After a 4-3 victory against the In New York Island On Thursday night, San Jose Sharks Head coach Bob Bonner along with players Jacob Middleton, Jeffrey Weil and Thomas Hartl met with media people to discuss the positive benefits in special teams, in a seven-game skating, Viel’s fight with Zedano Chara and back-to-back preparation. Fighting games against the Bruins and Kraken this weekend.
Here are highlights from the availability of post-game media:
On Viel’s battle with Chara: Yes, it was something to see. I do not know if he wanted to do it because he broke the record tonight or not, but it was a bit of a mismatch, [chuckle]. But you have to give Wheeler a lot of credit, the guy tried to stay around, tried to make an impression every night, and protects his teammates well.
About physicality in games: Knits was physical tonight – he had to ring the bell, that night it was Gadge. The only thing we talked about during this skating is being a team that’s harder to play against, and it’s not necessarily related to fighting, but it goes to one wall for the other, and these are just examples of that.
At the exit of Malucca: He got stuck in the elbow in his head and just did not feel well, so we took him out of the squad, and he will check after the game. It hurt us, five defensive players, and we had a tough game yesterday at Anaheim, we went to overtime and also to a shootout. These were tough minutes for our backs, and we got caught several times, and our defense took extra long shifts on the ice. I’m proud of you guys, they fought it, and at this time of year, you just have to find ways to get points, and tonight we did. We stood by it and fought even though we were not at our best.
On Reimer workload: It’s a lot of hockey he’s playing, and traditionally, we’re looking at Reims’ career, and he’s been such a good goalkeeper in this league for a long time, but he’s played so much in a row, he’s not necessarily been in that position much. , And I think he arrives with rescues in time, struggles hard like everyone else and finds ways. We’re just running his rest. We have to make a decision towards the weekend as to what we are going to do for goalkeepers.
We were hoping Edin would be further away at this point, he has had some decent days here in the last few days. For us, it’s letting Reims rest as much as possible. We do not really want to deal with the situation of him playing back to back, but we are fighting for our lives here, and that may be the case. We’ll see how the game goes on Saturday, we’ll see where Delicate Hill is at this point. If we have to turn to Sauzie, he gave us some decent periods when he played, and some decent periods. We’ll just have to get along as best we can, and hopefully when we play in Boston we’re strong against them, and we’ll not put him to the test all night. We must play tough defense against him and help him out.
On the success of special teams: It starts with the tackle, and we have a good face team, so credit there. I think we return the puck and as soon as we drag it to the middle of the back to the wing, and our feet towards the net, we can get pucks there right away, especially outside the draw. We are not a fancy power game, we are meat and potatoes, and lately it has been working for us. Our special teams together are some of the best in the league, so we are very proud of that.
On Viel’s battle with Chara: It’s pretty impressive. Chara asked him too, by the sound, so Wheeler would say yes and go with such a big guy, it just gives us some life on the bench, that’s for sure.
On a game with five defensive players: Yes, it was hard. You hate to see Melo go down like that, but it was hard and everyone came up really well, like Marx, Pickles, with the minutes everyone played, everyone did it together and it worked out well. As you can see, I’m still a little breathless from this, but it was good. Group effort. Nice to win one too, finally.
For a win after a seven-game skate: This is the first time I have heard music after the game in seven games, and I could not have been happier to go back there.
On Reimer’s appearance: Nothing but respect for him. He just fought too, all 60 minutes, 65 in this case, plus three shots, what he does for us now is keep us in the games, and we could not have asked for much more.
In special teams: Our special teams were what kept us in the games. There’s still some 5 on 5 work in defense that I’m sure we would have liked to clear, but between the kill and the power play of the last two games, they really were what kept us involved.
On his battle with Chara: Yes, he asked me on the wall. I do not know, I thought maybe he just wants to move his team, he did not say reason. I rarely say no. I thought I did pretty well. It’s quite high, so it’s hard to get to. They announced his achievement in the first period, so I knew it was a big game for him too.
On staying in the lineup: I do not think I have ever avoided fighting anyone, and like I said before, it’s just part of my job and what I need to do, and I enjoy it. I think I’m smarter with the disc, and just making a simple game. Obviously, I got some reward defensively as well, so that’s good, but I thought my game definitely improved and I feel safer than last year.
On victory after skating: It feels really good, I mean, we haven’t heard our winning song in a while, so it felt great. Obviously, Reims was huge for us, and it felt great to get both points.
Weil fights Chara: It’s hard for him because he’s so big and his arms are so long that no one can reach him. Respect him, he jumped on it and fought for the team, I think he did a pretty good job. It’s good to see a guy like that jump for us and motivate us.
On victory after skating: It was nice to finally win. It was a lot of hockey, I had never played in so many overtimes in the short term, and it was good to get that extra point with the win, and hopefully motivate us again. It was a lot of close games, always decided by one goal, there was no explosion or anything. We’ve always been there, but we could not finish it, so it was nice to finally get that win tonight.
About Reimer: He’s been really good all season, he’s played a lot of hockey, and it’s not easy, playing every night and being there for us. He made a lot of good saves today and helped us get two points.
On taking and maintaining leads: We talk about that we always want to start with an advantage, but no, but after that, we scored two goals and managed to lead. We need to do a much better job, especially when we scored the third and they scored the next shift, it just could not happen. We need to apply pressure, not be afraid. I think we’re a little scared when we score a goal, we do not want to give up one, but I think it’s more so we need to push even harder and spend time in their automatic area, so they do not have opportunities. Sometimes we are scared and we do not want to give up something and end up giving more.
On the back to the nearest back: We do not have a lot of backs this year, so we need to prepare for two tough games. We have to manage shifts, you do not have to stay extra if you do not have to, you have to be smart, it’s back-to-back games. Especially the second, you need to be smarter, need to make good opportunities. When you stay out too much in one shift, you go out tired the next, so you have to be smart with that. Otherwise, you do not think about it, you just go in, play and try to win.
* Easy editing for clarity
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