd are both kids that are on our roster now, but they’re actually older than quite a few guys on our team. If you look at Dowd, I mean he’s probably our third-oldest centerman. You know what? They’ve been in the organization, they’ve had good summers training, they’ve had good camps – all those guys. [Reporter: Safe to say, too, that the fact that you have an affiliate in Ontario instead of Manchester was helpful to your team?] Yeah, both our organizations would say that. It’s a lot easier to see players and have them closer to you.

On the key to limiting stick infractions in early-season games:
Don’t take ‘em. That would be key, wouldn’t it be? I mean, keep your stick on the ice. That would be a key.

On how often he gets to Ontario to watch the team’s prospects:
Oh, last year I never went until – obviously they were still playing when we weren’t, so we’d seen playoff games. Then we went right around the deadline, Dean and Blakey and I went, whenever that would’ve been. Early March, seen ‘em once. But it’s hard. Your schedules just don’t mesh. It’s really difficult to get in the car and drive two and a half hours to Ontario in bumper-to-bumper and watch a game. It’s a lot easier to get that player. He doesn’t mind driving two and a half hours. [Reporter: It’s almost easier for the doubleheader here if they’re playing here in the afternoon.] Yeah, it’s a big advantage. Same building here. Sometimes two and a half hours [to Ontario.] [Reporter: Get a carpool partner]. Still, it’s hard, because the coaches work early morning til sometimes later in the day. As I’ve said, if you’re going to go to a game, you’ve got to leave by four to get there for puck drop. It’s hard. We’ve got good coaches over there, though. They don’t need us hanging around. Stutts and Chris – he gives you blow-by-blow, anyways, what’s going on.

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