If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
But in the case of Innisfail Eagles Head Coach Brian Sutter, you can tinker with it a bit.
The Eagles are fresh off a 4-3 win over Bentley and sit in third spot, two points behind Fort Saskatchewan, five back of the Generals and Sutter is standing pat with the cards he has in his hand – sort of.
“I don’t know if we want to change too much. We want to upgrade like we’re doing all the time. We want to keep adding to what we’re doing,” said Sutter.
What the Eagles are doing is steadily climbing towards their goal which is to win an Allan Cup title. This from a squad which posted a single win a mere two years ago.
Last season though the Eagles made off with the Senior AA provincial title and Sutter says the work will continue as they march forward this season with their collective eyes set on winning the Chinook Hockey League title.
Sutter makes no bones about the fact he looks for players who bring with them the required hockey skills but also a hockey bag full of character which is high on his list of attributes.
In that vein he has in his dressing room leaders in the form of Darryl Laplante as well as Joe and Pete Vandermeer along with a cast of others who fit the mould.
“We have some outstanding affiliates, the Bensmiller boys (Chance and Kurt) have played and been solid for us,” said Sutter. “Believe me, we’re just starting and we’re going to get better.”
It would be easy to suggest the Generals are the team which most others are measured by due to their success but Sutter stares right past that comparison and instead looks at the progress his own team has made as it grows into being a contender.
The Eagles have played some solid games against Bentley and Sutter likes what his boys bring to the rink each night no matter who the opponent is.
“I know what we’ve got to do and how we’re going to do it,” he said. “The key is as a coach you want to have the horses and if you drop the reins you want to be able to let them run and we’re getting to that point.”
Sutter says everything is a process and the key is to learn from it and get better all the time which is what his team has done over the past two seasons.
“We want to finish as high in the standings as we can and just take it from there.”
It seems like the horses are ready to run.