Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62