Tracking the Storm

Maurice Unhappy with Forwards' Defense

Friday, 02.13.2009 / 2:24 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Maurice Unhappy with Forwards\' Defense
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After a loss as disappointing as last night’s 5-0 showing against Florida, sometimes the next step is to move on and try and pretend like it didn’t happen.

That wasn’t the case today for the Hurricanes.

“Over the course of the regular season there will be some games where you say “Lets just burn the tape” and you don’t even talk about it the next day,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “We talk about playoff hockey, and part of that mentality is that you deal with it, then you leave it. There were things that happened in the game last night that cannot happen in our next game, and we dealt with those, then we practiced, then we left it.”

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Maurice saw one particular area – namely, the defensive commitment from his forwards in coming back to help break the puck out of their own zone – that sorely needed to be addressed.

He used the example of Florida’s first goal by Nathan Horton, when Joe Corvo skated back behind his own net but lost the puck to David Booth, whose slow centering pass was picked up in open ice by Keith Ballard, who then found Horton for the easy tally. | Watch the goal

“When we had the puck on our stick going to breakout position, we left a hole in the middle of the ice because we just didn’t work hard enough to get back there,” said Maurice. Joe’s got the puck going back behind the net and we’re waiting for Joe to do something good and then away we go.

“We were nowhere near in position to recover from it because we were a step ahead of the play instead of doing the hard work to stay onto the puck, and that was a big part of our problem.”

The second goal was more of the same, with Florida dumping it in and winning the puck from Corvo before finding an open man in the middle of the ice. | Watch

That may lead one to place the squarely on the shoulders of Corvo, who finished the night with an unsightly -4, but Maurice was clearly more upset with his forwards.

“It looked like Joe is the dog, but if everybody had skated as hard back from the red line to get the puck as Joe did, there’s no play there,” said Maurice.  "Everybody did a good job of watching Joe."

The only forwards to come out of last night’s game with an even plus/minus rating were the third and fourth lines, which underwent a bit of a shuffle today. Jussi Jokinen moved to left wing on a line with Rod Brind’Amour and Chad LaRose, who moves to the right. Brandon Sutter is back at center with Ryan Bayda and Patrick Eaves. | Depth Chart

"Roddy skated better last night than he has for a month," said Maurice.  "He looked good."

Also, Dennis Seidenberg was paired with Niclas Wallin, so look for him to return to the lineup tomorrow night. Unless his status changes between now and game time (it’s happened before, as Maurice pointed out), he would take the place of Bryan Rodney, who was paired with Frank Kaberle today and may be heading back to Albany soon.

If Seidenberg returns, that just leaves Scott Walker on the team’s injury list. Still no sign of him at 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