May 28, 2013, 3:40 PM EST
Darryl Sutter sounds like a relaxed man, given he’s facing elimination for the first time this postseason.
In fact, he sounds more than relaxed.
“Game 7s are not that big a deal when you look at it,” the Kings head coach told reporters on Tuesday, as per Mayor’s Manor. “It’s winning the fourth game that’s a lot bigger, and that’s what is way more important.
“Game 7 is, quite honest, for outside the locker room [gestures to media] to make a big deal out of it. It’s not that important.”
To be fair, coach and players don’t have much to say about Game 7s because they don’t have much experience.
The Kings haven’t faced playoff elimination since 2011, haven’t played in a Game 7 since 2002 and haven’t played a Game 7 at home since 1989.
As far as overall experience goes, the Sharks have the edge.
San Jose has 31 games of combined experience to Los Angeles’ 15, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Scott Gomez has played in nine, Brad Stuart in six while Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have played in three each.
As for Sutter, his message is consistent with what he’s preached throughout this postseason and the last — that the close-out is always the toughest game of the series.
“That’s how I see it,” Sutter said. “You either win four games or you lose four games. That’s what sticks out in my mind, not Game 7s.”
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