Overconfidence, thy name is not Sutter.
The Kings have defeated the Canucks three times, most recently, 4-0, at Vancouver on March 12. In those three games, the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, have a combined two assists for the Canucks.
All this led to the question: Was Kings Coach Darryl Sutter concerned about his team being overconfident against the Canucks?
“They’ve got a playoff spot right now and we don’t,” Sutter said after Friday’s practice. “That’s what I base it on.”
Heading into Friday’s games, the Canucks were holding on to second place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of third-place Calgary and two in front of the Kings. Additionally, the Kings are two points behind Winnipeg for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Kings play the Canucks twice more, at Staples Center on Saturday and at Vancouver on April 6.
“I’m not sure we have [dominated] just because they haven’t scored,” Sutter said of the Canucks’ top line. “The twins are close to dominant players every game they play. I think we’ve played three times against them.
“They’ll have a different lineup tomorrow, and we will too.”
One change for the Kings could be the inclusion of defenseman Alec Martinez, who has been out since Feb. 7 because of concussionsymptoms. Martinez, who has missed 18 games, has been practicing all week and was officially activated from injured reserve.
Sutter won’t often tip his hand. He has options at his disposal, which includes going with an extra defenseman. With the Kings’ personnel issues on the back end, however, that hasn’t been a viable option much this season.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi was unable to offer any update regarding center Jarret Stoll, who has missed three games, a situation with some similarities to Martinez.
It also does not sound as though there are any new developments on the Mike Richards front, in terms of a recall from the minors, Lombardi said. Richards was put on waivers and cleared shortly after the All-Star break.
Rookie forward Tanner Pearson appears to be increasing his workload at practice, joining his teammates near the end of practice. He suffered a broken leg on Jan. 10, but Sutter did not think he would be coming back earlier than expected.
“You have to go on that when they say, 10 to 12 weeks,” said Sutter, who added that only a setback would change that time frame. “There won’t be any change in that. There’s no change. That’s a bone healing with a plate and screws.
“I don’t think there can be any s7peed up or slow down. It’s got to do with healing.”
When: 1 p.m.
On the air: TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 790.
Etc.: Canucks goalie Eddie Lack is scheduled to start against the Kings, and the injured Zack Kassian and former King Brad Richardson are not making the trip. “We have to prove we can play with them,” Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa told the Canucks website. “It’s an easy game to get up for, with us both pushing for the playoffs.”