Kings winning with 'Sutter Hockey'

Updated: May 16, 2012, 3:19 PM ET
By Craig Custance

PHOENIX -- There are times when Darryl Sutter addresses the Los Angeles Kings by sitting at a dressing room stall, right next to the players, and starting to talk. It's in those moments when his players see up close the intensity he brings. He's not a coach yelling instructions to his players from the middle of the room. He's a guy sitting shoulder to shoulder with them.

"Honestly, it's the first coach I've ever played for where you almost think he should throw on the equipment and uniform with you," Kings forward Dustin Penner said after Los Angeles' 4-0 win Tuesday night over the Phoenix Coyotes. "There's times he's just one of the guys and he wants to be out there with you. You can feel that passion, energy and intensity from him."

Sutter has a reputation as being tough on his players. As being a bit old school. But the Kings have learned that he's very much a players' coach. He's a players' coach in that he's not in this for personal success or to build his legacy. He's in this to help the Kings reach the pinnacle of the sport. To raise a Stanley Cup.

Players can sense authenticity. They can spot a phony. There's nothing fake about Sutter and what he's accomplishing with the Kings, who are just two wins away from playing in the Stanley Cup finals.