Maurice concerned about woeful decisions

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

No, the colour on your TV wasn't broken Tuesday night, Paul Maurice really turned fire-engine red during his bench rant in Ottawa.

"You guys don't see the good ones," the Maple Leafs' coach said yesterday when asked about his timeout tirade. "I try and take 10 minutes after the game to calm down (before facing the press)."

No one could fault Maurice for flying off the handle at that point, with Ottawa up 4-0, goalie Vesa Toskala's confidence in tatters and no one adhering to a road game plan that had worked fairly well the past four games.

For centre Matt Stajan, it didn't matter that Ottawa had embarrassed a few other teams this year in their 13-1 run.

THREE LOSSES

"We can hit them and I think we've been skating with them," Stajan said of three losses to the Sens this year. "But it's the split-second decisions we're making, that little hesitation. Where we should be positioned is the difference in all those odd-man rushes.

"We needed a wake-up call at that stage and Paul holds everyone accountable. We've got to be better."

Maurice, whose assistants tallied Ottawa's scoring chances at a ridiculous 17 in Tuesday's 5-1 loss, expanded on the subject of brain cramps.

NO SUPPORT

"Where's the support when we make the decision to pinch?," Maurice wondered. "Pucks will roll off sticks, pucks will (go wide) ...that kind of thing will even out over a season. But it's the decisions we're making.

"It's a habit from youth, when you just work it on offence, offence, offence. You've always gone to the offensive side, but you have to have a mix."

He said the solution is in repetitive practice, something the Leafs laboured hard at yesterday, topped with a punishing skate.

Winger Alex Steen admitted Tuesday's tape won't be going to the Canadian Hockey Association's coaching certification clinic, but promised atonement tomorrow in Buffalo.

"We watched a little video, we have two leaders coming back in our lineup soon (Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe) ... we'll be a better team," Steen said.


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