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Sutter: Kings’ fourth line must ‘play like big boys’

May 1, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT

Darryl Sutter AP

Darryl Sutter has a message for his grind guys:

Start playing like grind guys.

On Wednesday, the LA Kings head coach put his fourth liners on notice, saying they need to start playing like their size suggests.

“Some of the boys that play on our fourth line have to play like big boys,” Sutter told Helene Elliott of the LA Times.

This was largely in response to an stellar performance by St. Louis’ rambunctious fourth line of Chris Porter, Ryan Reaves and Adam Cracknell, dubbed the “CPR Line”.

The trio finished with 18 hits — Reaves leading the way with nine — and largely outplayed LA’s fourth unit.

The Kings began with Dustin Penner playing on the fourth line alongside Brad Richardson and Jordan Nolan, but it was Kyle Clifford who ended up there after Penner was promoted to skate with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter.

It’s easy to see who Sutter was targeting with his comments. Nolan is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds but finished the night with just one hit; Clifford is 6-foot-2, 209 pounds and finished with three.

While one coach was displeased with his fourth line’s effort, another was over the moon.

Blues bench boss Ken Hitchcock praised the CPR line for not just being physical, but contributing in all facets.

“You’re all talking about our fourth line being our fourth line, but they’re more than our fourth line. … they score,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The fourth line as an energy line, those days are gone. The hockey is too good.

“Your fourth line needs to contribute and, boy, ours has come through in spades.”

  1. blues1988 - May 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    4th line = the best line for the blues over the past month. they’re play is the reason tarasenko got scratched (that plus oshie coming back obviously)

  2. bcsteele - May 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I know I’ll get blasted for this but oh well…

    The Blues are a true threat this year for even teams like the Pens and Hawks. If Elliot can keep his play where its at and the Blues can find the back of the net there isn’t a team that can really match up with them physically. Again, dare I say, but the Pens would get knocked around ALOT and so would the hawks. Given our improvement on the back end and our defense is back to form I think the Blues could shut those teams down for the most part. At that point its all about whether the Blues can find the net. They’ve needed and true goal scorer for awhile and that may still be missing piece even though some guys stepped it up this year.

    All that being said, the Kings seem to match up against us VERY well and have had our number as of late so I’m actually most worried about this match up cause they’ll be back to form in game two I suspect. Should be an epic game. I think whichever team makes it out of this match up should have a good chance of a deep run given the make up of the teams.

    • tridecagon - May 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      ..provided they can make it out with a reasonable number of bumps and bruises. This series more than any other is going to take a physical toll on both teams.

  3. zwilhelm16 - May 1, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    LGB!!!

  4. rgledz - May 1, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Just play like Brown…..elbow guys in the head, take cheap shots and just say you were protecting yourself. Isn’t that how big boys play???

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