All season long, the Kings have struggled in the opening game of two-game sets, as well as in their matchups vs. the Sharks. Friday night in San Jose was no different, where LA fell 5-2 and most likely saw their 2021 playoff hopes evaporate with the loss.
Following the game, coach Todd McLellan had this to say:
On if he is more upset about the goals allowed than the missed chances
Absolutely. I thought coming in here I was gonna get a lot of questions about the breakaways, the power plays, all the chances that we didn’t capitalize on. It’s the garbage we’re giving up defensively. Long chances, again. Every time we play against this team – it’s a long chance, poor pinch, a poor cover, and it’s in our net. We chase the game night after night after night.
On what the team did to tighten up halfway through the game
We just played within the structure. We didn’t wander from it. We felt we would get enough opportunities to have a chance of winning the game, but we’re down by three when we made that decision. It’s a little too late.
On if tonight is the end of the team’s playoff push
No. ‘Next season’ and ‘the end of the road,’ we’re not using those words. You can use them, we’re not. We’re playing tomorrow against this team. We’re not idiots, we know where we are in the standings. To use ‘the end of the road’ and ‘next year’ at this time, that’s not what we’re doing.
On adjustments to make prior to tomorrow night’s rematch with San Jose
The long chances, but trust me we focused on those long chances. The rush chances that they’ve had against us for the last five games. At some point, it has to settle in. It has to sink in to a number of players that just aren’t getting it right now.
Anze Kopitar’s postgame quotes have been posted here.
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