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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: KINGS v DEVILS


June 3, 2012


Darryl Sutter


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach Sutter.

Q.テつ Darryl, can you talk about how the travel went yesterday.テつ What time did you get in?テつ Did everybody have decent sleep and do you think they'll all be alert by tomorrow?
COACH SUTTER:テつ It was a good flight.テつ We tried to get out of there by midnight, off the ground by 1:00, which is a three‑hour change.テつ Everybody was in bed by 4:30.

Q.テつ Do you think it could possibly be an advantage because the West generally has a harder time traveling.
COACH SUTTER:テつ We looked at air once we saw the schedule.テつ Try to make decisions on what would be best.テつ You try to have contingency plans if you go through the second overtime or something, we had rooms at the airport.テつ You get up early and go.
I still think in the best interest of our team, because you're used to it a little bit during the season.テつ I still think it was better to get them home.テつ Most of the guys get a couple hours sleep on the plane.テつ A lot of the guys didn't have to come in today.テつ They get up mid morning, good to go I think.

Q.テつ With regards to Jeff Carter, this is a guy that has been in Calder Cup situations, World Juniors, the level of big‑game experience he has.
COACH SUTTER:テつ He gets a lot of opportunities.テつ Play the percentages.テつ I think even last night he had some good looks and didn't get it away.テつ Guys like that, I don't think you teach them how to score.テつ I think they get their opportunities, get enough of them, they finally score.
If they are looked on, usually those guys in big‑game situations, it's usually because the coach is smart enough to understand there's only a handful of guys that usually do score, so they're out there more.

Q.テつ Darryl, not trying to nitpick a team with only two losses, but Matt Greene was talking about the room for growth from those opening two games.テつ What in particular are you looking for?
COACH SUTTER:テつ I think manage how New Jersey plays.テつ I think we know both teams were quite a bit better last night than they were the first night just in terms of execution, how they want to play.テつ You have to expect that as it goes along.
The reason both teams are here is because system, discipline and detail.テつ You expect more system, discipline and detail.テつ You expect top players always to continue to wrap their game up, try to find their game.

Q.テつ Darryl, when we look at power plays, not necessarily yours, but as the playoffs go along, the difficulty for teams in having success is that the defending team sees them over and over again, so the challenge is to try to throw something else at them that is different?
COACH SUTTER:テつ I think, first off, just because the technology, it's pre‑scouted right down to the inch.テつ I think sometimes that can be an overload, too.
I think penalty killing becomes such a premium because it is part of the defense.テつ Usually finals and playoffs are lower scoring.テつ Those instances get so emphasized by coaching staffs.
There's not much secret in it ever.テつ Even if you do anything different, you got to practice it, so...
There's open practices now (smiling).

Q.テつ When you were a player, what qualities did you admire in some of the coaches you played for?テつ What were you really looking for as a player in a coach?テつ How much did you pay attention to the coaching technique as a player thinking maybe down the road you might want to do this?
COACH SUTTER:テつ Down the road, I didn't think I wanted to do this.
I paid attention to my coaches because I knew if I wasn't, if I wasn't a good enough player, there was a chance I wasn't going to get to play.テつ So I tried to listen to my coaches.テつ That's the truth.

Q.テつ What qualities in the coaches you played for did you think worked best?
COACH SUTTER:テつ Well, I think every individual's different.テつ But I know for myself, you turn pro as a young player, you think that, I'm here.テつ Then you figure out, If I want to play in the National Hockey League, if I want to be a regular player in the National Hockey League, there's less things I have to learn.
I was lucky to have three or four coaches that were, I would say, instrumental in me learning a lot of finer points of the game, guys like Joe Crozier, Bob Pullford, Roger Neilson, all guys that had detail, even though they were old school guys.テつ I think you tried to pay attention and always take something from them.

Q.テつ You have some pretty unbelievable numbers here.テつ You're starting to walk this team on some pretty hallowed playoff grounds.テつ We want to talk about that stuff because it's a good story.テつ Why don't you?
COACH SUTTER:テつ Well, what do you want to talk about (smiling)?

Q.テつ Have you ever been part of a team that's gone through something anywhere close to this, that looks like it's got everything going for it?
COACH SUTTER:テつ We went 11 in a row to go to the Stanley Cup Finals in Chicago.テつ The team that beat us, they won 11 in a row.テつ I think that's hallowed ground.
That's pretty unbelievable what Pittsburgh did that year when you look at it in that light.

Q.テつ Coach, how important has Justin Williams been to this team's performance in the playoffs, and in what ways have you noticed him raise his game?
COACH SUTTER:テつ He's important because he plays important minutes, five‑on‑five.テつ He's important because he plays right wing with either Kopitar or Richards, so he better play well.テつ He's important because when you get to this point, he's one of the guys that had considerable playoff experience with our team, even though he's not an older player.
He's been part of two different teams in good playoff situations.テつ That was important for us 'cause we didn't have a lot of it.

Q.テつ How does he communicate that experience in the room and how does he communicate that on the ice?
COACH SUTTER:テつ I think he's a hard‑working kid.テつ Tries to do what the coaches tell him to do.テつ If he does that, then it hopefully rubs off on younger players.

Q.テつ Richards and Carter, did you get or seek any insight into those two guys?
COACH SUTTER:テつ A lot.テつ A lot.テつ Brent had a lot of the boys we're playing on the other team now.テつ So a lot.テつ All the information you can gather.テつ The coaching fraternity, it's a pretty tight one.テつ There's some that you can really rely on a lot.テつ Obviously with Johnny being here, you can really rely on him, and Brent's experience also.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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