Kings Coach Darryl Sutter puts the new year in perspective

Darryl Sutter prepares Kings for first game of the new year in Vancouver against the Canucks

You had to wonder, on this day of resetting, if Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was a New Year’s resolution kind of guy. 

Nope.

It was even better.

“Bucket list, for sure,” he said after Thursday’s morning skate here at Rogers Arena. “That’s what we all should do. Because when you see everything that’s going on, you need that bucket list.”

Earlier on this trip, the Kings had games in Alberta, at Calgary and Edmonton. When they were in Edmonton on Tuesday, the Oilers held a moment of silence before the game for the nine people (including two children) who were killed in shootings in three locations in and around Edmonton.

Early Thursday morning, media reports surfaced of a shooting at a New Year’s Eve party in Calgary. The CBC reported that one person as being listed in critical condition and as many as half a dozen others were injured.

Sutter coached in Calgary, leading the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 and was the Flames general manager until December 2010. His family lived in Calgary when he was with the Flames and he has maintained deep roots in his hometown of Viking, which is closer to Edmonton.  

Thursday’s contest against the Canucks is the third and final game of the Kings’ trip to Canada. The Kings are 4-8-6 on the road this season and came away with a point in Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Oilers.

“We missed way too many good opportunities and not just in Edmonton but in Calgary,” Sutter said. “And probably on the road. I don’t think any team is building off the last game, the way schedules are. You try to get dialed in to your opponent and who is sharp for your team and go from there.”

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick came off the ice first at the morning skate and it appears that this will be his ninth consecutive start. Sutter reunited the once high-flying line of Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Tyler Toffoli during the Oilers game and it looks as if they will be together against the Canucks, at least at the start.

The Kings’ defense has been hit hard because of injuries in the first half of the season and Sutter made a reference to another issue on the back end. Defenseman Jeff Schultz has played the two games on this trip, and all seven defensemen took part in the morning skate.

“Tonight we’ll make a decision,” Sutter said. “One of them is banged up a little. We’ll put them all in warmups and see how it goes.”

Said Schultz: “I got through the Calgary game, kind of got back to figuring out the speed and getting back out there. I felt much more confident and comfortable in the Edmonton game and just played my game.”

Twitter: @reallisa

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

2:50 p.m.: Updates to reflect one person is in critical condition, not deceased as previously reported by CBC.

This story was originally published at 1:59 p.m.

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