As the Gamblers travel to Lincoln, Neb., for their Friday night matchup with the Stars, head coach Derek Lalonde had a few minutes to speak about his team’s plan-of-attack for the weekend.
On his approach to the weekend: “I think everything this year has been a battle for us. That’s a credit to the parody in this league, and also, we’ve battled ourselves a little bit. One of our battles has been our inconsistency on the road compared to our play at home — it’s just another battle where we haven’t played well on the road this year. These are two very hard buildings to play in. I think we took a really good step last Friday in Chicago in that we prepared all week to be a little harder throughout the entire game, and we arguably had our best game of the year in that 6-0 win in Chicago. Now it’s another challenge on the road.”
On what the reason would be for a successful 4-point weekend season: “Just shoring up some things on the road. Everything’s harder on the road — you don’t get your matchups, you don’t have that comfort-ability about yourself. It’s just playing a more complete game; managing the puck better, winning puck battles, managing both scoring areas a little better, being more efficient in your game, managing the game better. Those are the challenges for us throughout the year and why we’re sitting where we are on the road. If we can get points this weekend on the road, it’s another step moving forward.”
On how important it is to establish momentum heading into the final stretch of the season: “We talk about it all the time, and you’re not going to be able to turn it off. I think the inconsistencies we showed throughout the year is something you cannot have in the playoffs. And I think that’s what we’re trying to strive for. The good news is, we’ve played at a level that could be very dangerous and that gives us a chance come playoff time. But we’ve also played a a level where we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, with how competitive the division is. So I just think having a more complete game throughout our lineups, and having some consistency. To make the playoffs, you need to give yourself an opportunity to get in the playoffs.”
-Alec Dopp (@alecdopp)