Newspaper article The Canadian Press

St. John's IceCaps Look to Regain Some of Last Season's Winning Form

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

St. John's IceCaps Look to Regain Some of Last Season's Winning Form

Article excerpt

IceCaps look to regain winning ways

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Defenceman Paul Postma is hoping the St. John's IceCaps can use a six-game homestand to get back to the winning ways the team showed last season.

"I think we're really looking forward to this weekend, it's a chance for us to make up some wins," said Postma, who missed the start of this season due to injury.

The AHL farm team of the Winnipeg Jets is off to a slow 6-7-0 start.

Last season, the debut of the relocated franchise, they finished atop their division and second in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Calder-Cup winning Norfolk Admirals.

By mid-November they were already sitting at 11-2-3.

Their latest homestand starts Friday, with the first of back-to-back games against the Albany Devils.

"We have a fairly similar team to last year but we still have to find our identity I think," said Postma, who is regaining some of his own form after missing the first eight games.

"I think certain players still have to find their roles and stick to what makes us successful."

The NHL lockout has meant an infusion of talent throughout the AHL and that has had an impact on the level of play.

"Teams get better in a hurry," Postma said.

"The skill level's gone up, even from last year it definitely feels like it is a better league. There's less time to react out on the ice."

But coach Keith McCambridge also says more players means a juggling act to keep lines together.

"It's trying to have that consistency in your lineup night after night . . . that's been our challenge as a coaching staff," he said.

Finding the net also has been a big issue for the IceCaps, who have been outscored 39-27 and have been shut out four times.

McCambridge says it's not from lack of effort. In fact, some nights, there may be too much effort.

"The frustration sets in and guys are overthinking plays," he said. "Where now, the game happens so fast, if you overthink plays . . . those lanes close pretty quickly.

Postma says no one should point fingers at the top marksmen for the scoring drought. …

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