COACH DARRYL SUTTER
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Sutter.
Q. Your thoughts on the one-game suspension for Hanzal?
COACH SUTTER: Well, obviously that’s what the league valued it as.
Thankful Brownie didn’t get hurt.
Q. Drew said he felt he elevated his game a lot, particularly
defensively. Is that the way you see it, as well?
COACH SUTTER: He’s a high-plus player, which means he’s on the ice
for a lot of our goals, which means he’s moving the puck well, not playing
in his own zone. That’s something we’ve tried to get him to do a lot of,
is be good in his own zone so he’s not spending as much time there.
When he plays, Slava does that, too, have to play against top guys
all the time. That’s a big challenge for him. They’re doing a good job.
Q. When he came to the team to where he’s playing now, have you
noticed an improvement?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah, that’s not really how I look at it. I like him
to use his ability instead of not using it, meaning defending. His ability
is moving puck and skating, gaining zones, skating by guys. When he does
that, then it’s less time spent in his own zone. That’s the biggest part
I think a lot of times young guys break it out where they’re talking
about defense and offense, and it’s really sort of unfair to kids like that
because their gift, their skill, that’s something they’re going to learn,
the defensive part as they go on. Most of it is experience with guys that
have that high-end skill.
Q. You had 2-0 in the other previous series. Why such success?
COACH SUTTER: The biggest thing, and I heard John Tortorella say it,
he’s dead on, you have to keep getting better or you’re going to get beat.
It’s going to happen. When you have kids that go in and out and it gets
overshadowed when you won a game, then you got a problem.
That’s why I wasn’t crazy about our last game because I thought we
had guys that didn’t play very well and they’re going to have to play a
heck of a lot better for us to match up against those guys tonight.
Q. What do you know about Dustin Brown since he’s been here?
COACH SUTTER: I haven’t learned nothing other than I met his family
and his in-laws, pretty familiar with what kind of player he is. I’ve said
it one thousand and one times now, right, what his identity is, and it’s
Q. Back to Drew. How much of that was mental, what he had to do?
You talk about the skills that he has. How much of it was just more mental
preparation, understanding what’s expected of him?
COACH SUTTER: Every day. How much is mental? Every day it is with
him, right? It’s preparing to win, not just preparing to play. He’s no
different than every other young player, no different.
Q. Fraser back?
COACH SUTTER: No, Fraser is not back with the team yet. Get in
later today. But he hasn’t skated for, what, three days.
Q. When you talk about preparation, Drew, no different for any other
young player, what specifically are you talking about?
COACH SUTTER: That the biggest part of the game is mental. With
most players, that’s what it is. Everybody that’s played or been around
it, you know you just don’t come and play, you have to prepare for that.
When you’re a playoff team, that even makes it more important.
I mean, it’s based on a game-to-game basis, not anything other than
that. That’s the tough part for all young players.
Q. Just what is in his head, what he’s thinking about?
COACH SUTTER: The biggest thing is he plays a big role on their
team. There’s not much room for deviation. So it’s preparing for that
because he’s a big part of the five-on-five, he’s a big part of the power
play, he’s a big part of penalty killing. I haven’t looked at it, but he
probably plays as many minutes as any defenseman that is playing, along
with the kids in New York, Yandle.
You know, you’ve got to be well-rounded in all that. You’re not a
specialist in one area, you have to be able to see yourself in all those
situations. When he does that, he’s pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
Questions for Dustin Brown.
Q. There’s been so many guys in this room that have elevated their
game in this playoffs to get to this point. When you see a guy like Drew,
the rough season he had, what does it mean to get him going, playing well
DUSTIN BROWN: You know, it’s funny with Drew. He’s still young.
He’s so good on so many different fronts. I room with him a lot on the
road. I think he’s definitely playing a lot better hockey right now than
he was probably during the year.
He looks at the stat sheet like every other player. He had that one
year where he had 60 points, and that’s his bar. But I think he’s been a
better overall player for us this year than he was the year he had 60.
He’s playing against every team’s top line every night. That’s not
an easy thing to do, especially considering he’s only played 300-something
games in this league. He’s done a great job for us.
Like you said, this time of year, people need to step up their game,
and he’s been one of those guys for us.
Q. Same thing with Dustin, Game 2, second goal.
DUSTIN BROWN: Yeah, I mean, he’s been a big part of our success in
the playoffs. I mean, Penner has probably had a tough year, not the year
he wanted, but he’s really good at putting stuff behind him and getting
He seems to be really focused this time of year. I mean, he’s been
there, he’s done that. He’s been through a Cup run. He knows what it
takes. He’s a big piece of our team.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Dustin.
Questions for Willie Mitchell.
Q. (No microphone.)
WILLIE MITCHELL: It’s difficult. There can only be so many bosses
in the room, right (smiling)? Sometimes when you’re hearing it from every
which direction, it’s tough to absorb. Sometimes as a teammate and peer,
doesn’t matter whether you’re 35 or 22, it’s good to be a good teammate,
vent, let him work through that with the coaching staff.
Like I said, it’s a fine line because you don’t want to take away who
he is. Like I said, who he is, is a guy who loves the game, has fun being
at the rink, wants to make a difference, wants the puck on his stick in
that defining moment. That enthusiasm and love for the game is what makes
him a special player.
You don’t want to make him so by the book, this is how you got to be,
that it takes all his creativity away as a player. I think he’s doing a
good job, starting to find that balance of being prepared as a player, but
also not taking away from what makes him a special player.
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