WCF Game 2: Post-game comments by San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Thursday, May 19, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


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

I think that is over-simplifying. They had more battle in their game than we did. This time of the year when you have more battle, more of a tenacity to your game, you are going to win. Ben Eager’s hit started a bit of a frustration level on our team. We didn’t handle it very well. It obviouvsly grew from there. I thought one of the turning points in my opinion was their third goal. We have a set forecheck. We have practiced that since September, and a player gets skated. All of a sudden it is in your net. Now you are chasing. You can’t chase this team. They are too good. You have to play with them, or you half to play ahead of them. From there it started to unravel.

Yes (I thought our team lost composure in third), without a doubt. I am not going to sit here and try to protect them. We lost our composure, we were frustrated. As I said earlier, when your second, you tend to be frustrated. So we have some work to do. We have some guys that need to ask themselves some questions, answer them, and pull the skates a little tighter.

We are playing against very good opponents. Tonight, in looking back and comparing it to game 1, I thought we did skate better tonight. It was something we wanted to do. I thought we created more of a forecheck tonight. They ability to sustain it wasn’t there again. All of a sudden you are chasing the game. You have to perfect the minor details, and they are doing a much better job of it. Whether it is faceoff coverage, whether it is a set forecheck, whether it is the first goal penalty killing, it is on our tape and we are 20 seconds left in a penalty kill and we want to play 1-on-1 in the neutral zone. They are doing a much, much better job of doing those little details right now.

(At the end of two periods) I thought there was still room for improvement. We often talk in numbers as coaches, we didn’t have enough players. We had some guys that really showed up and committed themselves to this team, and then we had some guys that were unsure.

We are going home. A real wise guy once told me you are never really in trouble in a series until you lose a game at home. We haven’t done that. We don’t plan on doing that. We have got to regroup. We have got to find some composure, take our battle level up. With that being said, as I mentioned there are a few people in our group, and I am not going to hide them any more. They have to ask themselves whether they want to keep on competiting.

(Which ones) I’ll hide that part. You guys get to decide.

I think Ben Eager is one of our faster forwards. I think he is one of our most physical forwards. I think that he has the ability to win battles and create scrums. I do believe the other team knows when he is on the ice. I do believe the fact that Ben played a lot more minutes tonight was rewarding for us. Now the negative, he can’t march to the penalty box on an ongoing basis. The tradeoff obviously didn’t work in our favor tonight. I would like him to play that game without going to the penalty box.

(The Bieksa-Marleau fight) I am not sure it had a major impact on the game at all. I thought maybe at that point we got a little frustrated because we wanted to even the score. That was Ben Eager taking a run at one of the Sedin’s. It probably grew from there. At this point you have got to have your emotions in check. You have got to maintain some composure. You are never really out of it, I think we talked about it last night with the Boston game, you are never really out of it. We have been down 4 and been able to fight back. Sticking to a gameplan.

Physical, we wanted to win more battles than we won in game 1. Do you want to call that physical? Yes. I think we were better than we were in game 1. Believe it or not, the score was 7-3, we were a better team tonight than we were in game 1 less the frustration and the composure, taking penalties.

I am not sure. We haven’t made that many (mistakes) heading in here. We wouldn’t have got by that red team last week doing that. Right now, I think we have to give credit to the opponent. They have got a good gameplan and they are executing it better than we are executing ours. They are playing a little harder than we are. As a result, you tend to make more mistakes. You tend to get frustrated. When you get frustrated, you take penalties. It is a vicious circle. That could be one of the reasons why.

I will take Ben Eager’s game without the penalties any night. He was an honest guy, he battled hard, skated, fought through every thing. (Do you think he crossed the line, and do you expect to have him available for game 3?) Absolutely 100% available for game 3. Didn’t see him cross the line at all.

Post-game comments by Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault:

(Kevin Bieksa) played a real solid game again tonight. I thought both ends of the rink, his goal was a great passing execution. He beat their goaltender 5 -hole. I thought he was competing real hard, playing real well for us.

Obviously Danny (Sedin) embellished that. The league will do the right thing. Great embellishment. You guys saw the hit. I am confident the league will do the right thing.

We have talked about (discipline), I thought we have been that way all year long. We have talked about playing whistle to whistle. We have talked about staying disciplined. That’s what we have done throughout the playoffs. We did it again tonight. When their 4th line player took a run at the NHL leading scorer, possibly the MVP, we stayed focused. We stayed disciplined. We went out and played. We are confident the league is going to do the right thing.

I think this year, anytime a team has tried to play us a chippier way, our power play has responded. I thought tonight we moved the puck well. I thought we were physical when we needed to be, when the opportunity was there. Obviously our power play was important tonight, it got us some goals. Now we are going to turn the page on this one and we are going to focus on the next game.

That whole (Sedin) line obviously had some quality shifts on the ice. Protecting the puck, getting grade A chances. I think the other thing they did well tonight was creating on the rush. Our d was able to jump in the attack and to find them. They had some grade a scoring chances, and they played real well.

I think it is a combination of (the Sedins) are motivated right now, they are confident. We said before this series that we needed them to step up. They have for the first two games, and we need that to continue.

We’ve played some real good games that have been tighter and lower scoring. Tonight in the third period our power play just took over because of Eager’s penalty there, etc. We took over the game.

Obviously we have all known that Kevin (Bieksa) has been a character guy, a competitor. That is what he did tonight, that is what he has done consistently this year. On the Marleau fight, it was Marleau that dropped the gloves not Bieksa. Eager was ranting and raving at his bench going beserk. It wasn’t Kevin that dropped the mitts. It was Marleau that dropped the mitts. I am not sure what he was supposed to do there.

We expect (SJ) to play hard. They are one of the best teams in the NHL. They have got a highly skilled set there, real competitors. We are going to practice tomorrow, fly to San Jose and get ready for a real tough game.

(Aaron Rome’s goal) was a set play. He is playing well. In our mind, at both ends of the rink he has been physical. He is confident with the puck. When the opportunity has been there to jump up with the puck, he has jumped. That is what we want our defense to do.

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