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McLellan's Game 1 Presser

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Game 1 Postgame with Todd McLellan.


THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH McLELLAN: No, we didn't. That was the momentum changer, the frantic flurry, if you will, about three minutes left in the second. They were coming pretty hard at that point. We wanted to get into the locker room and recover a little bit. We didn't have any in the third.
I thought our team looked tired, sluggish. There's nights when we lose our legs, but our minds are still pretty sharp. I didn't think that was the case tonight. It started with the ears and worked all the way through the body. We were like dogs chasing cars down the freeway. We weren't catching anybody. We put the puck into very poor spots.

They eventually beat us at the type of game we wanted to play. They laid it in behind, they won a lot of races, they sustained offensive zone time.

We got to find a way to get energized as a hockey club. That starts with the mental part of it first. Come back and play better in Game 2.

Q. (Question regarding the Sedins.)
COACH McLELLAN: They're Henrik and Daniel. One was the most valuable player in the league last year, one was supposed to be the most valuable player in the league this year. Do we worry about them? Absolutely.

I told our group prior to the game there's a lot of focus on Ryan Kesler and deservingly so. Two, three guys we really needed to focus on was that line.

I don't know what happened in the Nashville series as far as their chances and opportunities go. We watched a little bit on video. But I know we have a ton of respect for both of them. They showed it tonight.

Q. Todd, why do you think your guys were tired? Does it have anything to do with playing a seven-game series?
COACH McLELLAN: I'm sure that has something to do with it. We talked about being fresh and being mentally ready to go. I thought for 37 minutes we were able to skate. We needed to get a couple more opportunities to go in for us. Basically what happened, I thought the team that potentially was rusty, because they hadn't played for a while, found their legs while we lost ours.

When you look at the route we took to get here, they had a few days off. We had an emotional, taxing game. You know we're lucky enough to be playing. We got to get better, energized and ready for Game 2.

Q. Coming into the series, Vancouver's top two lines received a lot of attention. It was Vancouver's third line that really gave, scored a big goal.
COACH McLELLAN: Both teams are built quite similar. We talked about this this morning with anybody that was here.
I believe that both coaches rely on three lines immensely, that all nine of those forwards on each team are capable of contributing. They got good nights from their third line. It's a very evenly matched, evenly built series, if you will, the way the teams are built.
They did a good job.

Our third line was adequate but obviously not good enough.

Q. Do you pick a couple of things that started to work better? Do you see the power-play working as well as the one you scored as a starting point for some confidence?
COACH McLELLAN: I wasn't disappointed with our penalty kill either. We understand how dangerous they are. They have a lot of different looks, different units. I thought our penalty kill did a pretty good job.
Power-play got us a goal. So the special teams, not overly concerned with. Obviously we're going to be sharper and better in those areas. I'm a little more concerned about the five-on-five play, certainly the last 23 minutes of the game, the lack of energy. When I say 'energy,' I'm talking mental energy. We didn't put the puck to the right area. We didn't give ourselves a chance.

Q. Could you talk about the lineup change you made tonight on both ends, Huskins in for Demers, also focus on Kyle Wellwood.
COACH McLELLAN: We're in a business where players move around. Each organization gets to make decisions on the pieces they want to keep, the pieces they feel are effective.
Kyle Wellwood has been a very effective piece for us. We're happy to have him. We think he can be somebody that can help us get to where we want to go.
It doesn't work for everybody in every city. It doesn't mean they're not good players. Again, we're happy with Kyle Wellwood. Did he have his A game? I don't know. There was 19 others that didn't quite have their A game either.
Lineup change with Jason Demers, obviously Husky went in and I thought he played a pretty honest game. We'll see what we do for Game 2.

Q. Was Demers an injury?
COACH McLELLAN: He's bumped and bruised, just like everybody else.


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