(See attached file: Coach Sutter – Practice Day – 05.18.12.pdf)
An interview with:
COACH DARRYL SUTTER
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Sutter.
Q. Mean anything to you to be 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 to start each of these
COACH SUTTER: You know what, the biggest thing for me is the
afternoon game coming up. I really don’t look back. Three or four things
I’d like our team to be a little bit more efficient on, work at that.
Q. Can you be more specific as to what those things might be?
COACH SUTTER: No.
Q. With it being such a busy Sunday, everything going around the
Staples Center, will you head in early?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah, we’ll come in the night before.
Q. Then stay in a hotel?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah. It’s going to be crazy anyways. Doesn’t matter
if you’re down there, you’re not down there. It’s going to be busy
wherever you are.
Tough part is getting there, finding your way over to Staples.
Q. Have you stayed in a hotel in any home games so far?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah. We stayed in one or two. Just easier.
Q. Your decision after the first round to flip centers. What were
you seeing there?
COACH SUTTER: Well, when we did it in the last round, it was more
the matchup part of it, how St. Louis could play those six top guys
together. With Penner’s experience, we thought it was better that he was
in there. That’s when McDonald and Steen, more veteran guys on the same
line. We thought Carter and Penner together would saw it off a little
better. Take a little pressure off King, too, to be honest. I don’t like
King against Doan either.
Q. More simple game for the third line.
COACH SUTTER: Kind of manages his minutes, who he’s out on the ice
against a little better.
Q. What did you think of the shift late in the game?
COACH SUTTER: Well, when he first did it, I didn’t think it was a
very wise decision. You’re protecting a one-goal lead with two minutes
left and your defenseman is not joining the rush, he is the rush
(laughter), then he’s the forecheck, too. When he first does it, okay.
Q. Worked out, though?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah.
Q. What have you seen in Dwight as far as growth in the last month
COACH SUTTER: Still 232. After games he’s 228 (laughter).
Q. How about in his game?
COACH SUTTER: Better than he was when we got him, right? Just
’cause he’s scoring, I don’t think it’s growth. That’s kind of been what
he’s done in his junior career and his pro career. Same thing.
Q. What did you think when you went down to Manchester and saw him?
COACH SUTTER: I was familiar with him a little bit, so it wasn’t
like I was seeing somebody new. So it was just seeing how he was into his
first pro contract really. It’s really no different than what he is now.
He’s a big kid that is strong on the puck, has a good sense, good feel for
Q. Do you trust him more when you’ve had him for three months than
the first couple weeks?
COACH SUTTER: We threw him right into it, because you know what, we
played those kids together with Mike Richards. We were struggling on the
wing with that whole dimension part of it, getting minutes and trying to
get some scoring opportunities.
It really wasn’t about trust. It was saying we were going to play
those young guys and see what happens.
Q. What was your first impression of Kopitar when you were with the
Flames and how far he’s come now?
COACH SUTTER: I think it would be the same as anybody who watches
the game lots. Big strong guy who plays both ends of the ice, plays
special teams, plays against top players. Pretty dominant guy when he’s on
his game. I think the only time he struggled since he’s been here is he’s
struggled with his consistency night in and night out. He’s obviously done
a good job of that in the playoffs.
Q. As a hockey coach, do you like 12 noon starts or dislike them?
COACH SUTTER: We talked about it when we had the last one. I don’t
know, to tell you the truth. You wait and see how you play. You always
have those three, four guys that aren’t your perfect morning people, right?
You just kind of wait to see always.
In the old days, playing those 1:20 starts, in Boston Gardens, you
got woken up in a hurry.
Q. Most of those people became writers.
COACH SUTTER: You know, I don’t know. Everybody’s different. I
don’t mind those mid afternoon ones. The problem you have with the noon
one is it affects them. They’re people, right? They got to eat properly.
So it’s their timing, their routine of when they get their fuel in them.
That’s always an issue. You don’t want to get them up too early. If they
want to eat at 7:00, 8:00, you kind of let them decide. That’s what’s more
important for me.
Q. Did you have a lot of early games in Chicago?
COACH SUTTER: No. You always played Saturday night on the road,
commercial back in Sunday, played Sunday or late Sunday. If there was a
Bears game, you knew you didn’t play until after them.
Q. When you left, did you anticipate getting back into the game or
did you think that was it?
COACH SUTTER: I never thought either one. Never really looked at it
like that ever.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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