Cloutier interview

Some interesting stuff. He says that, when he was sent down, the Kings brass told him he was going to play every game. Then he ended up playing once every two weeks and was extremely frustrated. He didn’t think he was ever going to be called back up. It also sounds like he could have come back earlier from the injury he had in Manchester but was told to rest.

“Its been a long time. I’ve been through a lot the last year or so. I tried to stay as positive as I could and work my way back up. It was nice for the guys to play such a good game in front of me for my first game.

“I went down to the minors expecting to play a lot of games and that didnt happen for whatever reason. It was very tough mentally when you’re told you’re going to play every game. `No matter if its good or bad, well give you all the chances to get your games in,’ and then I think I played a total of 12 games down there. So I wasnt too happy with that. Then I was out a long period of time, not even traveling with the team. Next thing you know, Im back up here. So it’s been a lot of weird things going on. But now Im here and Ill do my best up here.

“I think we all know, the last 3-to-4 years, I havent played much hockey. For me, I have to put everything aside and start over like Im a young kid coming up again trying to prove myself. I’m not sure how many games Ill play from now to the end. My job is just to try to get the coaching staff to put me in there as many times as possible and give the team a chance to win. Well see how many games I get to play in, but thats going to depend on my performance.

“The things I’ve gone through the last year have been pretty tough not only physically but mentally. When I get out there, I have play as well as can because there’s not a lot of hockey left.

On wondering if he’d ever get called up: “I thought about it a lot because I wasnt playing down there. So I figured they didnt have any plans for me. They didnt want me back up. Because when we had the meeting at the start of the season when they sent me down, I was told I was going to play every game good or bad, that theyre going to keep me in there until I work things out. Then I get down there and I was playing once every two weeks. Then I kind of figured maybe they want to play their prospects, which I understood. But it was definitely disappointing. I definitely thought I wasnt going to come back up. But I just tried to stay as positive as you can and now Im back up here and will try to make the best of it.

“It was just nice to be back here and the win definitely helped too. To do it in a shootout, it was fun. But, at same time, its only one game. You have to come up here and put a few games together in order to get noticed again. I’ve been on the top before in this league and thats where I want to be. Well see if I can get there.”

On wife, Nikki, giving birth to daughter Kali:“We had a daughter on Dec. 3, which was probably the most exciting time of my life. At the same time I was going through tough times with hockey, but it made you realize there are some things more important than hockey in life.”

On getting injured right before the birth and getting some time off, which ended up working out well because his wife — who is OK now — was in the hospital for 15 days after having the baby: “I got a cortisone shot and was told I’d be out 3-4 days — which ended up being eight weeks for some reason, but Im not going to go into that. So I had a lot of time to spend at home with my wife and daughter, which worked out kind of nice.”

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  • Kevin

    Sounds like a bitter jerk. He comes off as really smug and doesn’t seem to remember how truly awful he played and how much he earned his demotion. I hope he fails miserably for two reasons.

    1. To improve the Kings’ draft position by losing repeatedly.

    2. To put him in his place and make him realize that when someone plays as horribly as he has, they have to earn their playing time just like a rookie.

    He is one of the worst goaltenders in the history of this franchise and that’s saying a lot. He should be thanking management for EVER getting another shot at the NHL and apologizing that his sorry ass is still drawing a paycheck.

  • taz42

    It sounds like some not so honest things went on regarding the treatment of Cloutier. So, all of his time off wasn’t due to injuries. hmmm. By telling this, he’s not exactly enduring himself to the organization.

  • Shakes

    I do feel for the guy. He played 20 so-so games last season coming off an injury and it basically taints his last 2yrs. That being said I give him all the props for battling through it. I mean I know he gets paid well but that does show a lot of mental determination.

    As I think about the last 30 games I sorta feel that it will go a long way to determining if Cloutier is going to be the bridge between the Weekend At Bernier/Quick Era or if he’ll be gone too. I like Barbs, I really do, but as much as the King’s D can suck at times, he is erratic at times.

    I don’t want this to trigger off another round of Kings goalie bashing, I’m just saying that I do think Cloutier deserves another chance and that maybe we bring up Quick at some point too.

    If you’re a playoff team (i.e. everyone else…don’t you wish we played in the Southeast Division?) perhaps Barbs doesn’t seem so bad of an asset as a backup goalie as the trading dealing comes.

    Finally there was a nice USA Today article on the Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. He was their farm team coach before getting his shot and said this interesting comment:

    “I had a lot of success at the minor-league level in scoring,” says Boudreau, whose thinking runs counter to what he observed many others doing. “You get called up, and you’d be thrown on the fourth line and get five minutes of ice time and six games later, management would come say, ‘You’re a scorer, and you’re not scoring.’ I never thought that was the right thing to do. If we call up a scoring guy, you’ve got to put him in a position to score. If we bring up a checking guy, he’s slotted into a position to check.” (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/capitals/2008-02-12-capitals-turnaround_N.htm)

    …makes you wonder about the roles some of the kids from Manchester were told to fit into as they’ve come out…and you know what, the Caps coach makes a lot of sense

    Happy V-Day King girls!

  • Anonymous

    I cant remember the last time we had a solid goaltender. That happens to be the most important position on any team. This was not addresed by Dave Taylor or Dean Lombardi, and it has left the team in a very bad situation, specialy last year. Labrera so far has been satisfactory. But he has not proven that he is the answer. And Bernier is still couple of years away from making any significant impact.

  • KingFan4ever

    blah blah blah… I’ve already moved on from this guy and so should the Kings organization.

    As far as I’m concerned, he had his shot and failed. And no amount of excuses and whining (and Crawfish covering for him) will change any of that.

    And if he wanted to really prove himself ready, a 4-9 record in the AHL won’t cut it

  • SuperSonic420

    Lets see, the last King’s solid goaltender…Gonna have to say it was Felix Potvin. Then Kelly Hrudey, Rogie Vachon, and Terry Sawchuck. Did I forget anybody? Thats pretty much it folks, a solid four goalies in 41 years in LA. And not one of those players were actually drafted by the Kings. Not one franchise goalie drafted….ever! The Kings are due, the hockey gods owe us a goalie, if for nothing else than all the past dibacles (there are many) with drafted King goalies (see: Storr, Jamie). If Clouts can play out the year well, then let him, what do we really have to lose? Not a top 5 pick, thats for sure. If he sucks, then you all will be happy cause you were right about him all along, congrats! If he can bust out of this funk finally, he can be a solid goalie till the franchise is ready, be it Berny or Quick or somebody else outta nowhere (see: Taylor, Dan). Give him a shot, just not at the expense of Barbs, and just see what happens.