Belichick making the most of time during the bye

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Belichick making the most of time during the bye

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick reiterated the importance of using time during the bye week, not just for rest or a chance to re-charge batteries, but to find out what can be done to improve the Patriots going forward.

"I think its important for all of us to use whatever time we have efficiently," Belichick said Thursday. "Whether thats a regular week or a bye week, we have so many hours in the day, so many days in the week leading up to the game and those are all opportunities. Each day, each hour, theyre all opportunities to do the right thing whether it be preparation or physical rehab or rest or nutrition or whatever it happens to be.

"We try to make the most out of each of those opportunities, all of us -- players, coaches, rookies, veterans, long weeks, short weeks, off days, work days, whatever they are, we just try to get the most out of each day. Thats how we approach it is day to day. How do we get the most out of each day? Its important, of course its important. Every day is important."

Though Belichick said that the Patriots are not necessarily focused on how things are tracking in the long term -- "We just take it one game at a time, and right now were just trying to get ready for Buffalo" -- he did stress the importance of using the extra time they have this week to go back and look at different elements of his team's play so that the coaching staff might identify ways to be more successful going forward.

"That involves a lot of things," Belichick said. "Its plays, its techniques, its schemes, its maybe style of play, if you will, personnel groups, all those kind of things so we try to stay on top of all that . . . After youve had a number of opportunities to observe it, youve run it multiple times then you have a fair evaluation.  You say, OK, weve run this play a bunch of times, these same problems keep coming up. Or this is the issue in this play, we have to change this. Not that we havent had experience with those plays before, but again it just gives you sometimes a chance to study it in a little bit more detail."

Details are the key. After the team identifies the areas in which it can improve, decisions have to be made as to how much time is allotted to each.

Take New England's pass defense as an example. It has allowed more plays of 20 yards or more than any other team in the league. Belichick admitted that it has to improve in that area. And while all areas of the pass defense can be addressed -- pass rush, pass coverage, scheme -- there will have to be decisions made as to which elements will get the most time. Even with the week off, there's only so much time in every day.

"I think thats a big part of what were doing right now," Belichick said. "Were looking at a lot of things; we have a few of balls in the air. When they come down, well have to figure out what the information is and whats the most important thing and how do we best utilize our time, our practice reps, our preparation time. How do we get the most out of that? Its still part of the process for this week. Weve done some of it but theres definitely more to go, and we continue to prepare for Buffalo. Thats all part of it, too."

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

BRIGHTON, Mass -- Life as an emergency practice goalie can be pretty rough.

Take, for instance, Mass State Trooper Keith Segee, who has suited up a couple of times for the Boston Bruins this season during times of need, and did exactly that during Wednesday’s optional practice for the Black and Gold.

Segee got caught with a Zdeno Chara cranked slap shot right in the family jewels, and then had to walk…er, crawl it off like any normal human being would after getting bombed by a guy that can shoot it 108-mph.

“He’s got the hardest shot of anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Segee, with a smile. “I had to take two or three laps around the rink after that one and skate it off.”

Give Chara credit for moving right over to Segee and giving him a tap on the backside for skating it off, and risking life, limb and perhaps a lot more to stop a few pucks for the Black and Gold.

Segee played at Revere High and Salem State College before joining the Mass State Police, and got the emergency gig through Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa when Boston needed a practice goalie at the end of last week in Tuukka Rask’s absence.

Let’s hope Segee is okay at this point, or the Bruins captain could be looking at a few more moving violations in his future. 

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while gearing up for the last couple of weeks.

*The Edmonton Oilers will return to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season as it looks like Canada will be well-represented once again after last year’s absence.

*Let’s meet the man behind the push to bring the NHL to China, and introduce the game to billions of people.

*Eric Staal is enjoying his second act with the Minnesota Wild, and even better he’s totally flourishing there as well.

*Let’s hear it for the US Women’s team that stuck to their guns and got an unprecedented deal with USA Hockey that will allow them to focus on winning for the next four years.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has Steve Stamkos “really close” to a return for the Tampa Bay Lightning, in a concerning development for the Boston Bruins’ playoff hopes.

*Apparently things are getting a little heightened with the Los Angeles Kings as some of their prominent players skipped a media session in Calgary.

*For something completely different: Let’s hear it for the best news of the day, the Cash Cab is coming back.