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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 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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