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Sharks Locker Room: Quinn Likes How Team Stood Up to Wilson, Bailey ‘Starving’ for NHL Shot

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The Washington Capitals were starting to overwhelm the San Jose Sharks at the end of the second period.

With 4:33 left in the middle frame, the Sharks were up 1-0, courtesy of Fabian Zetterlund, and trailing just 20-17 on the shot counter. But then, the Caps finished the period with the last eight shots on goal, tying the game in the process.

Washington had all the momentum in the world, heading into the final frame. And earlier in the season, when San Jose started off 0-10-1, that might’ve been it for the Sharks.

But instead, the home team held the Capitals to just seven shots in the third period, and netted the game-winner, courtesy of Luke Kunin off a nifty pass by Justin Bailey.

Per SPORTLOGiQ, Washington had just two Slot Shots in the third, after 12 in the first 40 minutes.

“We were playing a little more on top of them. We were skating more, better in the neutral zone,” Kunin said. “First two, it was a little too easy for them coming through. It’s something we talked about. Good on the guys to step up.”

How many periods would you say the 5-15-2 San Jose Sharks have won defensively so far this season?

Not many. So while the Sharks, as usual, needed Mackenzie Blackwood to be superheroic, especially in the first two periods – he made 33 saves, overall – they can hang their hats also on an uncharacteristic defensive effort.

Uncharacteristic, for now. The Sharks, 5-5-1 in their last 11, are getting better, slowly but surely.

Quinn lavished praise on Bailey, Zetterlund, Blackwood, Kyle Burroughs, and Mikael Granlund, among others. He also liked how the Sharks stood up to big bad Tom Wilson.

Bailey let us know what he saw on his assist to Kunin. Blackwood explained why he was down on the ice for so long after the Evgeny Kuznetsov goal. Kunin touched on how the Sharks locked down defensively.

David Quinn

Quinn, on Bailey:

What we saw a training camp as I mentioned this morning. He’s a big kid. He’s our biggest forward. He can skate.

And as you can see, he’s got a little bit of touch too, that was a great pass he made to Kunny on the winning goal. Played an honest game.

Quinn, on Zetterlund’s performance:

We’re so happy for him, really.

We’ve touched on last year, the tough year he had. Just the work he put in. He’s such a great kid and he’s a great teammate and he’s got a great attitude.

Through our toughest times the first 11 games, this guy came to the rink everyday with a smile on his face and worked hard and tried to bring other people into the fight.

And he can shoot a puck, boy. He’s got the ability to shoot a puck and score goals. Just really happy for him that he’s getting rewarded.

Quinn, on how Kyle Burroughs and Mikael Granlund and the rest of the San Jose Sharks stood up to Tom Wilson:

Listen, it’s hockey. You got to have a set of balls out there, and if you’re afraid, you’re in the wrong sport. You can’t be afraid out there. Because if you are, boy, you’re not going to last long. When you got a guy that big and the guys you just mentioned, their size. That’s ballsy. That’s ballsy. That’s true toughness.

Quinn, on Granlund, who also hit Alex Ovechkin hard tonight:

That’s Granny, right? He’s a winner. He’s an honest player. He’s a little bit of a throwback. He’s got a great skill and he’s got some grit to him, a lot of grit.

Justin Bailey

Bailey, on his assist to Kunin:

We had an emphasis on getting pucks back, obviously. On the power play, you’re looking to get shots at the net. But also at the same time, you’re looking for recoveries. I saw Kunny tied up in the corner, did my best to just get over there, get on top of it, and kind of wait for the next play. Luckily, I was able to sneak out there and he found a good spot and I found him.

Bailey, on faking out Joel Edmundson, who was playing the cross-slot pass to Anthony Duclair:

Came out of the corner, just got my head up, and I was looking for Dukes on the backdoor originally. That lane was a little bit congested. Kunny found that perfect spot in the honey hole there.

Bailey, on being placed on the power play in his San Jose Sharks debut:

For me, it’s the first time in my career I’ve ever touched the power play. It’s been a situation where in the minors, always on it, then come up and I’m not. But I think I can make my presence felt at the net front and on the breakout as well with my speed pushing D back.

Mackenzie Blackwood

Blackwood, on being on his back for a little while after the Evgeny Kuznetsov goal:

I was just trying to catch my breath again. I kind of got hit in the ribs there. I was just trying to breathe a little bit because it kind of knocked the wind out of me after that.

Blackwood, on all the posts that he heard behind him tonight:

Anytime I hear a ping, I really appreciate that noise. (laughs) As long as it doesn’t go in!

Luke Kunin

Kunin, on how the San Jose Sharks shut down the Caps in the third period:

We were playing a little more on top of them. We were skating more, better in the neutral zone. First two, it was a little too easy for them coming through. It’s something we talked about. Good on the guys to step up.

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