“I felt, like everybody, we could have gotten through this [first-round] series,” Neely said. “I don’t think we played our best games at all in the games that we lost. Even in the games we won, I don’t think we played our best hockey. That part is difficult to swallow. We all feel we should still be playing.”Neely gave his approval to the 2011-12 team’s commitment to defense, goaltending, and five-on-five play. Several times, Neely highlighted the club’s inconsistent power play as the primary soft spot. Neely said the team has the personnel to be more successful on the power play.
“We really need to have a philosophical difference of how we look at the power play,” Neely said. “I don’t just look at the percentage of the power play. I look at when we get power plays, what the score of the game is and what the time of the game is. That’s important. Even more so important than what the actual percentages of the power play. I think we have the personnel so we can improve on the power play. There’s some things we’re certainly going to discuss in the offseason on what we can do differently on the power play. I think it’s an area that absolutely needs improving. We will improve on it.”
* Last week, GM Peter Chiarelli said he did not envision a roster makeover. Neely concurred, saying he liked the team’s current makeup.
* Charlie Jacobs said the organization is exploring options for another practice facility. There is one more year remaining on the team’s deal with Ristuccia Arena. The Wilmington facility is among the league’s more pedestrian practice rinks.
* Neither Jeremy nor Charlie Jacobs would comment on labor negotiations and the next collective bargaining agreement.