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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72