Why Darryl Sutter Is Working Out Here In LA LA land.

No x’s or o’s. No discussion of the forecheck, seam passing or the umbrella. Breakouts, regroups, even something as intangible as effort is beyond the scope of this article.

Darryl Sutter has a deep, reverberating voice.

He has unusual facial expressions that amuse, bemuse (if you have no sense of humor) and invoke wonder.

His answers to questions are short and blunt.

He doesn’t care for the media but tolerates them.

He doesn’t call out players in the media. He protects them.

He is intense, vocal and hands on with his team.

He is a farmer, used to shit under his finger nails and hard manual labor.

He isn’t scared of you. He could give a damn if you disagree with him. And that especially includes those who wear press passes or consider themselves insiders.

He is that grandfather you dig…but who can also snap a man’s neck in three seconds.

He is honest…no cliches. No answer he gives to a direct question sounds like an answer to a different question. There is no politics in Darryl Sutter. There is no filter.

Darryl Sutter isn’t Voss. He is tap water. He isn’t Châteauneuf-du-Pape. He is grape juice. He isn’t Johnny Walker Blue Label. He is Jack Daniels.

Darryl Sutter isn’t a suit, a tie, a face or a sound bite.

In Los Angeles, where so much of what we see is glitz, glamour, extreme wealth followed by decimating poverty, selfishness, greed, lust and gluttony, Darryl Sutter brings substance over style, passion over posturing, inspiration over adulation.

The players love him because he, like most hockey players at their core, are crass, politically incorrect soldiers who live for the fight and the victories. He motivates when our last coach couldn’t and, by his own admission, wouldn’t. Stoic? Fuck stoic. You’re going to know exactly what is on Darryl Sutter’s mind. Those facial expressions you love match perfectly with his vocabulary. What may seem obtuse to some is actually brilliant in its simplicity because he isn’t trying to be anything other than himself…and “himself” works. It’s what he knows.

While we focus on the L.A. Kings’ play on the ice and the tweaks and adjustments Sutter has made to the product we see, let’s understand why he works.

This is a guy born to coach. He should have never become a GM.

I am a fan.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

29 replies

  1. I love the facial expressions, he reminds me of Red Buttons or someone who forgot to put their dentures in.

    I love the totally irresponsible idiots who harp on the fact that Darryl and Brent hate the other, and make up a story line based on nothing, to just get attention.

    I hope the Kings stop asking Darryl questions in game, just let Kompon or Stevens answer, otherwise Darryl isn’t really paying attention and can’t wait to take those headphones off Foxy and Patrick.


  2. So far, I love the guy.

  3. I like the guy. He reminds me of Rocky Balboa when he talks. I think it was Jim fox in regards to helmets in warmups that he doesn’t give a rats ass if they wear wigs and moustaches for warm ups he just wants them easy come puck drop. I like that attitude. Just get fucking job done. No need to complicate matters.

  4. I hated then idea of him comming here. and within a few games i was stoked to have him as our coach. he shut me up with how we keep getting points, i too am a fan!

  5. His facial expressions are the best. You don’t have to rewind the DVR ten times to read his lips, you just look at his face and know exactly what he is thinking: “Bullshit call” or “Damn it Stoll, that goal was more wide open than the girl you banged last night and you still couldn’t hit the net”

  6. I like him right now.
    In his first game I pointed out to my wife how involved he is w/ the players on the bench…whereas Murray stood in one spot the entire game w/ one look on his face.

    I also enjoy his pre-game/post-game much more…

  7. Second that. good coach, terrible GM. Horrified at the rumor of his hiring. Thinking no way is the guy who gave Phanuef to the Leafs for pucks, who talks like hes drunk and who seams to be genuine dullard and a moron gonna get us outta hell. But I was wrong to think he was too much of a boob, too old fashioned and lacked the offensive tactics to coach in the post lock out NHL. Welcome to LA bitter beer face

  8. … Fifteen games. That’s it. They’re 6-3-6 under Murray, which is fine enough but hardly convincing. The team had to start winning sooner or later, new coach or no new coach. They’ve scored 33 goals in 15 games for Sutter. For Murray, the Kings scored 69 goals in 33 games. With all the OT minutes the Kings have played recently, I’m sure they’re still scoring around the exact pace that they were before Sutter was hired.

    Sure, they’ve beaten some stronger teams lately, but they’ve also lost to some weaker teams.

    What does Winston Wolf remind us not to do in situations like this? Right. There are a ton of road games coming up. If the Kings flop down the stretch and miss the playoffs, it won’t be pretty to revisit articles like this.

    • I like how you are the stats guy for the site, but you don’t need stats to see that the Kings are playing a better game on the ice with Sutter than they were with Murray. Need proof? Just watch Clifford next game. He is now playing how we all expected him to play, but didn’t the first half of the season. I know you are going to have a great explanation on why I am wrong, but you will never be able to convince me that this team is not better under Sutter. The proof for me is, I love watching the games again! Under Murray, I cringed, under Sutter, I cheer….

      • Just watch Clifford next game. He is now playing how we all expected him to play, but didn’t the first half of the season.

        … He’s improved some, but is that due to the change in coaches? He’s getting some more ice time per game under Sutter (9:11) than he did under Murray (8:32). Clifford has scored three points in 15 games for Sutter after only scoring four in 33 games for Murray, so I suppose that’s progress, however small it is. He’s also getting some more shots on net since Murray took over, but again, the difference is very small. It looks more to me that Clifford is simply improving as he gains more NHL experience, as is normal for someone his age. But yeah, Sutter’s given Clifford a little more of a chance to show what he can do, so credit where credit is due there.

        The proof for me is, I love watching the games again! Under Murray, I cringed, under Sutter, I cheer….

        … Hey, so far so good, then. The Kings have played better, for the most part. What happens in the next couple months will determine whether you’re still cheering or not.

        • I agree with Dutch that players like Clifford are making small changes, but couldn’t you argue that a lot of small changes can add up to a large overall team dynamic?

          Sutter hasn’t done a ground zero rebuild, because our core was strong. Lots of small changes, each shift, add up. Are these things that may have happened under Murray if given time, possibly, but the fact is they are happening now as soon as the coaching change was made and in this conference every game matters and I dont think we could wait any longer for things to come around.

    • . . . I love ellipsis . . .

  9. Possession has improved, but offense hasn’t much. I really hated the idea of hiring Sutter, and decided to complain all the way till he got here, then back off and give him a fair chance to do something.

    I have come to like him. He still isn’t the offensive minded coach I’ve been starving for, but he is everybit as good a coach as I could of hoped for under the circumstances.

    The hype surrounding him being some kind of closet dominatrix, with leather whips, and cattle prods was overblown. He isn’t the stubborn strategist that he was portrayed to be either.

    He is a thinking man, who is passionate about the game, and understands how to command respect without instilling fear.

    I like him.

    I don’t like giving points away to over 1/2 the teams we play though, and I still question wether we could use a conversion to a left wing lock type system (or any type of possession system other than management really)) wouldn’t be more beneficial to this team.

    • With the Kings scoring just one or two goals a game the 7th and Bettman points are better then being tied for 8th or 9th with the Stars, Wild or Avs

  10. Matt Moulson on nhl live. Makes me sick. Thanks, Murray.

  11. So far, he’s made some good improvements, esp on the 3rd and 4th lines who are spending more time in the offensive zone. DD is playing much better and Icredit DS for that and the hands on approach. I like that DS explained why the lines are getting more balanced minutes and his explanation of why he cut Richards and Kopi’s time down, that he feels over the course of a season, those saved minutes will be well used.

    Jeremy Roenick said after the hiring that DS was one of the best coaches he ever had because he demanded your best and made you accountable. He also said he was a coach that players loved playing for and I think that shows.

    This was a fine turn of a phrase Bobby…well done!
    …Darryl Sutter brings substance over style, passion over posturing, inspiration over adulation….

    Once DL makes the trade for a winger and Richards gets whoever is leftover from the first line, things should improve.
    Hopefully it will be without Stoll who is just awful.

  12. 22 out of a possible 30 points since he joined the team, with little time to install a new style, Jamie Effin Kompon as a sidekick and trying to learn on the fly his players?

    Count me in as a member of the Darryl Sutter fan club.

  13. “No x’s or o’s.”

    But lots of XOXOXOXOXs; see http://theroyalhalf.com/2012-articles/january/trh-gameday-41-phoenix-coyotes.html for examples.

  14. Loved the way he mumbled through the Flames post game interview.

    The room suddenly went silent after just a few questions, seemingly catching everyone by surprise. There was an (almost) awkward silence—then Sutter just looked at his shoes, smiled and said “yep”.


  15. Didn’t like the idea at first, now I’m asking for a refill on my Kool-Aid.

    Most of your points can be summed up in the one thing you guys kept harping on pre firing… killer instinct.

    And the man’s suits are suttin’ boss!

    • Loved the diagonal slashed pumpkin tie with the brown patterned sport coat. Looked like he picked it up at the dry goods store when he stopped by the farm last week.

    • Was going to reply but Sacks said it all in his first sentence. I’ll take a refill on my Kool-Aid as well, thank you very much.


  1. NHL Blog Beat – January 21, 2012. | Spectors Hockey

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