Post-series comments from San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Saturday, April 24, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

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

“It was a hell of a game tonight. They played extremely hard. We knew they would do that. The third kind of mirrors what has happened throughout the whole series. We picked that overcome theme in the beginning. With about 8 or 9 minutes left in the game, we were still trying to overcome.”

“I am proud of the way the guys played, but it was a hard series for us to play in. 1-8, we learned how tough that could be last year. Just because the numbers are 1 and 8 doesn’t mean the teams are that far apart. I said that earlier in the series. Colorado did a tremendous job in competing. They pushed us to the limit. It was a tough series for us, not only while the play was going on, the passing, the hitting and the shooting. But it was tough between the ears. I was proud that we managed that part of the series well.”

“There was some frustration in our team today. We had a lot of the play in some of the games, and maybe showed up expecting some of that again. We talked about it between the second and the third. They are allowed to push back, they are allowed to play hard. We had to channel the frustration the right way. We calmed down, and started to play.”

“I believe it does (prepare us for the next round). Obviously we will need some rest. The game we played we will have to take with us to the next round. We don’t know who our opponent is, so a lot of things might change. The general type of game we played is the game we have to, to have a chance at being successful.”

“I thought Danny (Boyle) got better as the game went on again tonight. You need your top players to do that so that everyone else settles down. I think you are refering to his goal, but he did a lot of real good things down below our goal line. Their dump and their forecheck was a lot better tonight than it had been earlier. He and the other 5 defenseman did some really good work below the goal line to get our puck out.”

“Joe (Pavelski) has talent. You can’t do what he did in this series and not have talent. He has the ability to do it. He has got a real good drive and a will to win. He wants to be up to bat in the bottom of the ninth with 2 men out, is probably the best way of putting it.”

“I talked about (top line scoring) earlier. I thought they needed to get on the scoreboard for us to have success. Patrick Marleau did. They were probably not at the top of their game. I actually liked their last 15 minutes of play. I thought that was maybe some of their best hockey. They looked strong and fast. They got themselves through it, they will be fine. We will continue to work, we will move forward.”

“If I wasn’t involved with any of the teams, I would tell you this anyhow. It is so competitive, it is hard to win. 1, 8, 2, 7, it is hard to win when the playoffs start. It just doesn’t matter. The only benefit you have is home ice for one extra night.”

“Nabby was very, very good. I think when I talked about the game between the ears, in game 2 Nabby put it behind him. We also talked about how tough that game was for him to play. He hadn’t had any shots. They got a couple of bounces again. I thought you could tell he was a veteran that had played in a lot of pressure type games down the stretch.”

“I think the second period of game 1 (was the turning point). When we didn’t peform well. We didn’t manage the neutral zone, that was the talk after game 1. I thought we made some adjustments, and did a much better job coming through and playing in their end.”

Post-series comments from Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco:

“I think that from day 1 in training camp we tried to recreate the identity of this organization as far as how we wanted to play. How we wanted to be perceived. We wanted to try to do it as quickly as possible. We had no timetable on it, but we thought we could do it quickly. We thought we could turn things around quickly. I think we did that. I think we got back on track. We established the type of team we want to be, and how we want to play.”

“I think there were a couple of good turning points in the series. I thought we battled extremely hard. We got off to a good start in game 1. In game 2 we gave up the lead with a minute to go, or under a minute to go. In game 4 we lose in overtime, kind of a turning point to the series. It was what we expected, it was hard fought. I am proud of the way our guys competed throughout the series. Not once did we ever mention our injuries. I have to admit that it really took a toll on us. It affected us over the course of a series, there is no question we were missing some key players. I am proud of the guys that stepped in there and did a good job, the guys that were able to come in and grab an opportunity.”

“We are certainly headed in the right direction. We are going to be a team that is young, full of energy, we are going to play to our identity. I really see a lot of upside here. It is tough right now because we are disappointed. We thought that we if we could win tonight we could force a game 7, but its not going to happen. There is a lot to look forward to, the future is bright. We have to work and do the right things to get ready for next season.”

“I thought that whole line played very well (Clowe-Pavelski-Setoguchi). When you lose in a series, somebody has got to beat you. It was that line, and the other line I thought we did a good job against. They were opportunistic, they did well. It is a good mix with him, Clowe and Setoguchi. They were probably the difference, they were the difference in the series for sure.”

[Game Notes] With the 5-2 win over the Avalanche in game 6, the San Jose Sharks increased their overall franchise playoff record to 63-68, and their overall franchise playoff series record to 10-12. A dismal 2-13 franchise record (13.3%) in game 6′s now stands at 3-13 (18.75%), but the Sharks are a respectable 9-4 in the opening round of the WCQF (69.2%).

Center Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals, including the game winner and an assist on Dan Boyle’s game tying goals in the third period. Pavelski (5G, 3A) and linemate Ryane Clowe (1G, 7A) lead the San Jose Sharks in playoff scoring with 8 points each. Paul Stastny lead the Avalanche with 1 goal and 4 assists, including an assist Saturday night on Brandon Yip’s third period goal. The Sharks top line of Marleau-Heatley-Thornton was held to only one goal in the series, but they registered a combined 7 assists.

The Sharks overcame a littany of unexpected obstacles and odd bounces. The Avalanche received deflection goals off the skate, throat and stick of defenseman Rob Blake, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Boyle in the first three games. The fans, media and players keyed on Boyle’s “own goal” to end game 3. He quickly made ammends with a bomb from the point 1:12 into game 4, but he did not put the incident behind him. “I put it aside, I didn’t necessarily put it behind me,” Boyle told CSNCA’s Brodie Brazil after the series finale. “Now I can officially turn the page.”

San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov held the Avalanche to two goals or less all but once in the series, and earned his 7th career playoff shutout in game 5. When asked whether he would like an extra day or two of rest prior to the next series, Nabokov displayed a little combative truculence with the media. “It is really tough to even think what do you like and what you don’t. Whatever comes, we will take it. We have no choice, you would rather play a game 7?” Colorado Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson set a franchise record for saves made in a playoff series with 223. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 138-of-149 shots against for a .926 save percentage, Anderson stopped 223-of-239 shots for a .933 mark to lead the NHL.

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