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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81