There's nothing fundamentally wrong and nothing that screams for a dramatic change as the season winds down, a process that continued Saturday night when they faced the West-lagging
But with first place in the Pacific Division and the top seed in the Western Conference still at stake, they agree they shouldn't relax now. Or, as Coach
But they know they'll have to refine parts of their game in order to stay atop the division, possibly get the top seeding in the conference, and be sharp when postseason play begins.
"We want to finish as high as we can. We'd like to win the division. Win the conference, if it's possible," defenseman
"We're at the point right now in the season where we're dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's. I think that's more important to me than just flat-out results. We want those results, but if we play that way, we'll get them also."
"Maybe it might creep in your head and it probably shouldn't, but you don't want to blame the last three games on that," he said. "It would be easy to say. We just have to turn it around … and kind of get in that playoff mode because it's coming in like 2 1/2 weeks and we want to win that division and that conference. It's an important goal for us and we have to push for it.
"You want to go in with that confidence of winning. A couple weeks ago, when we were winning six out of seven, you're feeling it. You feel that confidence. You want to go in for sure feeling it."
Sutter said the problem lately was more a lack of timely scoring than just scoring. He also offered a smart perspective on that 0-3 trip to Nashville, Minnesota and Winnipeg, which followed a 6-0-1 stretch.
"It's so close. I know I say it a lot, but it's so close," he said of the standings. "I don't like the fact that we lost three in a row, but if we'd have won six of our last 10 — which we did — then you'd say everything is good. We're all at 100-point paces. That's a good thing."
Also good, he said, is the team's overall structure, which should again provide a solid foundation in postseason play.
"Normally they're at least close games," he said. "You have to have that mind-set going in, and if you don't, you're not going to all of a sudden say, 'We snuck in and let's see what happens,' or, 'Let's change how we play.' You have to play the style that your team plays and be really effective with it."