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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Maurice Unhappy with Forwards' Defense

Friday, 02.13.2009 / 2:24 PM / 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 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61