POSTGAME: Matt Thomas comments (12/4)
Thunder head coach Matt Thomas spoke to the media after Tuesday’s 3-1 win against the Las Vegas Wranglers.
THOMAS: “It was a good win. I liked our goals—all three goals were pretty. Reichard played incredible. Obviously he was good in the third period and he needed to be; I thought he was real good in the second in a couple of real good opportunities and he’s made some game-changing saves. We needed that from a goaltender. It’s kind of funny, we’ve been playing catch-up the last few games in the third period or it’s been a real tight game. You’ve got to give Vegas a lot of credit, they really pushed. We didn’t handle it overly well but I think when you haven’t been winning a ton lately, when you find a way to even get that done even though you didn’t play that great in the third period—it’s a positive. It’s a step in the right direction for us and a good win.”
RE: What do you think happened after that first period? What changed, if anything, in the second?
THOMAS: “I thought the first period we were pretty good, I thought they were pretty good, too. Both teams made some real nice plays coming up the ice and I thought both teams defended well in the first period. Both goalies really controlled the puck and didn’t give a ton of opportunity to get a lot of rhythm offensively. I think it was less of neither team really getting it going and it was more of teams playing well in all three zones. I think the second period—you know, they made a couple mistakes obviously as did we—but we got some key saves, but we scored some pretty goals. When you think about all three goals, they were real nice plays. And all three lines chipped in. I think the guys felt good in the game after the first period, we were playing our game, we were executing our system, and I think in the second period we just got rewarded for what I thought was a good 40 minutes.
[The last 20 minutes] got a little sloppy—when you’re playing the type of hockey we’re playing right now, we’re desperate for a win. The guys played a little out of character in terms of poise with the puck and we didn’t play as patient as we needed to play, but they did a good job. [Vegas] really pushed, they really came at us with a lot of speed, they played a pretty simple game plan and forced us to play a lot of D zone. We played a little ‘loosey-goosey,’ as I like to call it, the neutral zone and put us on our heels a bit too much. Again, our goaltender stepped up and we needed him to do that tonight.”
RE: Will you come back with Reichard in tomorrow’s game?
THOMAS: “My plan was to go in and split them, but obviously when you have a 39 save win I’ve got to step back and look at it. I don’t think Tyler Bunz would argue the fact that Reichard was a difference maker tonight. I think there’s a lot of potential for me to go back with him but I like to watch the video and sleep on it and make sure I’m making the right decision. I’m happy for Cody. He’s had a couple…average games. Tonight he was spot on, he was good and that was important for our entire team.”