WCSF Game 1: Post-game comments by San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan 2011 San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Red Wings WCSF

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

It was great to see Benny (Ferriero) find a way to get the puck to the net. Didn’t use him a lot in the game. As it wore on and it felt like overtime was looming as we scored, we talked between that intermission and overtime about getting more people involved. Benny (Ferriero) was one of them. Fortunately his first shift out there in overtime, he ended it. We didn’t have to continue to tax three and a bit lines.

First of all, (adding Ferriero to the lineup) wasn’t a genius move. I can tell you that. We just felt looking at their lineup, and the way their third and fourth lines played, we needed certain ingredients in. We have really liked Benny Ferriero’s game, when he has come up and contributed. Ben Eager is a physical guy that can really skate. He can get after defenseman. I think both teams are talking about wearing down the blueline. He can do that as well.

Last shot wins. We have been fortunate. Abdelkader comes down in overtime and has a 2-on- 1, a great scoring opportunity. We get a blocked shot on a penaly off of it. You go back to the games against LA. They had their chances, we had ours. Sometimes the bounces go your way. You can’t always count on them. We have been fortunate thusfar.

The good things (about San Jose first noon game on Sunday) is that we practice at 11 or 12 every day. Our bodies and our minds are prepared to show up and think hockey, and play hockey at that time. Leadership will be important. Coaches will have to prepare the team properly. We are both going to play at noon, we have to play the game irregardless of what time it is at.

They did a tremendous job in penalty killing. 4 minutes, you are counting on winning the game during those 4 minutes. It could have been a huge momentum swing against us. We are lucky enough to get two or three of their players tired enough, win a battle, and then just get the puck to the net. Had it not gone in at that point, we would have had to come up with some composure. The experience would have had to come up at that point. We would have to settle the team down, and settle in for a longer game because the momentum would have been in their favor.

They are a very good puck protection team. They get an opportunity to get their asses out and they do a tremendous job with that. Our play along the boards is going to be very important to counter that. To contain them. Then vice versa. Once we get into their zone we would like to hold on to pucks and protect it. I think as the series goes on, you will see in the 7 games, that some people will eventually get worn out because of it. It will either be there team or our team. I thought we did a pretty good job of it, especially in the second period today.

When Benny (Ferriero) showed up, we didn’t know much about him. He was a late signing on our behalf. I think late August he came to camp. Sometimes it is a good thing not to be talked about. You just get to come in and perform. Your expectations of this individual aren’t too high or too low. He earned an opportunity to start the year with us. Then he needed a little more time in the minors. Every time he comes up he continues to play well. Sometimes he is a victim of circumstances when it comes to contracts and waivers. They understand that, they have to put there time in the minors. When he is up here, he has played well and given us everything he had. (What was he told when he was sent to Worcester of the AHL) Just to do what he is told to do. He gets more ice time there. It is part of the development. He gets to play on the power play a lot. He gets a lot more there. He plays in every important situation both offensively and defensively. Instead of being here playing 3 or 4 minutes, he is there playing 14 or 15, developing and having the ability to come in and play against a team like Detroit in the second round.

I thought Nemo (Antti Niemi) settled in well. There was a lot of pucks clanging in around the feet, and he found it. He was able to see the puck a little bit more and he settled in. It is nice for him to only have 1 against. Nice for him to get the win. I am sure his confidence will grow from there.

(Joe Pavelski) was pretty darn good. That line (Wellwood-Pavelski-Mitchell), once again had the puck a lot, controlled it. Everything about Pavs game we liked tonight. A little more command at the power play at the top. Not as many turnovers. Him and Dan Boyle both had good nights in that area. Faceoffs I think he would like to have more wins. He was a very key piece in tonight’s win.

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock 2011 San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Red Wings WCSF

Post-game comments by Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock:

I thought they were better than us. I thought that we looked like a team, that upfront, I don’t think we skated very good. I thought they were quicker than we were. I actually thought the first period would be our worst period of the game. I didn’t think that was the case. We had 3 minutes at the start of the second, and 3 minutes at the end, other than that they dominated the whole period. We took too many penalties. You can’t be in the penalty box and expect to survive. They had 14 power play shots. I thought that was a huge factor in the game, even though at the end they didn’t score there on the power play. They wear you out on the power play for 4-minutes, and then end up getting the game winner.

The bottom line is that we needed (the 9 day) layoff with the injuries we had in our lineup. There are no excuses for anything, you just got to come back and play better. We weren’t good enough.

Our guy came out of the box. We had killed the penalty off. Abdelkader was along the wall there with the guy. The guy turned and shot it. It hit (stuart’s) stick and deflected back or down or something and through Howie.

I thought Howie was good tonight period. I thought our penalty kill, one goal was unfortunate there where Miller fell down on the entry. They just shot it and it bounced up, then it was banged in the net. I thought our penalty kill was good. A huge part of your penalty kill is your goaltending. I thought he gave us a chance. I didn’t mind my back end at all, but they had way too much wear and tear on them. Their D had a night off. We didn’t touch them. We never got into them. We never got into the o-zone. It was a night off for them. We have to be way better than that.

When we have the puck in their zone (is when you create traffic). Traffic comes off of the cycle, off of a grind. Traffic doesn’t come as much when you are on the rush. If you don’t spend any time in the o-zone, you aren’t going to have any traffic. To me that is being physical, hanging on to pucks down low, that is working on their D. That didn’t happen for us tonight. It looked to me like up front we were legless.

(Did you have a problem with penalties called tonight?) I had problems with lots of penalties. We shouldn’t have took ‘em. They’re penalties. What are you going to do. You can’t take penalties. You have to look after your stick. Could they have had a couple more? Maybe, but they didn’t get a couple more. The team that has the puck the most, is going to take the least penalties.

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