Oct. 29, 2013
• Eaves News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Head men's hockey coach Mike Eaves addressed the media at Wisconsin's weekly Monday news conference at Camp Randall Stadium. A full transcript follows.
Q. What do you feel better about after your bye week?
COACH EAVES: What do I feel better about? In terms of what? I can tell you what I liked, I don't know if that makes me feel better. I like the way we went back to work last week. We accomplished a lot of things that we as a coaching staff set out to do.
And so when we left the week on Friday, we felt that we went back to the basics. We worked hard. We worked on smart and we worked on playing as a team. So we feel it was a good week.
Q. What's Troy Rumple's status, did he get on the ice?
COACH EAVES: Got on the ice a little bit last week with his skates and then his leggings and pads, went around. Was on the ice this weekend as well. Everything's moving forward.
The next couple of days will be really important for this weekend to see where he's at. He'll get on the ice today and we'll go a little bit further and see how much he can handle. So right now we're hopeful for the weekend but that will be determined pretty strongly over the next couple of days.
Q. I just wanted to ask you about Nic's tenacity through this scoring streak. I mean, he's just how do you view that just as far as he's continued this through two seasons and done extremely well.
COACH EAVES: It's just the way Nic is wired. He has a high RPM. He's a very good skater. Very competitive young man. Has skills. Sees the game. And as a result of all those things, he plays with pretty good people, too, and he's put into positions to put points on the board, and so he kind of expects that of himself. And I think the way the ability, natural abilities he has helped him achieve those type of things.
Q. Is the streak unique for you seeing that he's chasing your record?
COACH EAVES: We talked about this with Mark (indiscernible) two years ago I think it was. I really don't think about it. If it happens, tremendous. I'll be the first to shake his hand.
But we're worried about Friday night and trying to be 1-0.
Q. I think college hockey has been about little schools playing big schools that's the way it is when you're in the WCHA. But is that sense of David and Goliath enhanced by your move to the Big Ten?
COACH EAVES: I would have to agree with that. I don't think that David and Goliath battle is going to go away. We still have to play a lot of non conference games, and from our relationships in the WCHA, we have relationships there and rivalries, and I think that we'll see the David and Goliath continue because in the fact we need a lot of nonconference games right now.
Q. How anxious are you to be out on the ice for a game this week and put that trip to Boston officially behind you in terms of your schedule?
COACH EAVES: Our guys are ready to do that. Again, it's a real challenge as a coaching staff to try to practice five days in a row, when it's time to start playing. And we have a good relationship with our captains. We sit down and talk about, find out where they're at, what's on their mind. They had some good suggestions last week. And we told them what our plan was. So, again, I think that's part of making last week very positive and moving forward. But, yeah, the only thing that's really going to put that behind us when you get back on the ice play some games and hopefully be successful.
Q. Mike, I know on the way to the airport leaving for Boston or leaving Boston to come to Madison, a number of your seniors were talking about all right let's let it go, let's get back to work. To have the seniors, the upper classmen take the lead in that, that's gotta be helpful, right?
COACH EAVES: That's one of the benefits of having an older team. We as a coaching staff are not around them as much as they are around themselves. So to have that influence on the inside out rather than the outside in and very important in the fact that they were saying that right away. These young guys have been through some, not sure of instances, but tough times. They understand some of that. They were saying the right things. Based on their work effort last week and what we accomplished they had moved on and were getting prepared for Lake State.
Q. Your power play's obviously creating chances at scoring too. They're two different things but certainly to see the productivity from that has got to be encouraging?
COACH EAVES: It is. It's what we hope for would happen. We've got five pretty good players on the ice that all have the ability to see the ice, have the skill to make the plays that they see and to finish. So one of the most impressive things about that power play unit that we call the red unit, we've got the red and white unit, imagine that, huh? One of the most impressive things about the red unit is how well they get the puck back. The puck retrieval skills. They work hard. So they take a shot. They make a play and they're all over the puck. Not only do they have good skill and vision out there, they work very hard to get pucks back and continue to try to score.