WCQF Game 4: Post-game comments from San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Friday, April 22, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


Post-game comments from San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan:

We’ll take them (12 GF in Los Angeles). We had to earn them though. They are a very good hockey club. They play very hard, and very well defensively. We had to earn them. More importantly it is two wins. We didn’t play very well in game 2. We had to straighten our game out a little bit. I thought we had done that enough to get wins, but we still have to improve. They are going to come back and play very hard. They have a lot of pride and are a very good hockey club.

It happens in hockey. There are mistakes made. We are all hoping for the perfect game. We had the same breakdowns, sometimes the goalie gets in the way and makes a save. Faceoffs are important, bounces are important. I think we each scored one on our own net tonight. It is that time of year where strange plays happen. The more you can get the puck to the net, the more opporunity you have for that strange play going your way.

(Do Sharks have playoff advantage because of experience) Only if you use it. It is pretty simple. You can add up games and post it on the wall and say we have an advantage. It works in your favor, but only if you use it. I think in game 2 it was pretty evident that we were not prepared to use that experience. We were very undisciplined. We took penalties we didn’t need to take. We got engaged at the wrong times. Over the last 2 games I think you could see that come out a little more. Poise and composure tonight, coming out for the 3rd period after getting through the 2nd when they were coming back. That adds up a little bit and maybe that does give you a little bit of an advantage, but only if you use it.

We have been lucky enough to score three 4-on-4 goals this series, so it opens up the ice a little bit. Doughty is a very good player, Scott Nichol is a very important player to us. It opens up some ice. It made some space available to us and we took advantage of it.

That was huge for us. You could feel it, the same feeling that their bench had our bench likely had. That is where the composure comes in. To get the penalty kill and get us into the break where we could regain and retool and do whatever we had to do between periods to come out was huge. Our penalty kill was very good. They have an excellent power play. They don’t get enough credit for how they move the puck around and how their top end shoots it. They have a very good gameplan. For us to kill off all 6 was a feather in (our) hat.

Antti has done that all year (rebound after being pulled), he has done that throughout his career. He is human. He will have his good days and his bad days, but the thing about him is that he is determined to come back with a real good one. I thought he was exceptional in the second half, he made some tremendous saves. A couple 5-on-3 penalty kills where basically your goaltender becomes your best penalty killer. It was the same thing with Quick he made some great saves. The back end, they have a couple guys that can really fire the puck. They have been involved in the game offensively again tonight. We have to have the ability to match that. If we can play them even there, we will be happy.

The perfect game doesn’t exist. We would love to play a perfect game, but we are getting close to a full 60 (minutes). We will continue to work towards it.

As far as the net play, the rebounds and whatnot, we are no different than 16 other teams right now. Let’s face it, if the goalie sees it, it doesn’t matter what goaltender it is, he is stopping it at this time of the year. You have to get traffic. They scored a really nice goal in the third period on a traffic play. Heater’s penalty I was disappointed we put ourselves in that position to take that penalty. I haven’t watched it, I think it was called a trip.

Post-game comments from Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray:

It was a 0-0 game. Nichol and Doughty get involved. They score two on a 4- on-4. Up until that point it was a pretty good game. We kill off a 5-on-3, we kill off a double minor, it was a pretty good game. I don’t think it was out of control. I don’t think they had a grasp on the game. So everything was good.

4-on-4 they score two goals, that is a terrible, terrible, you can’t lose Doughty for Nichol. Give Nichol credit, he is the reason they won tonight. Because they scored two goals on it, then they score a goal on the double minor with Greene in the box. Three goals directly responsible for Nichol’s play. 3-2, I really liked our compete to come back and make it 3-2, it was a good game. Whatever happened in the third period with giveaways, turnovers, lost faceoffs, that is sometimes a hard thing to explain.

It is hard not to get involved. (Nichol) took a run at him from the blueline. They are chirping at each other coming up the ice. Both are going at each other. I don’t know if he could skate away. They were engaged, I don’t know if he could have got away from it. Maybe the referee or the linesman, or one of our players could have stepped in between to seperate them. It didn’t happen. You just don’t want to lose your top defenseman to a player of that stature. If you are going to lose him to a Thornton or Marleau, you will take that exchange. That was a very costly move.

If we were just talking about the Doughty (play), that is where you have to keep control. I thought our emotions were under control. I thought they lost composure at the end with Heatley doing a slew foot on Martinez. That is a dangerous play, he is going back for pucks. That is a dangerous play. That is where you break your leg, blow your knee out on those looks. I hate that play. That is a gutless move in my mind. Gutless move. You just don’t do that in hockey. You didn’t do that 30 years ago, you can’t get away with that today. That should have been more than a 2 minute minor. That is a major, that is a game misconduct.

There was none (consideration of pulling goaltender Jonathan Quick). Sometimes you have to work your way through a game. The goalie, you look at the goals. We are going for a puck, we turn the puck over and they have a tap-in in front of the net. That is not the goaltenders fault. We lose a faceoff, they have a shot from the point, we left our coverage center on center. Pavelski redirects the puck. That is not the goaltender. Chaging goaltenders at that time I think sends the wrong message to the team. It’s everybody is in this together.

Really good. Look at the penalty kill. The 5-on-3 penalty kill against one of the best power plays in the league, and then you get into a double minor right after that. It was great. The emotion, the energy, the under control game. It was a close game, no score, it ends up breaking open there 4-on-4 and they score a beautiful power play goal, I thought Couture did a good job on that. We battled back. I loved the way we competed at the end, getting back to a 3-2 game. That was a great response.

The (Richardson line) does some great things in the offensive part of the game. Back on the other side of the puck, we have to be a lot better with that line.

I am playing what I got. Kopitar is not coming back guys. He has got a broken leg. You play with what you got. I can make some comination changes maybe. Personnel-wise, I have Oscar Moller there sitting on the sideline waiting, he would love to play. I have Drewiske. Peter Harrold, I take that into consideration. Oscar Moller played very good up there in game 2. I will think about that one.

No (thought would not be in favor of Dustin Penner). It is not about any one player. It would be a change, change is good sometimes. Sometimes it is not.

(To come back from 3-1) It takes a strong level of composure and poise, playing hard with discipline between the whistles keeping the referees out of the game, in our case because of their power play being so good. It takes a lot of compete. Hard play, team play, doing the right thing. Every shift has to be the right way if you are going to come back. At the end of the night if you look at the offensive zone play we had, especially coming back 2-3, there was some great play there. Putting pucks to the net, some great playoff kind of goals. It is there. It is without the puck that is a concern. We have given up 12 goals here in 2 games at home, I am not just saying this, we are one of the best defensive teams in the league over the last 3 years. Statistics show that. Those guys have played hard, and really dedicated themselves to that part of the game. This is really out of character what has gone on here.

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