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McLellan's Postgame Presser

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
Q. It seemed like your team had difficulty getting out of the neutral zone tonight and settling the puck down. What can you do about that?

COACH McLELLAN: Well, we can obviously, our execution has to be better. I thought the first up until they scored, we were doing that. We were handling the puck well, carrying it well, coming through the neutral zone against a very good team.
Then the goal took a lot out of us for some reason. I was disappointed because we have had that resiliency in our hockey club. You could feel it on the bench. It took us a while to climb back and get the energy level back up where it needed to be.
When that happens against a team that's playing that well, you're gonna have some miscues, you're going to have some miss execution. I felt that we let our guard down a little bit after the first goal and they took the game over for a while.

Q. Toews' line had a couple more goals tonight. You saw what they did against the Canucks. What is the way to stop those guys right now?
COACH McLELLAN: They had one on the power play. Don't go to the penalty box. We're not going to be perfect in that area. We were as good as we could be in Game 1. They had one on the power play. We have to give them that one. And then Kane on the cycle, throwing at net front with Byfuglien in there was the second one. I thought we could have done a much better job controlling his stick. We were up than his arm. You're not going to move that man. He's that big, that strong, he establishes his self. Better be able to control his stick. We failed to do that. Obviously, made a huge impact on the game.

Q. You've had great starts in both games in the first period, but haven't been able to capitalize. How important is the first goal for you?
COACH McLELLAN: Obviously, very important. Other than the power play goal in Game 1, we haven't had an opportunity to play very many. Going into their building, we saw what the first goal did to our hockey club tonight. Took some of the energy out of the building. Took a lot of energy out of our team. Took us a while to get our heads up again, if you will, for lack of a better term.
If we can have that start in their building, try and quiet everything down, play with some energy early, it certainly helps. But it's not the be all and end all. You have to get out there, regardless if you score the first or not, and continue on.

Q. Joe said after the game he thought you did a pretty good job of getting away from Bolland at times. Presumably when you go to Chicago, that will be tougher to do. What does Joe need to do when he's got a guy like that tasked with shutting him down specifically?
COACH McLELLAN: If I look at Joe's game, I thought Joe played a pretty solid game. He was skating. He was big. He was strong. I think it has to be a collective thing, because they are the centers. We call it Joe's line, we call it Bolland's line, it has to be a collective five man unit. We're going to have a tough time getting him away from Bolland, and that line has done a very good job.
They are some of the best players in the world. They have to play through it. We're four deep or four left in the playoffs. We're not tinking around in the first round anymore. There's some very, very good players. Bolland's lines happens to be one of the best checking lines in the league right now, and he has to find a way to get through it.

Q. Just playing off of that, what do you think when you see Joe take a pretty hard whack at Bolland's wrist before the puck even drops? Is that a sign of frustration?
COACH McLELLAN: When I talked to him, he was going forward on the draw. We've seen that before where he times it and tries to shoot it. It's a tactic that Joe has. Ended up being a little quick and ended up being on the hands.

Q. Your goalie talked in the first two series you did a pretty good job of working with the guys, when the opponents planted somebody in front of net, you were able to play through that. That wasn't the case tonight. Does that have you rethinking approaches?
COACH McLELLAN: We'll spend some time. We have two days here now to look at that. We'll look at the video. We'll certainly sit with our defensive group and our goaltenders and make sure that we're still approaching it properly.
When we do, and we execute what we plan to do, it tends to work. But obviously tonight they got the better of us in that area.

Q. How important is Game 3 now? Obviously being down 0 2, is it a must win game for your team?
COACH McLELLAN: It's not a must win until you're down 0 3. It's an important game. It's one of seven that you play in a series. It's very important. But to answer your question, no, it's not a must win. But we're going to approach it like it is.

Q. Some of the play tonight, does it go back to that quickness edge that you've talked about before that the Hawks have shown against your team?

COACH McLELLAN: That's a good question. It's interesting because early in the game, I thought we were quick. We had some jump to loose pucks. We were playing the game that we wanted to play. It turned on us. That's happened two games in a row.
Somehow we have to harness what we start with and continue on. We can't let little bumps in the road slow us down. I'm not sure it's about skating any faster. It's the puck movement. We don't continue to do what we started to do. We try and force it a little bit more. All of a sudden we look slower.
I'm not sure if I answered your question the way you wanted me to, but that's how I feel.

Q. This is a chance for your veteran players to respond. What do you expect from them?
COACH McLELLAN: I expect them to respond. It's as simple as that. We've worked hard to get to where we are. We've had to overcome a lot. We're in a situation where we have to do it again.
I think throughout this playoff we've built character. This gives us an opportunity now to add to that. We've always boasted about our leadership in the locker room, the ability for guys to take others with them and lead them in the right direction. We'll need that now.

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