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Morning Line

What now is to regroup and come back with the same effort. There’s really nothing else we can do. I was really happy with the way our team played to a man, whether it was from goaltender, D man, forwards. We made a few mistakes. They scored some goals. I thought it was a helluva game.

The reality is we’re down 3-0. Happened a week ago with two good teams playing and Philadelphia found a way to come back, so there’s something to draw in there. Plus the fact that we’ve been in this series I think for every minute. That’s got to leave us feeling good.

But we know we’re in a hole and we’ve got to dig our way out.

-San Jose Sharks Coach Todd McLellan after the game last night.

More from Todd…

Q. Four goals over the last two games for Patrick Marleau. Describe what you’re seeing from him.

COACH McLELLAN: You know, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Patty play now for 200some games, 160 games anyhow, and that’s as good as I’ve seen him play. Determined, committed, working real hard all over the rink. Real proud of him. He needs to bring it again.

Q. Can you break down the last goal for us.

COACH McLELLAN: It was a breakdown in D zone coverage. They did a really good job of keeping the puck alive at the blueline. Released it behind the net. We jumped down with our centerman, Scottie. They basically looked at net front, Byfuglien got lost out high out in the zone and one-timed it into the net. I don’t know if we can blame one individual. Collectively, we shouldn’t have allowed the puck to come in there free. And we’ve got to be aware of the shooter. The guy behind the net is not dangerous. Always the guy in the slot is.

Q. You always talk about these games revolving around special teams. You got the one power-play goal. There were a lot of missed opportunities.

COACH McLELLAN: If there was a part of our game that we have to go back and improve, we had opportunities the third period on the power-play where we could have either got the lead or established ourselves in the game, and we didn’t do that. I’d like to see our power-play a little bit sharper.

Remember, they’re a very good penalty-killing team. They’ve got this far because of it.

Q. Why can’t you get over the hump against these guys?

COACH McLELLAN: Well, we’re still on the hump. I don’t think we’re quite under it yet. You know what, it’s good hockey. There’s four teams left. Sometimes the bounces go your way, sometimes they don’t.

I can’t walk in the dressing room tomorrow and approach that group and say they didn’t give an effort, they didn’t work hard, they didn’t give us everything they had. It’s pretty simple: it just didn’t go our way tonight.

We had enough looks at the net. You know, what we have to do now is bottle that game up, find a way to score one more than they do on Sunday afternoon.

Q. It’s simple, but is Niemi just playing that well?

COACH McLELLAN: He’s playing well, there’s no doubt about it. But, again, I think Dany Heatley had a great opportunity. Ryane Clowe had a great opportunity. They’re both very good goal-scorers. Didn’t get the puck up. He’s very quick, very athletic down low. Made some tremendous saves for them.

Nabby in our goal was very solid when we needed him. It was a very well-played game by both teams.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Comments

Moq's avatar

This series reminds me of the San Jose-Detroit matchup where San Jose takes the part of Detroit. Good participation in all games yet looking at a 3-0 deficit in games. Also a tad slower, which looks to be the difference.

In general, I haven’t really been impressed with the games so far. Neither team wants to take chances in order to generate offence, conservative forechecking and pinching with little sustained pressure as a result, and seems satisfied to take what’s given. The OT period had more action than the previous nine periods combined.

Difficult to see potential for a turnaround in this series.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 05/22/10 at 12:38 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

The difference between this series and SJ/Detroit is that unlike Detroit in the last round, SJ is STILL getting the benefit of the officiating against the Hawks. So I have to give the Hawks credit for finding a way to do what Detroit could not—overcome the mediocre officiating and the disparity in PP chances.

In Game 1, Chicago had 5 penalties, and San Jose, apparently angels on ice, didn’t commit a single foul.

In Game 2, if you throw out the brawl late in the game, Chicago got a little back with a 4 - 1 advantage.

In Game 3, Chicago had 6 penalties to San Jose’s 2.

But Chicago is still finding a way. This is the difference in the two series. Yes, it is similar in that the games are close, but Chicago has found a way to win in spite of essentially starting the game knowing they’re going to have to kill twice as many penalties as the Sharks.

San Jose is not good at annoying a goalie. Detroit/Chicago would’ve been a much more competitive match-up, IMO, because they play similar up front. Both goalies would be driven mad by the opposition. If you just look at the battles and closeness of the season series with the two teams, you can see as much.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/23/10 at 01:42 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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