January 18 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On whether he views tonight’s game as the rubber match in the five-game San Jose series:
I think it’s important – the division record will come down to head-to-head in our division, for sure. I think you’re trying to hold your own everywhere else and try and get as many points as you can. Right now, I think they have one more point than us head-to-head, so we want to try and get one more point than them after tonight.

On how often he evaluates players’ ability to play based on illness:
I think Kopitar was clearly one that was because it was an afternoon game. A few more hours would’ve made a difference in a flu bug. Pretty much that one was really clear. We knew the night before he wasn’t going to play, but for the most part when you’re on trips, borderline injuries, we’re in pretty good contact with our two trainers, players and coaches, knowing exactly what we need the next day, and a lot of it is because of your roster or who can move around position-wise, or you’re trying to give guys that may play a heads up more than anything else.

On Tyler Toffoli, who skated after practice:
It was four weeks yesterday. We thought he’d be further ahead. Once we came back and had the doctor’s evaluation we were told a three-to-six week time frame, so yesterday was four weeks, so we thought he’d be a little further ahead, but at the same time, there’s a fine line between the healing and the training. I think Tyler’s pushing hard and we want him back. We were hoping to have him for sure on this next trip, so that doesn’t appear to be the case right now because he hasn’t had any skating or practicing.

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