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Maurice talks

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Excerpts from Paul Maurice's interview with TSN 1290's Hustler and Lawless:


Maurice on the state of his team after Monday's loss in Dallas left the Jets nine points out of a playoff spot with nine games to go:

"It's been a difficult stretch and you see the point in the gaps getting bigger between you and the final playoff spot. I think it was a lot of excitement when we got pretty darn close to that and a lot of anxiety when we started to slip. And you've got to deal with that too, along with the other teams that are going through it. Where are we at today? We're figuring out how to work at the same pace, the same focus regardless of the outside questions and circumstances."

Maurice on getting emotionally attached to the Jets in a short time:

"I know what it's like to work in a Canadian city. I know that you have to win games. I also know where this team is. There's a big chunk of guys that care about playing for the Winnipeg Jets, and I say that because I know sometimes when you lose games, people say, 'Why don't they try harder?' There's a group, a core of players who will go a bit beyond and push themselves a little bit harder and they are going to be a big part of this team's future. There's a lot of guys in that room who I don't know very well but I like them. Some of them fool around a bit before the game and I like that. I've enjoyed their different personalities."

Maurice on his roots and being Canadian:

"I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, (a) wonderful place to grow up. Hockey was everything. There was a rink in my backyard and every backyard. We got a lot of snow. I remember the winters as very close in my head to the Winnipeg winter this year. Maybe that's just a five-year-old kid's memory of the snowbanks being that high. When I look out the window now, I think this is exactly how I grew up, it was fun. So I grew up there where hockey was a big part, and I went through the junior hockey thing, then I had an unusual career. A lot of strange things happened. Lost most of the sight in one of my eyes in a hockey game. I remember my dad asking me when I was 18 if I would coach, and I was insulted. Why? Why would I coach, I want to play for a ton of years. Ended up coaching for two or three years and Mr. Karmanos and Jim Rutherford that are now in Carolina had just a major impact on my hockey life. So I met my girl when I played junior and got married and had three kids in North Carolina and have lived a bit all over the world. And here I am in Winnipeg and you're right, you're learning everything from scratch. Not just the players but how everything is done. I've been in a track suit exclusively."

Maurice on music:

"I have a CD collection. I like Led Zeppelin. Started with the Beatles early, Allman Brothers, southern rock, country. When I first got to Hartford, they were listening to the things I like. Some Beatles. Ronnie Francis is a Bruce Springsteen fan so he got to run the room there... But the stuff these guys listen to now, it's funny when you become your father. I'm disparaging this music greatly. Because you can't understand it. If you can, you don't want your kids listening to it cause you'll sound like me swearing behind the bench. But they seem to like it."

Maurice on what he would do if he wasn't coaching:

"I think I would have ended up teaching. My wife is a teacher, both my parents were, everyone in my wife's family is a teacher. I have two brothers. My older brother is a surgeon and my younger brother is an engineer. So they got the brains in the family. I like to say I got the good looks (but) I don't think that happened either."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2014 D3

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