Kings coach Sutter: ‘Game 7s are not that big a deal’


Darryl Sutter sounds like a relaxed man, given he’s facing elimination for the first time this postseason.

In fact, he sounds more than relaxed.

“Game 7s are not that big a deal when you look at it,” the Kings head coach told reporters on Tuesday, as per Mayor’s Manor. “It’s winning the fourth game that’s a lot bigger, and that’s what is way more important.

“Game 7 is, quite honest, for outside the locker room [gestures to media] to make a big deal out of it. It’s not that important.”

Classic Sutter.

To be fair, coach and players don’t have much to say about Game 7s because they don’t have much experience.

The Kings haven’t faced playoff elimination since 2011, haven’t played in a Game 7 since 2002 and haven’t played a Game 7 at home since 1989.

As far as overall experience goes, the Sharks have the edge.

San Jose has 31 games of combined experience to Los Angeles’ 15, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Scott Gomez has played in nine, Brad Stuart in six while Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have played in three each.

For L.A., Robyn Regehr has played in four Game 7s, while Mike Richards and Justin Williams have participated in three.

As for Sutter, his message is consistent with what he’s preached throughout this postseason and the last — that the close-out is always the toughest game of the series.

“That’s how I see it,” Sutter said. “You either win four games or you lose four games. That’s what sticks out in my mind, not Game 7s.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.