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No Nonsense for Maurice in Day One

Wednesday, 12.3.2008 / 2:44 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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No Nonsense for Maurice in Day One

After some initial discomfort, Paul Maurice’s first practice, which came just over an hour after he was re-introduced at a press conference, seemed fast-paced.

It may not have been fast enough, however.

Paul Branecky
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”We’ve actually got a ways to go on that tempo,” he said.  “The players spent a lot of energy before they stepped on the ice today.  It’s hard for everybody, and I didn’t think we were moving the way I expect to be moving fairly soon.”

That’s just one example of the no-nonsense approach that Maurice brought to the RBC Center in his first day back as head coach of the Hurricanes.

Another example came near the end of his response to a question about how the players will react to the change.

“Some will be nervous and perform a little better because they’re not sure where they sit with the new guy,” he said.  “There will be some that are probably going to struggle for a week or two until they find out that if you perform at your peak, you’re going to play and everything’s going to be good.

“There will be three or four guys that have a fairly rude awakening coming in the next week because their performance is off and they’re going to hear about it in a matter that they’re not going to care to.”

Maurice said the biggest challenge facing him at this early stage of his new tenure would be instilling belief in a team that has been lacking in that department recently.  He said part of doing that would be to remove what he called the “unhealthy pressure” that the team is putting on itself before every game for fear of missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

“There’s that specter around this team right now of “Oh no, what if,” he said.  “I really can’t qualify that more, but that’s my number one job, to get that out of there.

“We’ve got to build a little bit of confidence in there, and that doesn’t always have to be done with hugs.  There are other ways to do it.”

Another issue brought up by GM Jim Rutherford at the press conference was chemistry – the belief is that the right players are in place, but they aren’t playing as a cohesive unit.

“Any of the teams I’ve coached that I thought overachieved or did well did it because they did it together,” said Maurice.  “They were a close-knit group of guys.  As a head coach, there’s two ways to get them to do that.  You can either pull them together or drive them together.  At times, I guess you’ve got to do both.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
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9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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