May 1, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT
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.
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.”
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 10
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 9
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 6
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 28
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Red Wings unveil plans for new arena, look to open in 2017 (57)