After a tough start to the season, the Fort Frances Laker’s coach thinks that the team has what it takes to turn things around. The Team has started the season on a 1-7-0-0 record with the lone win coming on a forfeit in the season opener.
While he is working hard with the players on the ice, there is some work going on behind the scenes in hopes of bringing in a few more players.
“We do have a couple players coming in,” McLean said. “I don’t know for sure whether it’s two or three guys, but we’re bringing in one more defenseman and one or two more forwards, a couple of guys with experience… I’m either here running practice or coaching games, then there’s stuff I do all day on the phone. It’s really non-stop.”
“I’m a pretty realistic guy,” McLean said. “I don’t think unrealistically we’re [eight] games in and we’ve managed to get two points off the default. I think there are some guys who have to be more consistent in their play. I see flashes with some of them. But this is all stuff that I expected.”
McLean says he feels like the team has added some good pieces and they are practicing well but there is a certain amount of offensive execution that is missing. He says the team has played well to start games but need to work on playing a full 60-minute game.
“We work on the defensive zone every day. You have to work on defense every day,” McLean said. “I think our defense is definitely getting better but after you win the defensive zone battles it’s got to be offense, and we don’t have a lot of offense right now. That’s what we have to look for.”
McLean says most teams don’t have a deep pool of elite offensive talent, but feels a few good players can be mixed into different lines and situations.
“There’s been these flashes, not 100 per cent what I’d like to see but I’m not discouraged,” McLean said. “It’s early, you have to keep shuffling the deck a little bit.”
He added that he’s constantly looking for new players.
“You have to literally be on the phone all the time to get guys,” he said. “The OJHL started before us, the GOJHL started before us so it’s staying in touch with guys that maybe want to come up here and give it a shot for the rest of the season. Not everybody’s going to be a natural scorer, but you have to have some goal scorers. I think we’re doing not a bad job at getting defensemen in here. Now we have to start getting some scoring.”