Reign practice: LoVerde wearing red no-contact jersey, Brodzinski out (maintenance?), Leitner on the ice, no Sutter/Horvat— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) May 2, 2016
Horvat in red no-contact came out during 2nd wave of practice. Amadio & Herr, who were w/ vets, stayed out for extra work— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) May 2, 2016
Jewels from the Crown: San Diego's forwards have a good combination of size and skill. Who are some the players that you're particularly aware of when they're out there?
Jeff Schultz: I would say guys like Mueller, Sgarbossa...Ritchie. He's a big body that is hard to move in front of the net. Those three kind of come to my mind right off the bat. But you have to be aware of all of them.
Mueller is kind of what they feed off on the power play. He's kind of their half wall guy. Good set-up guy, kind of likes to get lost...in those soft areas. Sgarbossa is quick, he's got skills, he's got a good shot.
JFTC: San Diego plays a very effective trap with the lead. From a defenseman's perspective, what makes their trap so effective?
JS: They challenge in all the right areas of the ice. They're challenging before the red lines, so we can't dump it in, and if we do, it's an icing. They hold the blueline very well with their defense. It just makes it hard for us to move the puck up the ice. Once they get it in our zone, they establish a good forecheck.
JFTC: Your penalty kill has been strong against an excellent Gulls power play. What do you credit for that?
JS: I think it's just a good four-man commitment to blocking shots, getting the puck out when we have a chance, winning faceoffs, doing all those little things. We expect the same thing going on to the next round.
JFTC: What was up with wearing the red, no-contact jersey today? (JFTC Note: LoVerde appeared healthy throughout the San Jose series.)
Vincent LoVerde: It was just a maintenance day. Nothing to worry about.
JFTC: When you play a bitter rival during the postseason, how careful are you about not taking that extra penalty? Whereas, in the regular season, it's not that big a deal.
Kris Newbury: Obviously, you don't want to put your team behind the eight ball. The more you stay out of the box, the better it is. But you got to play your game at the same time. Just be disciplined between the whistles. And after the whistle goes, you can do your thing there, keep your hands down, and go about your business.
JFTC: San Diego plays a very effective trap with the lead. From a center's perspective, what makes their trap so effective?
Nic Dowd: Teams know that we like to go through the middle, use our centers a lot...teams do a good job of staying over top and that makes it a little more challenging. We have good enough D that they find holes and our centermen can find holes too. Obviously, it makes it a little bit more difficult, but I think we're up for the challenge.
JFTC: Brandon Montour has been a handful for you guys and the rest of the league to deal with. What makes him so difficult to gameplan against?
ND: I don't think it's game planning specifically against him, but he's a good player. He likes to jump up in the rush, he's effective in the O-zone. He makes smart decisions, he's a great power play guy. Good patience with the puck, gets a lot of shots through.
JFTC: How do you stop the Shea Theodore-Montour pairing?
ND: Obviously two really good defenseman. I think with any d-man, you have to eliminate their time and their space.
JFTC: San Diego one of the biggest defenses that you guys play against. Talk about the challenge of playing a defense like that and what you have to do to beat them?
ND: Just like any D-core, no one wants to go 200 feet to get the puck all night. So we got to get pucks behind them. We got to get contact on them any chance you get. Doesn't have to be a big hit. But over a seven-game series, it takes its toll. We just have to make their life difficult getting pucks to the net.
JFTC: Have you congratulated Bob Motzko for being named the head of coach of USA's 2017 World Juniors team?
ND: I have, yeah. I sent him a text. I haven't talked to him yet. I'm sure it's been a whirlwind for him. Really happy for him. I told him, It's great for him personally and his family. Also for St. Cloud State...shine some light there.
JFTC: In terms of what he'll bring to Team USA, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
ND: I think creativity offensive-wise. He does a good job, letting his players have creative rein around the ice. The guys will appreciate that, especially a lot of high-end players on that team.
JFTC: Any comment on LoVerde in a red no-contact jersey and Brodzinski being out?
Mike Stothers: Nope.
JFTC: Michael Amadio was not so impressive at the faceoff circle in Game Four. But what did you think about the rest of his Game Four?
MS: I thought he played well. That was a tough spot for him to be in. Was out there, a couple icings, defensive zone faceoffs. San Jose did a good job of either getting McCarthy or Timmins out against him. Experienced veteran guys that are very good on the faceoffs no matter who they're up against. Certainly taking advantage of a guy who's fresh out of juniors.
Yeah, that's a tough one. I thought he weathered the storm early there. He got better as the game went on. I thought he played very well. I was concerned to see how he was going to play back to back. He played a very good first game for us. A little bit slower starting in the second game, but got his feet under him.
Made some plays. I think that's the biggest thing. You got to give him props. He made some plays. It was good.
At the same time, Reign play-by-play announcer Joey Zakrzewski caught up with LoVerde, Dowd, Stothers, Newbury & Michael Mersch: