Tracking the Storm

Intense Practice Follows Disappointing Loss

Friday, 01.16.2009 / 1:42 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Intense Practice Follows Disappointing Loss
Paul Maurice audio

As expected, Friday’s practice was an intense one.
Paul Branecky
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At about 30 minutes, it wasn’t the proverbial “bag skate,” but coach Paul Maurice was constantly in the ear of his players as they went through drills, often in a manner that one can only assume is consistent with his second intermission speech from last night’s loss to Toronto.

“We showed them what hard work looks like,” Maurice said afterwards. “If we weren’t in the stretch of games that we are we would have done it on the ice a lot more. We tried to make our point and still let the players have an opportunity to have enough legs to win the game tomorrow night [at Buffalo].”

Although the Canes woke up in the third period, erasing a four-goal deficit for the first time in nine years, no one found comfort therein. 

“In the third period you should be the most tired, and then you play your best period,” said Tuomo Ruutu. “That’s wrong. That’s why it’s not right.”

When the Canes were steadily improving since early December, culminating in the four-game winning streak that preceded the current run of defeats, work ethic and intensity weren’t a problem as the team instead focused on fixing the technical aspects of their game.

Now, that situation seems to have reversed.

“They go hand in hand, because when you’re not going as hard as you want to go, you’re always out of position or you don’t put yourself in position,” said Maurice. 

“Obviously we have to play our system, but it doesn’t matter what system you play if you don’t play hard, because then you’re going to lose anyway,” added Ruutu. “Even if you don’t have a system if you play the hardest in this league you’re going to win games. That’s the way it is.”

Although Maurice made it clear that he believes the team has plenty of natural offensive ability, he suggested that the players have been relying on it too much rather than supplementing the necessary work ethic and physical play. He says that simplifying their game will allow that ability to flourish.

“We need to simplify our game so that our talent can come out," he said.  "We’re suffocating it with stupidity.”

There's a lot more honest assesment from the coach in the audio from today's practice.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 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