Darryl Sutter Press Conference Open Forum

Here is the link to the Darryl Sutter press conference.

We can talk about everything here, both pre and post conference.

I hope to see some direct questions regarding the offense. By direct I mean questions that actually demonstrate some working knowledge of the game rather than, “what are you going to do to improve the offense?” in which case Sutter should reply, “score more goals.” Hope springs eternal.

Share your thoughts here about the Darryl Sutter press conference and all things L.A. Kings. The new chapter in L.A. Kings hockey has begun.

Post Press Conference Update

Well, that was short. Let me give a very earned grade of D + to the Los Angeles media who attended. Except for Helene’s question as to why he decided to come back to coaching, the others only showed off that very few people who cover the game in this town know very much about it. I should have known there would not be a single direct and pointed question about the mechanics of the offense or even a follow-up one when Sutter all but gave the opening for one when he commented that there are only little fixes here and there that will get the Kings to score more goals.

I found his comment that this is a 3-2 league interesting. He is right, if you score 3 goals you win on most nights but, again, nobody asked how you get over that hump.

Sutter equated “overachieving” with getting the most out of the players. In other words, he expects players to exceed expectations, not meet expectations. Illuminating and not something you hear every day.

He confirmed what I think most of us knew – that he pushes and pulls players and the players need that. This is true. Unlike Terry Murray’s belief system, “motivation” is still a valuable commodity in coaching, as in life.

Sutter downplaying his disciplinary style as being “blown out of proportion” is exactly what I would expect a hard ass disciplinarian to say.

As a student of psychology and one who listens for tone and watches manner as much as hearing the words, I saw a man up there who is very intense. Most people will comment that he was awkward or aloof. A guerilla is also awkward but will separate your head from your body in one fleeting moment. I didn’t see a coach who was trying to sell up there (unlike Dean Lombardi). He wasn’t playing to anyone. Until you are in the locker room, you really don’t know what you are dealing with, but my perception is that players like Doughty, Williams, Brown, Penner, Hunter, Lewis and Westgarth better have their act together. The one player who may benefit from Sutter the most is, perhaps to your surprise, Anze Kopitar.

As we get more information about the one on one interviews, I will post them here so come back to this post and share your thoughts.

Update Number II

Matthew Barry, of the new BigMouthBarry Blog, has the word for word transcript of the Q & A. Click on the link.

Update Number III

Rich Hammond also has a transcript up.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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32 replies

  1. Coach Sutter sounds like sylvester stallone

  2. Considering the scrapes the Times calls a hockey budget, Ms. Elloitt’s writing and contributions to Los Angeles hockey has been a boon to LA hockey fans for years.

    Prior to blogs Ms. Elloitt was the only LA reporter who stood between AP box summaries and no news at all.

    Good job crediting her Bobby.

  3. I don’t think it’s any stretch to assert that Anze could benefit tremendously from a guy like Sutter. If he can instill some fire, energy, and consistency into Anze’s game, Anze would be an absolute beast. Same goes for Brown. Hell, my biggest gripe with this team was never really the system per say, just the inconsistent play and results from the team and the individuals executing the plan. You see one guy have his “best game of the season”, and then turn around and disappear the next. And it was like that for the whole team. Rarely did it seem like the whole team was playing well.

    If you believe Sutter is the kind of coach that can remedy THOSE types of problems, then i think the actual system takes a back seat in terms of importance.

    • What you are referring to is coaching the players, not coaching a system. We’ll see how he does. I am going in with an open mind.

      • At this point, an open mind is really all we can do. I’ve seen both sides of the argument for this guy, and for my own sanity, all i can do is hope things work out reserve judgement for the end of the season.

        Personally, I think the talent is there and it’s just missing focus/motivation. By many accounts, this guy seems to be capable of extracting the best from players. So here’s to keeping hope alive.

  4. The problem with Murray was way beyond just the X’s and O’s. Sutter will demand effort from his players and he will hold them accountable. The Kings have been coddled far too long with Murray, he never used ice time as a motivational tool.

    I really like the lines that Sutter has come up with, well balanced with speed, grit and skill. Looking forward to tomorrow’s game against the Ducks. San Jose will be a much bigger test.

  5. Maybe it’s been discussed and I missed it, and not so much as an attack on Brown as it is praise for Kopitar— does anyone else see a change in who wears the “C” around here? I dont know what happens in the locker room, but on the ice Kopitar is an all around leader by example. Not too far off an idea I think for a new coach looking to create a new identity for the team.

    • While i’m with you that Brown doesn’t appear to be “the guy” for captaincy, i’m not sold on Kopitar either. I want a guy that’s out there busting ass EVERY shift, as well as a guy who really does pull the team together verbally and emotionally. I don’t want somebody that hesitates and shies away from that sort of role and i don’t think Kopitar has all of those qualities.

      Sadly, because he hasn’t been here that long, i like Richards for that position. Green and Mitchell also seem to fit that mold as well. Don’t get me wrong, Kopi is a great player, i just don’t think he’s captain material (yet).

      • I agree Richards is a born( or forged from fucking iron and adamantium) leader but I still think Kopitar can do it.

  6. “The one player who may benefit from Sutter the most is, perhaps to your surprise, Anze Kopitar.”

    I find your choice of words interesting, though I fully agree with you. I would word it differently. Kopitar will be the player who has the hardest time adjusting, but if he does, he’ll become the “superstar” you all write about, but has yet to fulfill. No more pancakes and slippers. More in the lines of chewing shattered glass and walking across burning coals, shoeless. I hope Sutter can take Kopitar to the next level because if he’s successful in doing so,we’ll be witness to one hell of a player.

  7. If he can instill some fire, energy, and consistency into Anze’s game, Anze would be an absolute beast.

    Kopitar will be the player who has the hardest time adjusting, but if he does, he’ll become the “superstar” you all write about, but has yet to fulfill. No more pancakes and slippers.

    … What more would you want to see out of Kopitar than what he’s doing now? How is he not a superstar when he’s nine points out of the lead in scoring in the entire NHL, while playing with this team’s offense and being their best defensive forward as well? He’s been damn near a miracle worker if you ask me. He’s not going to “the next level” unless and until he has some guys playing alongside him who are true first-line players. It’s that simple.

    There’s no need for Sutter to fix what isn’t broken. All he needs to do is send Kopitar out there and let him do his thing.

    • Honestly, he seems to wax and wane with the team. I’d like to see him play a consistently high level game and i think he has that much skill in him that he could do it.

      • Honestly, he seems to wax and wane with the team.

        … When the team wins, Kopitar has 4 goals and 16 points in 15 games. When the team loses, he has 6 goals and 14 points in 18 games. There is scarcely any difference.

        If you want to see guys who wax and wane with the team, look at Mike Richards (16 points in wins, just 4 points in losses) or Justin Williams (13 points in wins, just 7 points in losses) or Dustin Brown (15 points in wins, just 3 points in losses) or Simon Gagne (14 points in wins, just 3 points in losses).

        The Kings have scored a grand total of 25 goals in their 18 losses this season. Kopitar has scored nearly 25% of those goals.

        • Well, you may be right in regards to his points per W/L, but the guy hasnt scored a goal since the 22nd of November, and only has 6 pts since that date as well.

          He started very hot this season and has cooled down dramatically. Same as last year. So there is a streakiness to his game on the offensive side of the puck.

          He is clearly the most talented offensive star on the team, but he’s not without his faults.

      • At what level? He’s been by far the best skater for the Kings for the entire season. Better than Richards. He’s busting his ass in defense and attack. I hope Sutter doesn’t sutt up and plays Dwight King as Kopi’s left wing like TM did. The one thing I think Sutter can do is get him to play a more physical game. He’s a big guy. He should use his size.

  8. I know the Hawks still lost, but the 3rd period from last night’s Hawks/Pens game should be mandatory weekly viewing for the Kings. Fiery play, puck dominance, creative plays, lightning quick passing, and players constantly moving to get into a better position.

  9. Q: ”Will you be brining in any assistants or will you be sticking with the staff?”

    DS: “First off, with the existing staff, I think Johnny (Stevens) has done an awesome job helping the team through this in the last… I was really proud of him and I think, with (goaltending coach) Billy Ranford, I know him from the past, he’s up from our area. Jamie (Kompon) does a lot of work in the locker room, so… we just want to focus on… especially being so close to the holidays… I just want to focus on this group. That’s the best way to put it. I’m… satisfied. I’m good. Those guys are familiar with the team and that really helps.”

    Kompon gone after the New Year and after Sutter has settled in a bit perhaps?

  10. Sutter may sound like Stallone, but he looks like Sloth from The Goonies. I can just hear him yelling at practice “Hey you guys!”

    Let’s hope he’ll find the treasure trove of talent that’s been lost on this team…

  11. So far this year, the league wide Goals per Game is about 2.7. That means it’s a 2-1 league, not a 3-2.

    Looking at the standings, it appears easier to be in the top half with average or worse D and better than average O (MIN, STL, FLA, NSH, PHX) that it is with better than average O and weaker than average D (CHI, PHL)

    Teams performing worse in both categories generally suck (exceptions: DAL, NJD;)

    Teams performing better dominate the top of the table (BOS, DET, VAN, NYR, PIT)

    Where are we? Very solid D (7th) with the widely disparaged O (30th). But it only would take 1/2 extra goal per game to get to average. 1 additional goal per game gets us to 7th in the league. 7 & 7 would likely secure us a solid spot in the top 8 (league wide).

    OK, there’s a lot of IFs in there, but it does yield some reason to be optimistic. Cautiously optimistic.


    • I agree with you, and love the breakdowns. But to be optimistic is a daunting task considering the Kings have to immediately hop scotch 14 other teams offensively, on average for the rest of the season, using a defense first system that has yet to be installed.

      Trying to be optimistic, but I find myself trying to talk myself into believing it could happen, more than actually believing it.

  12. Is Sutter’s first game a “must win”? It’s against a weak opponent and the Kings need to win 4 out of every 6 games to get in the playoffs. They can’t afford to give away points to teams below them.

    • Is Sutter’s first game a “must win”?

      … Seriously? Come on.

      It’s against a weak opponent

      … I don’t see where any relevance can be taken from where the Kings and Ducks are in the standings. The players on both teams largely believe they’re part of a rivalry, and in those cases it’s better off to throw out the record books. In 2006-07, the Ducks won the Cup and the Kings were absolutely pitiful, yet the two teams went 4-4 against one another that season with 7 of the 8 games decided by one goal or a shootout.

      and the Kings need to win 4 out of every 6 games to get in the playoffs. They can’t afford to give away points to teams below them.

      … I honestly don’t know what you’re going for with stuff like this, unless you’re trying to get others here to give up on the season, as you have.

      Everyone knows that the Kings have dug themselves a hole and that their results are going to have to drastically improve if they want to go to the postseason. This situation isn’t going to be rectified with one game. They’re not going to be eliminated from the playoffs if they lose on Thursday, and they’re not going to earn a spot if they win on Thursday. It’s about getting the team to play consistently better, and having consistent leadership behind the bench would be a nice start. There are many, many things the Kings have to do, in order, from now until the end of the season.

        • It’s not a matter of stats. If you look at things mathematically you think like a loser. It’s more a question shift by shift, play by play. I’m no Zen Buddhist, or Jedi Knight for that fact, but it really is a a matter outlook and mentality. It’s still a long season…

  13. This coaching change in my opinion can only be a good thing for the Kings if only to bring in a breath of fresh air. The question seems to be one of motivation over system. I, for one, believe it’s a matter of motivation. I think the Kings have done well in the past with their defense-first-pass mentality and I’m confident it will continue to serve them well under a coach with a bit more fire under his belly.
    I do like the idea you guys have put forth about a change in captaincy. Anze should be captain. Demoting Brown to alternate will motivate him. I would add Richards as the other alternate, not captain, because of hi tenure… Thoughts?

    • Kopi is a player who leads by example, but personality wise, I think he likes being in the background more. This is a decision that shouldn’t be forced, and Kopi as captain would be something that would have to be forced on him for him to accept it.

      Richards has no desire to be captain, and one of the main selling points for him personally in coming to LA was that he could just be a player again, and concentrate on just playing hockey.

      Maybe in a few years, but just like Kopi, at this point in Richards career, it would have to be forced on him.

    • No. I’d leave the C and A’s as they are. Mainly because neither Kopi nor Richards would be comfortable with wearing the C right now. Kopi leads on the ice and the players know that. Richards had a difficult time being the captain in Philly because Pronger was being a total dick in the locker room and he was the only guy with the balls to tell Pronger to shut the hell up. Just let the guys play. They need some wins.

  14. Mitchell for captain. Kopi and brad with the A.

  15. From Hammond (Thursday morning)

    “It wasn’t immediately clear who will play on the fourth line, but it appeared that Trent Hunter will be a healthy scratch tonight.”

    Hunter, scratched? Hmmmm, maybe there is hope for this new dude!


    Sutt the Ducks!!!


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