Because it has taken the new Florida Panthers coach that lengthy to perceive the sport smartly sufficient.
Maurice, in his twenty fifth season of training within the NHL, used to be passed the reins to the Hartford Whalers in 1995, at 28 years previous with simply two seasons of head training enjoy within the Ontario Hockey League. He used to be in over his head and he knew it.
“I think the puck can move about 16 different ways off a dumped puck, their breakout, your forecheck,” Maurice stated. “And I think I tried to cover them all in Hartford at one point in my career.”
“We’re trying to get it down to one read,” he stated.
It’s a new means of drawing near the sport that Maurice, who’s 777-682-130 with 99 ties in 1,688 NHL video games, is taking in his new gig. Six months after he resigned as coach of the Winnipeg Jets after 9 seasons, believing that his voice used to be not the suitable one for the job, he agreed to take at the protecting Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers, with a new imaginative and prescient.
“I didn’t want to run the same program. I didn’t want to be the same coach,” Maurice stated. “I wasn’t coming back if I didn’t think I could add something specific and also learn.”
So that is what he is making an attempt to do.
The Panthers are 2-1-0 and can play the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday of their house opener at FLA Live Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS). They once more are a favourite within the Eastern Conference with an opportunity to cross deeper within the Stanley Cup Playoffs than ultimate season, after they had been swept via the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second one spherical.
Maurice watched the Panthers ultimate spring, watched after they rolled during the common season, drawn to them simplest as a fan and no longer as a coach. This used to be the workforce he stopped on when he used to be flipping during the channels, the workforce that intrigued him from afar.
Which used to be why, when Panthers normal supervisor Bill Zito known as him all through the offseason, the phrases escaped prior to Maurice knew what he used to be announcing.
What are you interested by doing?
“I said, I’m interested in Florida,” Maurice recalled. “It was kind of out of my mouth before I’d even let it process.”
The males by no means had met prior to.
Maurice used to be employed June 22, a part of an offseason that noticed Florida business ahead Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar for ahead Matthew Tkachuk precisely one month later. Neither transfer appeared altogether most likely again when Maurice used to be idly looking at the Panthers, entertained via their emblem of hockey and the probabilities it contained.
And but right here he’s, tackling a new alternative, the problem of polishing the Panthers from an excellent workforce into a perfect one, into person who no longer simplest can contend for the Stanley Cup, however win it.
“You see his experience,” captain Aleksander Barkov stated. “He’s coached a lot of teams, a lot of time in this league and overall [has] seen a lot of hockey. So, he knows exactly what’s going on, every day how to get the guys going, how to wake them up if needed. Just his experience and the way he knows everything about the game is just another level.”
And it begins with the main points.
“Details is like the main thing that comes to mind,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad stated Monday prior to he used to be injured all through a 5-3 loss on the Boston Bruins. “Just who he is as a person. Extremely detailed. His experience in the game has made it really cool to see his in-game adjustments and his adjustments as we see different teams. That’s the most noticeable thing, I think.
“We’re more or less evolving right here as a workforce presently and making an attempt to be informed new techniques. His talent to provide an explanation for issues and get us all at the identical web page is solely unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.”
At the same time, part of what Maurice wanted to do with the Panthers was let his players do what they do best. It was something he had learned during those 25 years, something he took to heart. A quote from Albert Einstein, that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t truly understand it.
He knew that back when he started he probably couldn’t explain the game simply. He, in fact, didn’t understand it well enough.
But with 25 years of coaching experience, he just might now.
“Our No. 1 precedence coming in as a body of workers is don’t gradual this workforce down,” Maurice said. “But some construction has to come into the sport. So, we spend an terrible lot of time going, ‘OK, that is seven reads, let’s flip this into 3 reads.’ And then, ‘What’s the only learn that covers the most important portion of the sport?’ And after that, ‘Let’s simply let the gamers play.’
“So, we’ve been hard on details. But we work really, really hard on not having too many of them.”
Maurice comes again once more to how he began within the NHL, to a profession wherein he at all times has had to be informed at the job whilst being tasked with main a workforce. Back then, he used to be simply making an attempt to soak up as a lot as he may. He watched such a lot video — he knew he had to — and “I became almost a systems coach,” he stated.
He wanted to turn out himself. He had to be so detailed that folks — gamers, fanatics, homeowners — believed he may do what he have been employed to do.
He is aware of higher now, he thinks. The imposter syndrome has light. He is aware of how necessary pace is, particularly for the Panthers, and is aware of that he does not need to mess than up. He does not need to get in the best way.
“You stop having to prove it,” he stated. “You value the individual talents of the players more. I don’t want them hearing my voice every time they do it. I want them to play.”
That’s why he took this job. He believed he may do issues in a different way, be different, take the Panthers to a spot they have not been prior to — and himself with them.
“The only way I wanted to go back is if I felt I could be better than I was ever before,” he stated. “I didn’t want to do the same thing. I didn’t want to run the same program. I wanted to get somewhere where I could learn as much from them as maybe I could teach them. And I found it here.”