Here’s the second installment of Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s post-season meeting with reporters, two days after the team was eliminated from the Western Conference finals by the Chicago Blackhawks:
Question: It seems this was a tougher coaching job for you this year because you didn’t have the consistency of the lineup, you started out without Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene …
Answer: “I think if we go down the league, every coach will say that through a 48-game schedule. It’s something I’ve done before, so you have some familiarity with it. Whether it helps or not, I don’t know. But at least you’re familiar with it. Was it tougher? Sure, it was tougher, because … Our players were awesome. There was no hangover. There was only positives taken from it. Obviously, the only negative from a short summer last year was the guys didn’t start the year. Greene, Mitchell, (Anze) Kopitar and, quite honestly, Jonathan (Quick) until probably January or February.”
Darryl Sutter met with reporters two days after the Kings were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. Here’s the first part of a multi-part quesiton-and-answer session held at the Kings’ El Segundo training facility:
Question: Have you had a chance to decompress and what are your thoughts on how the season went?
Answer: “Not really decompress, but we thought we had a really good season. It would have been harder not making the playoffs. As I told the players (the day after losing in the conference finals), we played 18 games in the playoffs this year. There’s 28 other teams that would have liked to have played 18 games. Once you’ve set that bar … As I’ve said all along, this has no bearing on anything other than you know you’re a really good hockey club and you know how close the league is. … We’ll all got to look at the team we just played and the team they’re playing to see how close the league is.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Monday he believed the 2012-13 season was a success despite falling short of playing for a second straight Stanley Cup championship. Here’s more from Sutter during his season-ending session with reporters: “We thought we had a really good season. We played 18 games in the playoffs this year. There’s 28 other teams that wished they played 18 games. This has no bearing on anything other than you know you’re a really good hockey club and you know how close the league is.”
Here’s what Kings coach Darryl Sutter said when asked about a 4-3 victory that gave them a 2-0 lead over the San Jose Sharks in their best-of-7 second-round series: “You have to win a lot of different ways. I don’t think there’s a consistent pattern to it at all. It’s like taking tonight and going to the last game. What was the difference between tonight and last game? I didn’t like how many penalties we took. Our penalty-killing did a good job. The power play came through for us. But every game is different.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter likes center Brad Richardson’s game. He had no second thoughts about inserting him into Jarret Stoll’s spot on the third line. But since Richardson plays a position at which the Kings have an embarrassment of riches, Sutter spent most of the regular season scratching him from the lineup.
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan outperformed Kings counterpart Darryl Sutter after Game 1. So we have a guest for our quote of the night
“We have to find ways to score,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “We have to make it harder on them. All the cliches, I can stand up here and use them all. But it’s about getting it done. When the night ends, you have to have the job done.
“You can have as many good looks as you want. You can be in alone. You have to find ways to finish and we have players who are very capable of doing that. We have players who are capable of scoring greasy, dirty, playoff-style goals.”
The Kings never trailed in a single playoff series while racing to their first Stanley Cup championship last spring. They went 16-4 and became the first eighth-seeded team to win the Cup in NHL history. It wasn’t all smiles and champagne, not with notoriously contrary coach Darryl Sutter behind the Kings bench.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say about defenseman Robyn Regehr playing despite a broken nose: “He got hit in the nose again. It’s broke, so he can’t re-broke it.”
Coach Darryl Sutter got a little cranky Sunday when he was asked about the Kings managing only two shots on goal in the third period in Game 3. Sutter said of the Blues’ 10-2 advantage in shots in the final period, “Whatever. Whatever. You count shots. I don’t.”
“You’ve got to understand,” he also said. “It’s the playoffs. It’s one-goal games. All three of them were one-goal games. Everybody’s trying to score a goal, but it’s not that easy when you have the two best defensive teams in the conference (meeting in the series).”
The Kings scored one goal for the third straight game, but it was enough to defeat the St. Louis Blues and trim their deficit in the best-of-7 series to 2-1. Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say about the team’s lack of scoring: “If you look at the series, 5-on-5 is so tough. There are a lot of little battles going on that only the players appreciate or understand. Your top guys can’t get frustrated and start playing their individual game. The two teams are very even, gave up the fewest shots in the conference, one and two. Both goaltenders, everybody understands who they are and what they are.”