The San Jose Sharks needed to rebound after their first shutout of the season to the Boston Bruins.
The team did play valiantly. Timo Meier and Logan Couture’s tallies were quick responses to the Detroit Red Wings’ goals in the second period. But after a scoreless third period, the San Jose Sharks dropped another overtime game, 3-2.
In Kevin Labanc’s return to the lineup after four games of serving as a healthy scratch, he, Couture, and David Quinn shared thoughts on the forward’s first game in 11 days. They shared their frustration on losing a game in which they put up a solid performance. Plus, Quinn analyzed the team’s recent struggles, especially in overtime situations.
Couture on the San Jose Sharks’ response after recent back-to-back losses:
I thought we played okay. Wasn’t our best, wasn’t our worst. Overtime on the road is always good in this league. But we’ve got win games. It’s getting repetitive. Losing games sucks.
Couture on what he’s said to Labanc while he’s been scratched:
Just hang in there. Keep doing what you’re doing. When you get a chance, play hard and I thought he did. Like I said he’s been a great teammate, very supportive and doesn’t complain. Comes to work with a smile on his face and works extremely hard on the ice. It’s not an easy situation. I think a lot of players in that position may handle it differently than Bancer has. So like I said, he’s done an admirable job in a tough situation.
Couture on the faceoff that led to Detroit’s overtime winner:
I’ll have to take a look at it, not really sure I know. I won the faceoff to the middle and then Rasmussen had a semi-breakaway and then it was just whacking the puck around and I think I got a chance to whack it out and whacked it to Copp’s stick and he got the rebound.
See Kevin Labanc’s interview here
Labanc on the San Jose Sharks trouble putting in a full 60-minute effort on this road trip:
I think that for 60 minutes, there’s momentum shifts going our way and then you lose the momentum and gain it back so it’s just all about just trying to gain that momentum and just stick with it for the full 60 and just finish out the game. And it went to overtime today so we’re right there. If we have a couple of bounces go our way—in the first period, I think Tommy had a golden opportunity right, right out in front, but it just hopped over stick—so if we get those bounces a little bit and think it would change the momentum of the game. We just have to—whatever situation we’re in—just make sure that we’re dealing with it and then just finish the full 60.
Labanc on teammates’ message to him while being scratched:
Guys were just telling me to stick with it. I should be in the line-up and just lifting me up when I’m down. It’s nice to know that these guys have my back. They’re family. So, it’s a good team here and it’s good team culture.
Labanc on his mind-set while out of the lineup:
Whether I’m in the lineup or out of it, we always want to win and get the two points, and I think it’s been a tough road trip so far. At least we got one point today. Just being a good teammate, and cheering the guys on, and being positive and optimistic in the locker room.
Labanc, on message from coaching staff over last 4 scratches: "Be structurally sound & work hard. Get chances going the other way, but at the same time, don't turn the puck over, make good plays with the puck."
Quinn noted he's had 4 conversations w/ Labanc through this stretch
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) January 25, 2023
See David Quinn’s interview here
Quinn on the San Jose Sharks’ performance tonight after recent losses:
I thought we played a better game for sure. I thought it was a solid game, not great but there was a lot more honesty in our game, a lot more pace and a lot more compete in our game. Just disappointed with the ending.
Quinn on Labanc’s performance and the message to him heading into tonight:
Bancer was solid… We’ve had probably four conversations since he’s sat and just talked about the things he needed to do. Obviously we believe in him, and guys go through some highs and lows in a season.
Quinn on being disappointed that Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl never saw an overtime shift:
We haven’t been good in overtime forever. So we tried something different. Since our first two overtime wins, we haven’t won since. Three-on-three or four-on-four is all about how hard you defend because if you force a turnover, you get the puck back in a hurry and that’s where your offense is created. We are way too much offensive-minded in our three-on-three and four-on-four approach.
Even in that faceoff, we think about offense instead of being in good defensive positioning. It’s really one-on-one battles. Like I said we’ve lost six in a row [in OT], so no, it’s not disappointing because anybody we put out there lately, it’s been a struggle for us.
Quinn on if the last goal, Michael Rasmussen jumping the faceoff, was due to the team not being “on their toes”:
Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. I mean, it’s pretty clear cut who your responsibilities are. And we actually win the draw almost, and just get blown off the line of scrimmage and [the puck] ends up in the back of our net.
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