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Pellerin Eager to Begin 2012-13 Campaign

First-year head coach discusses keys to 2012-13 season on first day of Training Camp

Friday, 09.28.2012 / 7:35 PM ET / News
By Jamie Palatini
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Pellerin Eager to Begin 2012-13 Campaign
Sound Tigers Assistant Coach Doug Holewa works with players during a drill at Friday's practice

For the first time in a long time, Friday was Scott Pellerin’s first day on the job. The Sound Tigers new head coach has over 850 professional games as a player and six years as an assistant coach with the Manchester Monarchs under his belt, but Friday’s practice to open Training Camp marked his first day as an AHL head coach.

“It’s great to finally get on the ice, put on a track suit with the Sound Tigers logo and watch our players skate and do their testing,” Pellerin said, following the Sound Tigers first on-ice workouts at training camp at Iceworks on Long Island. “We’ve got so much support here from the Islanders and it’s great to get started.”

Friday’s practice didn’t involve any intense battles in the corners or whiteboard sessions to implement neutral zone systems, but Pellerin still found importance in today’s on and off-ice testing.

“These guys are competing against the group, and they’re competing against themselves,” Pellerin said. “I’m really looking at how these guys improve. There is a grit factor and compete level involved too, which is something I like to watch. I think we have a very fast and well-conditioned team.”

Last season’s head coach Brent Thompson, now an assistant coach with the Islanders, often mentioned the concepts of accountability and hard work within the team’s system. That formula paid off during the second half of the 2011-12 campaign when the Sound Tigers rattled off a 29-9-0-5 run en route to the Northeast Division title. Pellerin echoes those same sentiments as core values in a successful squad.

“All of these players will be held accountable on the ice,” Pellerin said. “They have to work hard and nothing is given to them. That’s the message I will give to our guys. I’ll be truthful and I’ll be honest. If they work hard within the team structure, they’ll be rewarded and the team will benefit.”

Pellerin will be joined by first year assistant coach Doug Holewa as well as second year assistant coach Eric Boguniecki, and senses strong enthusiasm in his young staff.

“I think we’ve got a great mix of personalities on this staff,” Pellerin said. “I think our youth as a staff brings an eagerness and motivation to the rink every day. You need that and that’s what I demand. To me, Boguniecki has a great relationship with the guys and has a good sense of the group and organization.”

Pellerin knows from personal experience how important it is for a coach to have a relationship with a player on a personal level as well as a professional one.

“For the last six years that was my role in Manchester,” Pellerin said. “You get to know these players as people, and that allows you to communicate and teach in an effective way. I want to get to know them so I can figure out the best way to teach them and help them reach their goals. But as a head coach now, I also need to take that step back and be more demanding as well.”

Following his time in Manchester, which included an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2006-07 season, Pellerin has grasped the various ingredients that make up a successful hockey team. A team can have all of the skill in the world, but the proper leadership is needed to cultivate that skill.

“That leadership dynamic is so important,” Pellerin said. “It’s crucial to identify the right guys to be your leaders. They have a huge responsibility. They are relied upon in crucial situations, and not only on the ice. They’re the guys that help players who are living on their own for the first time to become true professionals. We certainly have that dynamic here.”

While Pellerin hasn’t given much specific thought on who will wear the “C” for the Sound Tigers this season, he’s confident the Sound Tigers will have a solid leadership group going forward.

“I think we’ve got some unbelievable candidates (for captain),” Pellerin said. “You’ve got leaders on the ice and leaders off the ice. Sometimes those two are different, and that’s OK. You need that as a group. You don’t have to have a letter on your jersey to be a leader.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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