April 22 morning skate quotes: Todd McLellan
On his team’s offensive production:
We’re happy for that, obviously, after two games. Again, there is no way we predicted that or that amount of goals. Our mindset is going back to what we expected. We’re going to go to that. We’re going to play off of that as much as we possibly can. If it gets to an extreme again, then we’ve got to deal with it, but I still think we’re in a series of 3-2, 2-1 type games and that’s not going to change. In that situation, the 3-2, 2-1 games, you’re not going to have everyone scoring. It’s not always about the goal production. It’s about shift production. It’s about the investment in the team game. That’s as important as the finish.
On the difficulty of going up 3-0 in a series on the road:
They watch hockey. They’re hockey players, they’re watching it. They understand. We’ve referenced the St. Louis series last year. We can reference our own series with them last year. We went home 0-2 and ended up coming back to this building tied. It’s hard to win on the road, especially this time of the year. We’re aware of that fact. We know they play well here, but it’s our job to do everything we can to change that.
On Joe Pavelski skating on a line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns:
Well he’s there now, so we’ll use him there.
On trying to figure out matchups early on in the game:
We have our four lines and we’ll play them. They get last change at home. They get an opportunity to play their guys any way they want to play them. Our four lines have proven to be productive to this point and they’ve all played their roles well. They need to continue to do that irregardless of who they’re on the ice against. As the game evolves, if there is a swing in momentum or something like that, we’ll react. But we have to give our group, the group that has got it done to this point, an opportunity to be successful again.
On when the last change becomes an issue:
The last change, well faceoffs are important. When you can match up centermen, I think that’s key right there. A lot will depend on game plans for home and away teams. What their matchups want to look like or what they’d like to get out of them. So it does become a bit of a chess game in that situation. You do like to have last change, I don’t think there is a coach in the world who would give that up, but sometimes having last change is difficult as well as teams start changing on the fly. We’ve got line A out and they match up with line A. We flip right away and line B comes out, it’s hard to get your line A off the ice. You can’t make five or six changes. It can work against you as well.
On getting all of his players into the game:
Everybody has to play. You go in with a plan. You want to finish executing that plan, if you can. I do believe that there has been over-matching, whether we’ve done it or other teams have done it, where you lose some players because all of the sudden they’re sitting there looking at you like ‘When do I get to go?’ If it’s your key people who need to play big minutes, you’re doing nothing but slowing them down. The other night in San Jose, they dressed 11 forwards. They had Kopitar, they had Carter, they had everybody out with their fourth line. That’s not an easy job matching against that, but everybody has to play still.
On Tomas Hertl’s youth:
I read an article today about him being at Dave and Buster’s. He’s still a kid. There is no better answer than that. He’s still a youngster. He’s 19, 20 years old getting feet wet in the NHL playoffs. You look at some of the comments that come out of his mouth, they’re young player’s comments. I no like LA. Those may be the only seven or eight words he knows right now. He’s that young, that innocent. He’s just playing hockey. He’s a great kid.
On Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto having the new experience of playing on the road in the series:
It likely is and we have to expect that from those players. They haven’t experienced playoffs yet on the road. They’ve been in this building. They’ve played against this team here, but just like our building, it gets ratcheted up a little bit. It will get loud, noisy and it’ll be an exciting game. So they will have to respond to that.
On Patrick Marleau being a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy:
I’m really happy for him. Paddy plays the game the right way. We see a lot of stuff that goes on where players are questioned about their ethics on the ice and suspensions and what not. He has a high skill level. He competes hard every night. He plays physical, but he plays ethically the right way – as do a lot of players in the league – and that’s nice to see. Now, it doesn’t meant that something doesn’t happen down the road and he crosses the line and you guys will all say ‘You told me he plays ethically.’ To this point, he’s done a tremendous job and he’s played for so many years. It’s nice to see him recognized for that.