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Transcript: Today’s Q&A with Sharks’ Coach McLellan

Q. Todd, what is your point of emphasis for your team tonight?

COACH McLELLAN: Start. Play with some tempo. Puck placement. Composure.

Q. Changes to tonight’s line-up…

COACH McLELLAN: We’re still discussing them. We could shuffle things up a little bit.

Q. A couple guys in your room said they’re going to treat tonight like a Game 7. Do you agree with that philosophy?

COACH McLELLAN: I think when you’re in the playoffs, if you have the approach that Game1 is like Game 7 and Game2 is like Game 7, I think that’s a real good indicator of intensity and focus. Our job is just to win Game3. However we want to approach it from the mental perspective, it’s to win Game3.

We know we’re going to play Game4. We’d like to play it with a record of 2-1 versus 0-3. But we can’t look ahead. We’ve got to deal with today. We obviously need a better game than we had in Games 1 and 2. We’re looking for that tonight.

Q. You said the other night you need some guys to play with more intensity. You’ve probably had that speech with some of these guys before. How do you find a new way to say it this time?

COACH McLELLAN: Some of the individuals have showed marked improvement over time. Sometimes just showing them where they were and how far they’ve come strikes a cord with them. To remind them of some of their achievements, not about goals and assists, some of their achievements, changes, commitments that they’ve made to teammates, to themselves and their careers is a very powerful thing.

It’s not always about rubbing their noses in it. I mentioned this yesterday. Everybody responds differently. Some guys need to see it and they quite frankly need to be pushed. Other guys need to be sat down and their progress needs to be reviewed. They need to be reminded where they’re at, how they got there, what some of the cues were on the ice that allowed them to get there.

Each of the individuals, that’s why we spend nine months together, is different. All playing towards a collective effort, then the results.

Q. Todd, beyond what happened in Game2, the third period hasn’t been real good to you throughout the playoffs. What can you do differently?

COACH McLELLAN: Funny, first period wasn’t very good to us against L.A., and then it’s changed. We’re now into the third period. If we’re fortunate enough to move on and get to play, then we may even be talking about the second period.

That’s hockey. That’s how it happens. For different reasons we’ve been good and bad in both cases. You look backwards, third period’s treated us very well in the first series. We came back against Detroit. We’re only two games in here. In both cases it was 3-2 in the third. We obviously lost some composure and we’ve been down this road.

Yesterday we talked about it enough that it affected our ability to play in the third period in Game2. Game1, we didn’t skate well enough. They were much better in the third, so we’ll have to change that tonight.

Q. All teams go through injuries. The absence of Jason Demers, has that had an impact on the game plan going in and adjustments you have to make?

COACH McLELLAN: It has. Our belief in Jason and his ability is very strong. He’s played a very key role in our team play this year. He’s an offensive guy with very good eyes and very good hands, thinks the game creatively.

Huskins is a different player. When you put Kent in, it changes. He’s a defender. He’s more about staying at home and playing in a smaller sheet of ice than the bigger sheet.

So it does change the dynamic somewhat. You have to ask others to do a little bit more in offensive situations. But it’s not the end of the world.

Q. What do you have to do more of or better to get more scoring chances right in front of Luongo and how much does that start in the neutral zone?

COACH McLELLAN: The neutral zone is a big part of it. But for me it’s more of a sustained attack in the offensive zone. We’ve been there. We’ve thrown pucks to the net. But all too often we’re one and out. When we were playing well against Los?@Angeles and Detroit, we were able to roam around a little bit in their end, have sustained attack, get fresh people out on a line change. We’ve done a poor job. Vancouver has done a real good job of changing that.

As a result, it sends the puck back out to the neutral zone, you start over. So I think a lot of focus is made on the neutral zone. For me it’s more about the offensive zone and sustained time.

Q. Did you say you’re considering lineup changes or line changes?


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


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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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