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POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2001
October 15, 2001 - Greensboro, NC - From the IceHouse, after morning practice.
THE WEEKEND AND A WAKE UP CALL
Coach Graeme Townshend entered the regular season pleased with his team’s performance in the preseason.
The coach’s demeanor changed after opening weekend when the team went 0-2. The Generals fell in Augusta, Georgia, to the Lynx 4-2 on Friday, October 12. The Lynx attracted 6,104 fans to Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in their home opener.
The next night, the team fell in Charlotte to the Checkers by the same 4-2 tally.
The Checkers attracted 7,407 in their home opener.
"I really believe in this team," Townshend said, despite the slow start.
"I think that we have a tremendous amount of talent and experience. But I think we were a little disorganized in our own zone in both games, and I think it cost us some goals.
"What I would like to see, though, is a little bit more desperation—desperate play. When I say that, I mean blocking shots, just doing the little things.
"We are working hard, but we are not working desperate. That is going to come with time. I really want to see the results a little bit sooner than we are seeing them right now.
"It is clear to me that the play of the league really picked up over the weekend, and that is to be expected. Both of those teams had their home opener, they were going to be pumped. I doubt that they’ll be able to maintain that kind of intensity the entire season. Your first game at home, typically it is your best one.
"I think we will have the same type of performance from our guys when we open up at home.
"It also helps that they had 7000 people at both games. That gets you pumped. It is like having an extra player on the ice.
"So, with that excuse out of the way, now it is down to normal, regular work, and we are going to go into those rinks the rest of the season and we are going to have a much better performance from our guys.
"I thought we got better as both games went on. I think we sagged a little bit in the third period against Charlotte, but I went to two lines. I was unhappy with a couple of guys, so I didn’t play them as much as I normally would have, and went to two lines, and we paid the price for that.
"I think we are going to be good. We are going to be a good team, although it is going to require a lot of hard work.
"I think we might have been a little overconfident going into the weekend, because we did play some exceptional hockey in the preseason. We really did. It was some of the best hockey that I’ve ever seen. I just think we were a little overconfident. It was a good wake up call, that’s all."
A PERFORMANCE WORTH NOTING
Despite the 0-2 start, there was at least one General with a good performance on the ice and in the coach’s office.
"Jarrett Thompson played really well [this weekend]," Townshend said. "He was a kid we were actually going to waive, and he came in to talk to me and changed my mind [before the final cuts].
"I thought he had a really good weekend."
ON THE GUYS IN GOAL AND THE DEFENSE
"Our goaltending was very good," the coach said. "We were disorganized in our own zone, but our goalies gave us a chance to win both games, especially against Charlotte on Saturday. [Jonathan] Forest played a very good game [in Charlotte].
"Our defense was good. They stuck together as a unit. They played hard. They didn’t get a lot of support in the neutral zone, but that is going to come with time.
"I don’t think we are in great shape yet. We are in good shape, but I want us to be in great shape. If we are in great shape, we can win a lot of games on our conditioning alone."
News on newly acquired winger Craig Stahl, the current front three lines and defenseman pairings and information from the Coach’s Show, live from Parmesan’s Great Italian Buffet.