Comments from Sharks’ locker room after 3-2 loss to Kings

San Jose Sharks iconFollowing the Sharks 3-2 loss in Los Angeles on Saturday night, here’s what they were saying back in the San Jose locker room…

– Captain Joe Thornton on how much incentive there was in the game, knowing that home-ice wasn’t possible: “We’re going to go up to Vancouver. Excited to play them. You want to win every game you play but you don’t want to get hurt. Now we know who we are going to play and we’re going to go up to Vancouver and win some games. Even with St Louis winning, it was still a good game. It’s always a one goal game against these guys but yeah they have St Louis and we got Vancouver.”

– More Thornton on playing Vancouver: “They compete hard , they won the Northwest for a reason. They have a real good team. We have a big challenge on our hands.”

– Thornton on the way Niemi has looked lately and if that bodes well for the post-season: “He’s been great. He’s the reason we’re in the postseason. When you have a great goaltender like that you can ride him a long time I think. “

– Goaltender Antti Niemi on Vancouver as an opponent: “They played better lately. They have lots of talent, big hockey city so it’s going to be a big challenge for us. We lost to them two years ago and I think they got lucky, a few lucky goals so hopefully we get a few lucky bounces this time.”

– Niemi on how he felt in the game after a rest: “Maybe a couple of pucks I bounced a little bit in the first. After a couple of saves I felt pretty good.”

– Niemi on the lack of intensity between both teams: “I think we wanted to get the home ice advantage and we realized before the game we can’t get that so I think it took a little bit of energy off of us.”

– Coach Todd McLellan on his initial thoughts about playing Vancouver: “Vancouver is our opponent. Now we can start working, they will be doing the same thing. We have a rivalry that exists with them. Had a series in the past where we were unsuccessful. They are a very talented group of players up there with two very good goaltenders. We’re going to have our hands full.”

– McLellan on how the approach to this game changed after St Louis clinched home ice: “I thought it changed, I felt the intensity of the game wasn’t quite where it would have been if one of these two teams could clinch home ice. After that, I thought it was fairly evenly played game. They would have the momentum then we would take it back a little bit. It was fairly clean. I think both teams were trying to get through the finish line and get ready for playoffs.”

– McLellan on why forward Martin Havlat didn’t play: “Well Martin didn’t skate yesterday. Everybody has bumps and bruises this time of the year. When the results after warms up in St Louis, we decided to get Kennedy in for the night.”

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