April 4 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On his reaction to yesterday’s Olympic announcement:
I don’t see that as a final resolution. I think there’s still room, there’s still time.

On his approach to ice time, and it will go to “other guys”:
No, I don’t think ‘ice time to other guys.’ I think that we’re still trying to go 4-0. We’re not taking ice time away from anybody, but we’re not giving anybody any more. The reason that we’re not in the playoffs was because maybe we’ve given a lot of guys ice time. [Reporter: Obviously you want to finish strong. But is it more important that these guys take a winning feeling into the off-season?] I just think it’s different. A lot of those players in the locker room, I think your leadership group and your top group, there’s a reason that they are those guys. They are leaders and they are good players because they are proud guys and they’re good players, and they want to take that. That’s not anything to do with a team thing. That’s those players, and I think there are lots of guys that have been given an opportunity this year that are very much in the show-me, show-us stage very much still.

On whether it’s possible to shut down Connor McDavid:
We’ve done a good job against Connor, for the most part. We’ve played three games in their building. It’s one of the toughest buildings to play in, so we’ve done a good job. We’ve had trouble not so much with who we’re playing against, we’ve had more trouble not scoring, if you look at it. What is it, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, empty net goal? Whatever it is, right? So it hasn’t been so much Connor. Hey, Draisaitl has been their leading guy against us. [Reporter: So how have you had that success? He’s got that speed that makes him different from everybody else.] You know, you’re not going to shut him down. That’s a fact. You can just try and stay on top of him and not turn pucks over, and if you do that, you have a better opportunity. You’re not going to shut him down. It’s like playing against Sidney Crosby. It’s not a one-man deal. It’s got to be a team deal, and probably at some point the goaltending’s got to make a big save or [somebody] not taking a penalty, things like that that give a star more space.

On Adrian Kempe’s speed, and how the team decides to play him at wing, versus center:
Because he can play two positions. We’re trying to give him an opportunity to play and still be able to use his speed, because there’s a lot more to the game than speed. If it was just about speed, then all the fastest players on earth would be playing. There’s a lot more to it. He can play two positions, and quite honest, we moved Adrian over tonight because Dowd hasn’t played in a while. Shoresy’s back, so Jeff and Kopi and Shoresy are our three centermen. [Reporter: In terms of that versatility, then, do you foresee him remaining as somebody who can play those two positions throughout his career, or would you prefer to see him specialize at one?] There are four games left, couldn’t tell you. That’ll be depending on his progress more than anything else. We gave him an opportunity 20 games ago and we thought – I’ve said this before – we thought as coaches he had a really good training camp, but as a staff it was decided that he was better off to start in the American League. So what did he play there? He played both positions. Playing center is quite a more demanding game at this level.

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