Ian White was behind the net when he was hit by Jarret Stoll and taken out of Game 1 against Los Angeles. San Jose managed to win the game, but the club was more worried about losing their valuable blueliner. In his first Stanley Cup Playoff game, White has already recorded an assist before being taken out. The Sharks were definitely disappointed by what happened.
“I just saw the replay. I didn’t like it the first time around, and I didn’t like it watching the replay,” Dan Boyle
said. “That’s what they’re trying to take out of the game. I know it’s a physical game and Stoll isn’t really known for that kind of stuff. It’s a forearm and elbow to the head. The guy’s head is right on the side of the boards and it’s dangerous. I hope they really look at it. That’s exactly what we’re talking about trying to eliminate.”
“It’s not something you like to see,” Clowe said. “Whitey was going good there. He had a good jump and a couple of good chances. To have that happen in his first playoff game is sad. He got hit into the boards pretty good. Hopefully he’s (fine).”
This is one of those plays that will definitely have the attention of NHL offices.
“We did have a chance to look at it,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “After the game we got a really good angle from right behind the glass. There was a camera right there and the good news for us is the league is looking at these types of things. They take them very serious. The bad news is we lost a very good defenseman that we count on.”
McLellan would not speculate on any potential suspension, leaving that to those whose job it is to review such matters.
“I thought he deserved a penalty in the game, that’s what I would have like to have seen,” McLellan said. “It’s now in the League’s hands. There has been a very clear message sent to all of us. Coaches, ownership, management, players, that these aren’t going to be taken lightly.”
There may be more on the situation in the next few days, but for the night, San Jose played down a man and the player who inflicted the damage was still able to contribute for his side.
“The rest of it is unfortunate because Jarret Stoll is a hell of a player,” McLellan said. “Taking 20-25 faceoffs tonight and playing 23 minutes and we had to play with five defensemen. It’s disappointing that it was missed on the ice, but it’s in somebody else’s hands now and we know it’s a very serious thing the League is looking at.”
As for White’s status, nothing more would be known until the following day.
“Obviously he didn’t finish the night and we’ll see how he is in the morning,” McLellan stated. “He’s not feeling really good.”
The players felt for White as his first playoff game had such a great beginning.
“He was playing great,” Demers said. “Hopefully he’ll be back quick.”
To the Sharks credit, there was no moping. They viewed playing shorthanded on the backend as another playoff challenge did what was necessary to overcome.
“Those guys did a hell of a job without Whitey,” Clowe said.
“It was a great job by us, we rallied together,” Jason Demers
said. “We just kept it simple and moved pucks to our forwards. We said just keep moving hard and keep our shifts short. I think we did a great job working together.”
There were ramifications to playing with five blueliners. San Jose was outshooting Los Angeles 18-3 at one point and no question San Jose being a bit tired helped the Kings rally offensively.
“I thought there was a time in the game where we lost momentum maybe because of it,” McLellan acknowledged. “We had some long changes. We had some of our five defensemen trapped out there an awful long time. (The Kings) sensed that and went after us. The fact we were able to recover and play hard in the third and overtime with the five is rewarding.”
The defense did their part, but took additional assistance from the players up front.
“There was a lot of emphasis on the forwards to (help) those guys out there,” Clowe said. “It’s hard with five D in the playoffs. We did a good job.”
“They did a great job of coming back hard for us,” Demers said. “They snuffed out a lot of plays just on back checks. Kudos goes to them.”
Boyle led all Sharks as the loss of a defenseman pushed him to play 35 minutes.
“The minutes were way up and we had the leash on and had to hold up a little bit and play smart,” Boyle said. “Some of us were going out there every two shifts and we had to be smarter.”
“The second period and the overtime were harder because of the line changes,” Clowe said. “You had to make sure you didn’t turn pucks over and we did a pretty good job of that.”
If the first game of the series was any indication, every game will be contested to the fullest.
“We said it’s going to be a tough series, a low scoring series and it might take more than 60 minutes to get it done,” Captain Joe Thornton
said. “Obviously it was a huge win for us.”
“It’s huge,” Boyle said. “We’ve come up short in the past in the first home game. It’s nice to win this first one at home.”
Clowe played big all night and when the evening was over, he had found a way to contribute on all three Sharks goals. That tied a record that has been accomplished nine previous times, most recently by Dany Heatley.
“This is a game that he excels in when he has to protect pucks,” San Jose’s bench boss said. “For him to have three helpers after being off for a week speaks volumes to his contribution tonight.”