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McLellan's Postgame Perspective

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Q. It looked like the game plan at the start of the game was to forecheck. You did a good job of that. In the second period, that looked like it broke down a little bit. Was that your team getting away from their game plan or their team?

COACH McLELLAN: The second period wasn't kind to us, especially the first eight to 10, 12 minutes. I thought we got it back. We were a little hesitant. We made some passes that went awry. We fed their transition. If you do that against a team like this, you're going to end up spending much more time in your zone than you like.

It goes to show, doesn't take much for them to score goals. They'll find a way to put it in.

Q. Were you comfortable with a power on power matchup tonight, the Thornton and Toews line going toe to toe?
COACH McLELLAN: Absolutely. Joe has been put in that situation all year. We played our big players against the other team's top lines. They've been very successful. So I feel very comfortable with them on the ice in that situation.

It was an interesting night as far as matches went. I thought Joel worked very hard to get his checking line out. We tried to counter it a little bit. We can get our big boys on the ice, sometimes against our fourth line. There were times we got what we wanted. We didn't quite find a way to finish.

Q. How did you feel about the performance of your top line tonight?

COACH McLELLAN: Well, you're talking about Jumbo, Patty and Heater, I'm sure.
Again, they had opportunities. They produced a power play goal for us, which was important against a very good penalty kill team. I think what you're probably asking me is the fact that they were on the ice for two goals against, and got nothing five on five. That happens sometimes.

I didn't think they were poor. I thought they gave us 22 hard minutes. But with that said, I think we'll need a little bit more heading into Game 2.

Q. It looked on the replays like it was Bolland who tripped Setoguchi. Bolland didn't go to the box. Versteeg has to go out. Is that something you've addressed already with someone?
COACH McLELLAN: We'll talk about it. That's the breaks that happen within a game. What we couldn't do was lose our marbles on the bench and start yelling and screaming at the referee. We had to have some poise and set up a six-four situation.

Regardless of who was out there, we had to beat, whether it was Bolland, Madden or Burish, whoever it might have been. We had to beat a good team. We weren't going to stand up and yell and scream. We were going to get our group organized. If they erred, they erred. We have to move on. Can't do anything about it.

Q. Talk a little bit about Niemi's play today.

COACH McLELLAN: Yeah, I thought both goaltenders did what they had to do to keep their teams in when teams broke down. Niemi made some very good first saves. We had great looks on second chances that just didn't go in for us. In turn, Nabby made some saves when he had to, as well.

You know, to be playing in the final four, see the two goaltenders perform the way they did, I think that's expected of them.

Q. Might be simplistic, but does the game turn on Niemi's save at the end, the power play at the end of the second period?
COACH McLELLAN: I thought it turned a little before that. Coming out into the second period, we had a little bit of momentum, we felt good about our game. We came out and had some execution problems, again, in that first 10, 12, 13 minutes of the second period. Won some faceoffs. Didn't come out of our end very clean.

You could feel them crawl back in or work their way back into where they felt comfortable. That's where the game evened out. From there it was anybody's night.
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