Schoenfeld blows top over power-play drill

March 29, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals once had a psychologist on staff. They might want to renew the contract.

After giving up three short-handed goals Sunday in a 6-4 loss to the Boston Bruins, it might seem obvious that the last thing the Caps would want to do during a 90-minute practice yesterday was to appear lackadaisical during a power-play drill.

But that's exactly what they did. As a puck went astray, coach Jim Schoenfeld bounced off the boards in full cry.

"We've got to have that puck!" he bellowed, adding a few unprintables. "Do it again!"

Afterward, he acknowledged his frustration.

"It was a residual effect from [Sunday]," he said, of the game in which the Caps made glaring mistakes in the extra-man situation. "I take losing very hard. I expect the team to take it very hard. At that moment in practice, it didn't seem they were preparing themselves for the next game with enough intensity and emotion and I wanted to correct it right away. I was angry. It wasn't a performance. I was mad. Today was a day for communication and getting us all on the same page."

The regular-season race has nine games to go, and the New York Islanders are here tonight to play a crucial game for both teams. With that in mind, Schoenfeld put the Capitals through 90 minutes on the ice and a 75-minute off-ice meeting, in which game films were reviewed and critiqued.

Schoenfeld said he is considering benching several veterans tonight. He also is thinking about moving Michal Pivonka onto a line with Joe Juneau and Pat Peake, if Pivonka is fully recovered from the concussion he suffered last Friday in Detroit.

"I'm looking for the right combination with Juneau," said Schoenfeld. "Joe makes so many great passes, you have to be alert to it and you have to be able to finish. We're wasting his play-making ability by not putting the puck in the net. So we have to make sure we get guys out there on the same wavelength, who are ready to shoot and put the puck in the net."

He said the biggest problem his team faces is believing in itself.

"No matter what kind of team you have, you have to keep working on self-confidence," he said.

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