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Kings Coach Darryl Sutter addresses the goalie shuffle

February 03, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) leaves the ice as he's replaced by Jonathan Bernier (45) in the first period Saturday night.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) leaves the ice as he's replaced… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The conversation with Kings Coach Darryl Sutter bounced around to several non-hockey-related topics -- even sports movies -- before it wandered back to the business at hand Sunday.

For the record, we learned that Sutter is/was a big fan of Kevin Costner’s "Dances with Wolves."

Then "Dances with Wolves" gave way to Dances with Goalies.

Sutter yanked Jonathan Quick and replaced him with Jonathan Bernier just 5:49 into the Kings' game against the Ducks on Saturday night at Anaheim in what turned out to be a 7-4 win by the Ducks. He lamented having to do so and reiterated that sentiment in strong terms again Sunday after practice.

“I hate myself for pulling goalies. I do. It bothers me,” Sutter said. “I don’t like highlighting somebody. It’s always taken as a criticism, right? First off, the guy that’s going in better be ready and, secondly, the guy you pulled better be ready again.

“That’s the way I look at it because that’s the mental part of it, and that to me is more important than anything else.”

Sutter said he couldn’t count more than seven or eight times in his years of coaching where he had made that kind of a goalie change.

“I just don’t believe in doing it. I’d rather rally around ‘em,” he said. “Right away, it’s an indictment. Hey we want our goalies to play better. They’re not protected species, that’s for sure.

“Both of them have to play a helluva a lot better. They both want to be starting goalies, right? Our save percentage right now has to be a lot better.”

Said Quick: “If a game like that doesn’t bother you, something is wrong. It should bother you. You get the start, you give up two goals and are pulled a few minutes later. How you use it is gonna show your character if you use it to motivate you for the next game.

“Or if it ends up getting the best of you, gets in your head a little. You’re going to keep trying to get better at it and use it as a little bit of motivation for the next game.”

Sutter had the first and second power-play units on the ice for about a half an hour before the regularly scheduled session started. It also appeared that left wing Dustin Penner and center Colin Fraser could well be the odd men out of the lineup for the start of the road trip Tuesday at Columbus.

Also assembled was a line featuring three former Flyers – Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Freedom from Philadelphia?

Sutter spoke about Gagne and a couple of other veteran forwards going  “in and out during games.”

“I’m not singling Gagne or Willy [Justin Williams] out or anybody like that,” he said.

“But this is a totally different team quite honest when you’re playing those kids on defense -- different minutes -- it totally changes how your team has to play or what you’re trying to do. It puts a lot more onus on that veteran group to be consistent. If they’re not, you’re just going to struggle with it.”

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