February 22 postgame quotes: Todd McLellan

Todd McLellan, on the “detail and effort” in the shootout loss:
It was a tough game to play. They really did a good job of checking. They got their sticks in lanes, deflected a lot of our shots, blocked a lot of our shots. It ended up being a bit of a frustrating night for us offensively. Defensively, I thought we were OK. Just not enough offensive chances or time sustained in their end. It wasn’t because we didn’t have the puck, we just didn’t do smart things with it offensively tonight, so we’ll have to improve that tomorrow and go from there.

McLellan, on whether early good looks followed by another stalemate indicated a “bad match-up”:
No, it’s not a bad match-up for us, we’ve got three of four points [versus Colorado]. I think the expectations are just to dominate and run over them. They’re a pretty damn good team. Some are picking them to win it. Of course, they didn’t have players involved, but good teams do that to you, and we have to learn how to play in those games and be effective. They’re a bad match-up for just about every team in the league when they’re motoring. We checked our way to a win in the outdoor game. Tonight, we were checked into a loss, I think – a shootout loss, mind you – but it’s not a bad match-up for us. We just didn’t do really smart things with the puck and I thought we missed the net a ton. I thought we deflected pucks or blocked pucks that never got to the goaltender’s pads. If you want to sustain any type of offensive zone time, you better be playing off the goalie’s pads and recovering loose pucks, and we didn’t do a good job of that.

McLellan, on whether he’d like to go into detail on his abuse of officials bench minor:
Nope, I earned it. I’m not happy that I put our team in that situation, but I’m pretty damn frustrated with the way things were being handled at that point, so I’ll leave it at that. I only want to get penalized once tonight, not twice.

McLellan, on whether the disagreement stemmed from the home team not getting last change:
Yeah, you can go there.

McLellan, on the penalty kill’s success:
It started with the goaltender. Quickie was outstanding in that situation. Real good saves in their zone. There wasn’t a lot of crap laying around the crease, so give him a ton of credit. We kept it fairly tight in areas that we needed to and got the saves. We were fortunate enough to get some clears when we were tired, because we were tired a few times. So that unit did a good job. It was probably on the ice a little too much. Obviously I played a role in that, so I have to take some responsibility there.

McLellan, on any line that can’t be crossed with officials:
Well, I would say in my 15 years, that could’ve been the first or the second one. So, the line was a little bit shorter apparently tonight than in the past, but some of the younger officials, I’m still trying to figure them out, so I guess I don’t know.

McLellan, on Gabriel Vilardi’s second game:
It was a tough night. It wasn’t a bad night, but it was a tough night to create anything offensively because they checked well. So, there again, we believe in this young man and we think he’s going to be a tremendous player, but I’m trying to take some of the pressure off him after one night. Some might say, ‘well, why’d you put him in the shootout?’ Because I believe that he could score. He almost did in that situation. We’ve seen him in practice a few times now. But he’s going to be a very, very good player. We need to let him grow up. We need to let him have time to experience a couple runs through the league here with different teams. He’s got to get up to pace in practice with the way we play and some of our language. We should all be very excited about him, but we should also let the young man breathe a little bit and find his way.

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