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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 - 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