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Dodger Stadium Practice Quotes: Darryl Sutter

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
 Q.  Your impressions of the ice and the atmosphere? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Well, the atmosphere is pretty cool when you look at it.  I was lucky to be here this afternoon when they were doing their rehearsing for their music and all that's going to go on.  We're not going to get to see that, so that was good to see that.  Obviously, just being at Dodger Stadium and part of this is pretty impressive. 

        Q.  What about the quality of the ice? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  It's going to get better.  But it's probably not much different than we played in April and May in the old buildings before there was air conditioning if you think about it.  So I think we've all played on ice that's been less than great.  To be quite honest, there are a lot of similarities, when you think about it, to other outdoor games, except we're going to have a 60-above temperature.  It's hot and humid out there. 

        Q.  Do you take that into account for your shifts if the guys get too hot? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Johnson said he thought it was -- he was full set on being out there 15 or 20 minutes.  So the guys are going to have to hydrate and make sure with all their cramping and all that type of thing, I think. 

        Q.  (No microphone). 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Well, we're playing in Dodger Stadium and playing outdoors which is something very few players will ever get to do, so you want them to enjoy that part of it, for sure, and the experience of it. 

        Q.  Can you remember the last time you played outdoors? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Somebody else asked me that, and you think back when you're kids, but actually I played in Japan one year, and played one of the teams and played in the mountains outdoors. 
        But anybody that played outdoors as a kid, it sticks in your mind.  For sure it does.  Late night, outdoors, starting early in the morning.  I think that is the best part of coming and skating the night before is the outdoor part of it because there are a lot of players that haven't experienced that now. 
        I mean, there are not many in the series, not many outdoor rinks still open that still operate.  Most of them are covered rinks.  Heck, most of the kids are practicing on two or three sheets of ice, not many get to skate outdoors anymore. 

        Q.  How old were you when you started playing some indoor games, because it was quite late, actually? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Yeah, actually in Viking, we were one of the few towns that had an indoor rink every Saturday where you either played or practiced.  So I probably started there when I was five or six. 

        Q.  You mentioned once you played on the pond on the farm, how did you know when to come home?  How did your mother let you know the game is over and you have to come home? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Either hollered or truck horns because it's far enough away and it was at night.  Quite honestly, you think of Alberta where we were raised, nights for the most part were clear and cold, so the lighting of the moon or lighting of the stars, that's what you played under.  I remember that vividly that part of it, then walking home in the dark. 
        You take your boots off, put your skates on in the snow.  Use your boots for nets.  You only had one puck, so when the puck went missing four or five feet, you had to go find it.  Remember?  You got somebody's puck -- if we were lucky enough to get like Kelly Hrudey's puck, it would have KH in there.  You remember?  So they'd always, between us seven boys, you'd always have somebody's puck.  I remember that quite a bit. 

        Q.  In a game where you don't know the conditions very well, will the first goalie be even more important? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  No, I think we know the conditions.  There's not going to be any deep mystery about it.  We don't play on great ice at Staples Center.  We'll have good ice early in this game, that's how most buildings are.  I'm sure the ice will be fine at the start of periods and we'll go from there. 

        Q.  Darryl, when you had the whole team on the ice together is there anything special you said to them when they were together? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Just get used to the ice, get used to the atmosphere and skating outdoors.  We're basically coming home from a five-game trip and leaving again.  So that's what's important to us.  We don't have a lot of time or energy to think about much else. 

        Q.  What will be the most distracting thing playing here at Dodger Stadium? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  I don't think it's a distraction.  I think it's almost added.  I don't think it's a distraction. 

        Q.  With all the atmosphere going on around here, is there anything in your mind that you felt you had to stress to keep this team going?  Because this is a regular season game and a very important game with two points on the line. 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  I don't think so.  I think that both teams have enough guys that have won championships and they know the importance of each game.  It's not that big of stressing anything, I don't think.  I don't think there is anything that jumps out.  We played well last night against the team we play tomorrow.  So if we can get a different outcome. 

        Q.  When you went to San Jose, you had a son playing hockey at that time, if I remember correctly.  That was in the '90s.  It's been a while now.  Have you seen the growth in California at the youth level and so forth?  Is it pretty impressive? 
        DARRYL SUTTER:  Certainly, I think you're seeing not only in the U.S., but you're seeing in Canada and seeing a lot of kids go up and play out of California and Colorado, playing Junior Hockey.  You're seeing a lot of kids from California going to the university. 
        We have one on our team that played actually with Brett, my son, in San Jose.  There is a big group of California players.  It's natural.  These guys brought it here, these guys, so it's natural.  I remember going to San Jose and we lived in the cul-de-sac, and by the end of the year our kids had all the kids playing street hockey in the cul-de-sac, all of them.  So it's just natural. 
        It comes with anybody that's athletic, if it's available, they're going to end up -- if their parents can afford it, their kids are going to play. 
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