Post-game comments by San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


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

[Q] It seems like you changed the lines, you’ve thrown all kinds of shots at ‘em, yet you’re still down 0-3. Do you ask yourself, What now?

[TM] No. We know what now. What now is to regroup and come back with the same effort. There’s really nothing else we can do. I was really happy with the way our team played to a man, whether it was from goaltender, D man, forwards. We made a few mistakes. They scored some goals. I thought it was a helluva game.

The reality is we’re down 3-0. Happened a week ago with two good teams playing and Philadelphia found a way to come back, so there’s something to draw in there. Plus the fact that we’ve been in this series I think for every minute. That’s got to leave us feeling good.

But we know we’re in a hole and we’ve got to dig our way out.

[Q] Four goals over the last two games for Patrick Marleau. Describe what you’re seeing from him.

[TM] You know, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Patty play now for 200some games, 160 games anyhow, and that’s as good as I’ve seen him play. Determined, committed, working real hard all over the rink. Real proud of him. He needs to bring it again.

[Q] Can you break down the last goal for us.

[TM] It was a breakdown in D zone coverage. They did a really good job of keeping the puck alive at the blueline. Released it behind the net. We jumped down with our centerman, Scottie. They basically looked at net front, Byfuglien got lost out high out in the zone and one-timed it into the net. I don’t know if we can blame one individual. Collectively, we shouldn’t have allowed the puck to come in there free. And we’ve got to be aware of the shooter. The guy behind the net is not dangerous. Always the guy in the slot is.

[Q] You always talk about these games revolving around special teams. You got the one power-play goal. There were a lot of missed opportunities.

[TM] If there was a part of our game that we have to go back and improve, we had opportunities the third period on the power-play where we could have either got the lead or established ourselves in the game, and we didn’t do that. I’d like to see our power-play a little bit sharper.

Remember, they’re a very good penalty-killing team. They’ve got this far because of it.

[Q] Why can’t you get over the hump against these guys?

[TM] Well, we’re still on the hump. I don’t think we’re quite under it yet. You know what, it’s good hockey. There’s four teams left. Sometimes the bounces go your way, sometimes they don’t.

I can’t walk in the dressing room tomorrow and approach that group and say they didn’t give an effort, they didn’t work hard, they didn’t give us everything they had. It’s pretty simple: it just didn’t go our way tonight.

We had enough looks at the net. You know, what we have to do now is bottle that game up, find a way to score one more than they do on Sunday afternoon.

[Q] It’s simple, but is Niemi just playing that well?

[TM] He’s playing well, there’s no doubt about it. But, again, I think Dany Heatley had a great opportunity. Ryane Clowe had a great opportunity. They’re both very good goal-scorers. Didn’t get the puck up. He’s very quick, very athletic down low. Made some tremendous saves for them.

Nabby in our goal was very solid when we needed him. It was a very well-played game by both teams.

Post-game comments by Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville:

[Q] Did Dave Bolland show he’s more than a defensive-minded center tonight?

[JQ] We know Bolland has some offensive touch. He sees plays. You know, great goal basically coming out of the box. Great play to Buff in overtime. Still think he’s effective in a lot of ways. But he’s really picked up his game come the playoffs. You know, kind of the way he was all last year.

We’re very happy and pleased with his contribution and a couple huge plays tonight.

[Q] Obviously both teams playing very well. The fact is you’re still up 3-0. How confident are you guys right now?

[JQ] Well, we were fortunate tonight. I thought our goalie, you can use any adjective, but the best superlative to describe his performance tonight, great or spectacular was deserving. I think we rode on that, particularly even in overtime.

But he was big. Several key saves. We battled hard. It was a fast-paced game again. The series is being played where both teams are very competitive. I think they got some guys that can make some plays that you have to be respectful for. We want to concentrate and do a better job checking.

[Q] Can you break down the winning goal for us.

[JQ] We had a little bit of time in their zone, which we were on the receiving end for most of the overtime. Bolland made a nice little play behind the net. Nice little seam pass. Buff, high slot, finished it with a great shot.

I think the quality seemed like it was only at the one end. That was quality coming against us in overtime. It was certainly very fitting with Buff with a great shot.

[Q] Patrick Marleau has four goals over the course of two games. What has he been able to do against you guys?

[JQ] He’s got some speed. He’s a top player. I think he’s a guy we have to be aware of. Certainly they got several guys offensively that are dangerous and are threats. But certainly his speed and quickness and his shots are all high end. Let’s make an awareness that he’s got a hot stick.

[Q] We’ve heard their coach and their players talk about their attitude going into Sunday. What is yours?

[JQ] Well, we’ll address that with the group tomorrow certainly. We want to feel like that’s the most important game we’re going to play all year. That’s the incentive and that’s the motivation. We know we have to be better than we were tonight. That’s our approach.

[Q] We know you’re not going to go too far ahead. Do you think this team is peaking at the right time?

[JQ] We’ve had good stretches throughout the year. I think right now we’ve progressed with a real nice swing on that road trip there. We had some momentum coming here at home. The building was spectacular tonight. Nice to see us get a home win as well.

But momentum is an important thing come playoff time. You want to keep it as long as you can. Let’s be excited about the next game.

[Q] You’ve been able to keep this team’s focus. Now one win away from the Stanley Cup finals. How will you keep their focus now at home? Is it another hotel?

[JQ] I think we got a pretty good group of veterans that have been through big games and big situations. The experience we brought in from last year’s team, the experience we went through last year is going to help us in situations like that. I think games you got a chance to win a series, our focus has been pretty good throughout these playoffs. Even last year as well.

I just think that, you know, you got a John Madden, Hossa, guys playing in the Olympics, playing for gold medals, I think those experiences are something that can come out at a critical time like we’re in now.

[Q] Going into last year’s playoffs you wouldn’t think that Buff would emerge as a post-season star. Now two years in a row. What is it about him you think is doing this for him?

[JQ] Well, Buff, he’s moving well. He’s got some speed behind his game. I think he’s got some quickness, that consistency of his game that we’re looking to him improving upon. This year was kind of representative of last year, regular season. This year’s playoffs have taken off where last year’s playoffs were. I think that line has been very productive and effective in a lot of ways.

I think he definitely complements Toews and Kane at the net with his size. I think everybody brings a little bit something different to the table. I think that line has been a big factor in the series. Buff, we like the way things are going with him.

[Q] Can you talk about the PK again. Six chances for them, you only had two power-plays. You had to work overtime on the PK tonight.

[JQ] Three in the third and were all big. Got through a couple of big saves, some loose pucks hanging around, in dangerous situations. We either got to them or the save was there made by Antti, who was large, especially in the PK situation for us. Our PK has been pretty effective all year. We didn’t have some of our guys killing penalties in the box tonight. I think we got through it a couple times and were fortunate.

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