Contrarian Darryl morphed into Complimentary Darryl on Friday morning.

Coach Darryl Sutter was taking a big-picture look at his Kings, a group blessed with a home-heavy schedule after having completed a stiff stretch of heavy lifting on the road, 11 of 15 games away. They play 20 of the final 33 games at home in this lockout-shortened season.

Sutter can deliver critiques with a blend of blunt wit and sarcasm. Shortcomings remain, to be sure, but he offered a dose of perspective.

"We played the fewest home games in the league," Sutter said. "It hasn't really been an easy schedule and I looked at it again. We play three at home and then we go [away] for one. If you break that out again, we're playing three teams we haven't beat yet.

"If you knock out the first two games of the year, we'd be looking pretty good … in the big picture. We've been able to handle everything very well. That's been the best part about our team. I've liked the way they've handled the extra attention that's come with it."

The Kings' three-game trip started poorly and improved after an especially rocky first period in Chicago. The 3-2 loss was followed by 3-1 victories at Edmonton and Calgary.