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Kings hope Sutter's quiet intensity sparks turnaround

Wednesday, 12.21.2011 / 4:07 PM / NHL Insider

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

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Kings hope Sutter's quiet intensity sparks turnaround
Dressed head-to-toe in black and silver warm-up gear, the 24th coach in team history directed players and moved traffic with his whistle at Wednesday's practice as if he hadn't missed a beat.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Hardly a peep could be heard from Darryl Sutter as he conducted an hour-long practice with his new team.

Dressed head-to-toe in black and silver warm-up gear, Sutter directed players and moved traffic with his whistle as if he hadn't missed a beat.

Most of the Los Angeles Kings are already familiar with Sutter, if only by reputation, and they literally expect to hear a lot more from their new coach moving forward.

"It's going to be a lot different than (former coach) Terry (Murray)," defenseman Matt Greene said.

"I liked Terry a lot. I really enjoyed him as a coach. (But) Darryl's the polar opposite of Terry in terms of just the way they go about getting the message across. Darryl's more emotional. It will be different for a lot of guys. Something's got to change with this group right now. This is definitely going to be a big change, and hopefully it's what we need."

"It's going to be a lot different than (former coach) Terry (Murray). I liked Terry a lot. I really enjoyed him as a coach. (But) Darryl's the polar opposite of Terry in terms of just the way they go about getting the message across. Darryl's more emotional. It will be different for a lot of guys. Something's got to change with this group right now. This is definitely going to be a big change, and hopefully it's what we need." -- Matt Greene

Sutter was officially named the 24th coach in Kings history Tuesday after the Murray era ended with a sputtering offense that was perceived to be stifled by his defensive system.

There was also a perception that the even-keeled Murray could not light a fire under the Kings, particularly their star offensive players, and Sutter is thought to be exactly the right person to ignite it.

Asked if the team had gotten too comfortable under Murray, captain Dustin Brown said "maybe to some extent."

Brown said he gets a feeling that at least one aspect of Sutter will be far different than Murray.

"After we played poorly, we'd come and watch videos," Brown said. "From what I gather, I don't think we'll be watching video. … It's just a different approach. You have Coach A and Coach B, and there's some players who'd rather play for Coach B and some who'd rather play with Coach A. There's no right or wrong, really. It's just a matter of the makeup of the team and whether you can push the right buttons at the right time."

Sutter met with the team for the first time Wednesday morning and was "quiet," Jarret Stoll said.

"You can see and feel that intensity right away," Stoll said. "I think everybody in the room felt that way. Everybody felt that way in practice and was working hard and focused. Our ears and eyes were opened and listened to what he had to say. It's a new time in here."

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Stoll said Sutter touched on being a simple team that works hard and plays with a chip on its shoulder. He also mentioned the Kings should be a better home team.

Sutter, who was later scheduled to do a press conference, also might have alluded to the Kings' 30th-ranked offense when he mentioned speed.

"We have a lot of speed on our lineup, we've just got to use it," Stoll said.

At the time of Murray's firing, general manager Dean Lombardi mentioned the high expectations that were placed on Los Angeles going into the season.

Many players deflected the question about whether they failed to deal with those expectations, but Greene said, "A lot of people were picking us to have a great year and do some good things, and we haven't. We needed something. Hopefully we can do it."

Brown and others pointed out that they liked and respected Murray, who took over in 2008 and helped stabilize the club and develop younger players like Brown, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.

Murray was the only NHL coach that Brown and others had played for, and this is the first in-season coaching change for many of the Kings.

"There's some renewed excitement here," Brown said. "Whether you want to call it a funk or a rut, I think everyone approaches it differently. You can't really change who you are. The way Terry approached it, you can't change what it was. Now he's gone and we've got to move on."
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