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McLellan, Heatley & White

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Q. Talk about your depth offensively with the 20-goal scores you had this season.

DANY HEATLEY: We got contributions from everyone all year long. Continued throughout the playoffs. Doesn't matter what game it is, seems like one of the lines are going, two or three are going. That's been a real strength for our team.

Q. Dany, can you describe how Logan Couture's play progressed through the last round, going up against Datsyuk or Zetterberg, the level of play he was able to exhibit?
DANY HEATLEY: He's been great all year for us. Obviously had a great year offensively. He's a real responsible centerman defensively. Like you said, he can play against anybody in the league. We had a pretty good matchup against Detroit. He did a good job, scored some huge goals for us.

Q. Ian, interesting day for you on and off the ice. How have you been feeling emotionally getting ready for this series?
IAN WHITE: It's been great. It's been great, an exciting run just to be in the post-season. It's been great. To cap it all off, having a little baby the other day, stressful day being a Game 7 and all, but to get the win, have a new addition to our family, quite remarkable.

Q. (Question regarding the rink.)
DANY HEATLEY: I do. It's a loud rink. Canadian rink is going to be a loud rink, loud atmosphere. I think watching on TV, every round we play, we expect it to be a real good energy every night.

Q. Ian, how much are you looking forward to whichever forward you see, whether Sedins or the Kesler trio on the ice?
IAN WHITE: Anytime you get further in the playoffs, you're going to get a couple different challenges, tougher challenges, as well. Whichever line we go up against, it's going be to be a tough, hard-fought battle. Right from Game 1, from the first shift, it's going to be a war. I know they're going to be coming hard and try to be physical against us defensemen.
We're going to have to try to turn the tables and try to get the puck out of our end as quick as possible.

Q. Canucks may be the fastest team, at least in the Western Conference. Do you agree with that? Is that their key? How do you address speed?
DANY HEATLEY: They're a very fast team, no question. We're a very fast team that can really skate, as well. I expect it to be a skating series, for sure, on both sides. If it's anything like Detroit, they can skate as well. It was kind of a momentum series. We got our third and fourth lines going and rolling. We were a fast team. When they did, they got going.
It's our job to keep that momentum, keep rolling over the lines and creating offense.

Q. You played some fairly entertaining games over the season, high shot totals. Is that the style you're expecting in these games?
IAN WHITE: Yeah, I would expect lots of firepower on both sides, lots of speed. There's huge stakes involved here as well. I think it's going to be quite an exciting series, as well.
DANY HEATLEY: I think both teams play similar styles. They want to move the puck ahead, get going on the forecheck. Both teams can skate the forwards. Quick times. I expect a fast series.

Q. Dany, you made the Western Conference Finals last year. Does that help at all?
DANY HEATLEY: I think it does, having been here, what happened last year. This group has a lot of experience over the years anyway. But to be together, most of the group last year, and being in this spot, it helps, for sure.

Q. You have been in two straight finals now, beating Detroit twice. How much carryover do you sense? Do you feel you're building at this time?
IAN WHITE: I think there's always some carryover. You got to build on positives that you've done in the past. From the first series to the second series, we've done some great things. We've had a few setbacks as well to grow on. Hopefully we'll get stronger as we move forward.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.
Questions for coach.

Q. You didn't skate today. Purpose of being here and what did you do?
COACH McLELLAN: Every day, every game, we get together in the morning and meet. We talk about a certain part of our game. This is a tough time to have any type of pregame skate. Vancouver didn't. We didn't. 5:00 really close off a daily routine.
But we've been lucky enough to play a couple of 'em. Maybe we can adjust.

Q. What are your thoughts on your team's power-play success? How big a factor will that need to be in the next couple of games?
COACH McLELLAN: When you look at it from a numbers perspective, the 13%, 14%, wherever we're at, not very impressive. When you look at the goals we scored? The power-play, you have to be pretty pleased. It's won us some games, allowed us to move on.
I'm a big believer that when you close a series and you move on, you start with fresh numbers. We're at zero or at a hundred. I don't know where you want to start us at. But we're fresh.
We have a huge challenge ahead of us, because they're a very good penalty-killing team, obviously the best in the league. We expect our power-play to have an impact on the series.

Q. Roberto seems to be better when he faces a lot of shots. What do you need to do there?
COACH McLELLAN: You better find some holes. He looks very confident at this point. He was tested and passed the test early in the playoffs. Good teams, good goaltenders do that. I have a firm belief that he's one of the best goaltenders in the world.
We'll have a plan. Is it volume? Is it accuracy? I think it's a combination of both. But we know what we're up against.

Q. Todd, when people look at Logan Couture's offensive contributions in the playoffs so far, does that overshadow what he's able to accomplish defensively? How much do you feel he grew in facing Zetterberg and Datsyuk last series?
COACH McLELLAN: I think he's grown immensely. We were questioned a little bit, Are you comfortable if Datsyuk and Zetterberg play on opposite lines in the Detroit series? And 100%, because we believe Logan can play against anybody in the National League. He's that good, he works that hard. He has a great stick. You could see it against Zetterberg in Game 7. And it's not just his offensive output. I think that's what he's recognized for now as a rookie, to put up those kind of numbers. He's a complete player. We feel good about him playing in any situation.

Q. Your team has a wealth of experience playing in Conference Finals compared to your opponent. Does that mean much when you step on the ice tonight?
COACH McLELLAN: No, we have to live for this year. It's amazing how far we go back when there haven't been many games played. The reporters, you guys will go all the way back to 1984. Half our team wasn't alive then. I'm exaggerating there a little bit.
But it's about now. We had four games last year in the Conference Finals. We can draw on that experience, about 65% of our team can, and the rest wasn't here.
Experience will come after Game 1, the best way of putting it. Our experience will come after Game 1. We'll draw on that, make adjustments, then we'll have more experience after Game 2 and grow from there.

Q. Can you compare the style of hockey from the team you're about to play with the style of hockey you just played, what kind of adjustments that might require?
COACH McLELLAN: The team we just played, Detroit, has had a huge impact on a lot of organizations in the league. The style of play, the building of the team, if you will. I know it's affected our team. But I also believe it's affected this team.
You look at some of the players, Mikael Samuelssons, players like that, the way this team plays, there's a lot of similarities. Yet the makeup of the team, the 'grindability' - not good with English - of this team is a little bit stronger, they'll run over you a little bit more. Detroit protects pucks extremely well.
But power-play, penalty kill, the three teams - Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver - all in the upper echelon, and I believe because we approach the game the same way.

Q. How do you describe the impact of Ryan Kesler's play, what level he's brought his game to?
COACH McLELLAN: Every team has a go-to player. The Sedins and Ryan Kesler have to be their three. We have a group of players we feel we go to. There's been a lot said about Ryan's defensive play. He broke out offensively last series. We feel we can match that. We feel comfortable with that.
That's what is great when there's only four teams left. You really can see the guys who take it to the next level. You appreciate that. As a hockey fan, you have to appreciate what he's done so far. You have to appreciate Joe Thornton's level of play, Devin Setoguchi, Logan Couture taking it up against a very good Red Wing team.

Q. Can you comment on Kyle Wellwood, what he's meant to the team in the regular season and the playoffs?
COACH McLELLAN: Well, he's been a very motivated young man since he's been with us. His journey overseas I don't think went over very well. He has a second lease on life here with our hockey club. I think he wants to make well.
We slotted him into a position where we think he's comfortable. He's had some common linemates for about three months now. They play very well together. You'd never think they would because they're all right-handed shots, they're all natural centermen. I don't know if they're overly fast, but they just seem to have some type of chemistry. He's a huge part of that.

Q. Your organization, as you point out, with Detroit, you played them a lot. When you beat a team that you have that much respect for, a team that is that good, what does it do for you going into the next round as opposed to just beating another organization?
COACH McLELLAN: Well, that we can talk about based on experience because that happened last year. Obviously, heading into the Chicago series, we were on a high. We felt really good about what we accomplished, and we didn't win a game. I'm not sure that's indicative of the series against Chicago last year. They were basically one-goal games. I thought we played well on many nights. We just got beat by a better team.
This year we've now gone through it once. I don't sense quite as much a high in our locker room, if you will, after beating Detroit. The journey was much tougher this year. But we have to take that next test tonight and then go from there. I hope our team responds even better than it did last year against the Blackhawks.
Thank you.

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