POSTGAME: Matt Thomas (12/14)
Stockton Thunder head coach Matt Thomas spoke with the media after the Thunder defeated the Colorado Eagles, 4-1 at Stockton Arena on Friday.
RE: General game comments
THOMAS: “We played a pretty strong game. I think I challenged the guys. We’ve played very inconsistent in spurts over the last little bit and that was a challenge; I still think there’s room to grow for us that way. I thought the guys played a pretty strong game [in terms of executing]. The one thing we didn’t do is we didn’t fuel the other team, and we’ve been fueling the other team we’ve played a lot lately. I think there’s a pretty strong commitment to playing a simple game, getting to neutral ice. We got a little bit sloppy there in the third period, they got a couple good chances and they ended up scoring on one—they’re a shorthanded team so we knew it was important for us to make sure that we didn’t give them opportunities to get easy ones, where we kind of gave them the odd man rushes that any team is looking for. I thought the effort was good that way.”
RE: Was there anybody in particular that was on Costello?
THOMAS: “No. I went into it hoping to have a bit of a match-up game plan, but eight forwards for them…pretty tough, I would have kept somebody on the ice a lot. Nobody specific. I think when you’re playing against a line as dominant as that line it’s important for your entire team to be aware when they’re on the ice and our guys did a good job of that. Again, I thought everybody did a good job of not allowing them to get into their rhythm by turning the puck over. They’re a good line in transition, they’re a good team in transition, and it was important for us to make sure we limited them.”
RE: How’s Reed?
THOMAS: “He’s a little sore. We’ll know in the morning. Nothing overly serious, I don’t think…we’ll evaluate in the morning.”
RE: Talk a little about Reichard again tonight.
THOMAS: “He was good. I think it was an easy game for a goaltender to get into because of what we did in front of him. He did a great job controlling rebounds, he did a great job making it seem easy. I don’t know if it was as easy as maybe it appeared, as I thought it was. I liked the way we played in front of him, but he did a good job. He controlled his rebounds, he smothered things, he didn’t take a lot of chances and he just made the game kind of seem a little boring in his end which is a hell of a way to get a win for a goaltender.”
RE: Do you feel like you finished the game tonight?
THOMAS: “Yeah, I think it was important to get that fourth goal, that was pretty big. I don’t think a three goal lead against a team as offensively dynamic as Colorado was ever overly safe, so it was important to get that fourth goal. I think the guys stayed committed to the game. We talked about playing 60 minutes, playing a complete game and I thought, for the most part, it was pretty good. It was as close to 60 minutes as you’re going to get most nights, so it was a good win by us…a good win at home.”