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NJD Notebook 4.15: Sutter speaks to media

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils – Devils head coach Brent Sutter spoke to the media after Wednesday's morning skate at Prudential Center.

Sutter on beginning the playoffs:
I’m excited. I’m excited to get this thing going. You play 82 games and this is what you play for. We’re here now and it’s an exciting time; it’s a great time of the year.

Are the Devils ready?
I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t (think so). Yeah, I do. I think we’re as ready as we can be. We’re excited about it.

Is this a time of year to try new things?
We’re a team that does things a certain way and we’ve had success doing it that way. We’re not all of a sudden going to change and be a different type of team now. I don’t think there’s a magic wand out there this time of year where all of a sudden something’s going to change. We just need to stay with doing the things that we do and what makes us a good hockey team. We know our opponent is a very good opponent. You see two teams in this series that are matched up pretty well.

On what makes Zach Parise such a dangerous player:
Work ethic. There’s a lot of players that are skilled players in this game at this level. What separates certain individuals from others is their commitment and their work ethic and their compete level, and his is very, very high.  He’s a gifted player, he’s a skilled player but he’s a player that puts it out there every shift.

Benefits of Brendan Shanahan's experience:
When he made his decision that he was going to come to New Jersey, that was all part of the mindset: his experience, his leadership, the amount of games he’s played in the NHL and big games he’s played at this level. Obviously, he’s been a Stanley Cup winner. His experience, his knowledge at this time of year is very high and something you want to use inside your room and on the ice.

On the Carolina power play:
They’re a talented group. You look at that forward group, and they can put out two very talented power play units. You’ve got (Anton) Babchuk and (Joe) Corvo that can both shoot the puck on the back end. They’ve got a good mix of both: they have the talented guys up front and a couple guys on the back end that can really fire the puck. We have to be very disciplined. I think before you can even talk about power play, I think the important thing is that we need to be a disciplined team. This is not the time of year that you can take bad penalties. We have to be disciplined. You know you are going to have some penalties, but then you have to be disciplined in how you kill penalties. You have to be aware of situations that are happening. There’s subtle adjustments in games; adjustments you might see game to game from both teams, and PK is a part of that.

Why has Cam Ward played well against the Devils?
Why is it? Because he’s a good goalie. He’s a Conn Smythe trophy winner, he’s won a Stanley Cup. He’s a professional. I’ve known Cam since he was 15 years of age. He was our goaltender back in Red Deer when he was 17, 18, 19, and when he was 18-, 19-years of age in the Western Hockey League, there was no one better. He’s a very good goalie. Like all goaltenders, you have to keep him in his crease, you have to do things around the net as far as getting traffic. I’m saying things no different than I’m sure (Carolina head coach) Paul (Maurice) is saying about Marty (Brodeur), and no different than you would have to with all goalies. Cam’s a very good goaltender. You look at matchups and you say they have a very good goaltender, so does New Jersey. Their defense is very similar to ours: not a lot of big name guys, but guys who go out and do their jobs and work well as units. They’ve got some very talented, skilled forwards and so do we.

On Martin Brodeur's preparations for the playoffs:
No, Marty didn’t play a 70-game schedule but, Marty played a lot of games down the stretch and that’s the reason why: we wanted to make sure he was playoff ready and make sure he was sharp. He was on such a roll when he came back and the team played well. Then we went into a little bit of a lull where we lost six games. A couple of those games we probably should’ve won but we didn’t win and then we responded well to that. We won four of our last five games, and our last two games, we played as well in those last two games as we have all year. Marty played extremely well, too. For myself, I’m very comfortable, very confident that he’s as sharp as he’s ever been going into the playoffs.

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