Kings coach Darryl Sutter met with reporters for about 20 minutes two days after the team’s playoff ouster at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. The conversation touched on a variety of subjects, including what the Kings must improve on for next season. There also questions about the health of the team following a second consecutive lengthy playoff run. Sutter answered some questions, dodged others and acknowledged the job reporters have to do. Here’s the third part of a four-part installment.
Question: Talking about lowering the goal-against average for next season, would that be the major concern or would it be the left wing and the lack of production there?
Answer: “I said goals-against. I didn’t say production. We went from 30th to sixth in offense. We went to third in our conference. So, we’re not looking at it by position. We have multiple players who play multiple positions. If you’re listening, I did that once we know our roster then we would know better. Our goals-against, very simple, you don’t win. Teams I coach are always great defensively. We were a great defensive team again this year. But our goals-against … what you do home-and-road, there’s a disparity.”
Q: There are teams interested in talking to assistant John Stevens about head coaching jobs, do you know if he’ll be back.
A: “You have to talk to Dean (Lombardi, Kings general manager,) about all that. Hey, I think Johnny is a head coach. He is a head coach with us.”
Q: What does that make you?
A: “Part of the staff. Again, I’ve always said I don’t put myself … It’s not about a head coach and everybody else. Everybody has to share responsibility. That’s what gets teams good. I’m not one of those guys that has to be the center of attention. Does Johnny Stevens want to be a head coach? Absolutely. But that’s how I feel about him on our staff. …”
Q: Dustin Brown said he wouldn’t need surgery (on his injured knee), that he would just need rest. But there are others, who might need.
A: “Robyn (Regehr) had surgery today (on his elbow June 10). He played with a bad arm the whole playoffs. Probably get most of the guys looked at. Some guys are at the top of the list.”
Q: How did (Regehr) get hurt? Was it his arm or a shoulder?
A: “You know how everybody always wants to know, ‘How he is?’ or ‘Who’s playing tonight?’ Next year … Because these guys come to the rink and all they do is they look to see what color they’re wearing and they go, ‘Oh, he’s playing with him tonight’? It really is a bunch of BS, right? You have a bunch of guys in the lineup, normally extra players, because it means they’re a game-time decision, especially in the playoffs. And we had several guys who were in that position. …”