Brock McGinn is one of the Hurricanes’ most underrated players. His ability to grind out opponents and lay big hits, makes him an indispensable part of Carolina’s overall defensive game and penalty kills.
Along with that, is the energy he plays with in his game. It will be important for the Hurricanes to ride off of that energy when they are playing in an empty arena come August 1. McGinn spoke to the media over Zoom following Tuesday’s practice.
On coming in healthy and rested: It’s definitely a different scenario. I don’t think anybody has been in a scenario like this, but getting those few little months there to rest the body and whatever wounds you had is nice. It’s nice to get your body refreshed and ramp it up here the next couple of days. I think camp is going great. The guys came in with a great mentality and everyone is working hard.
On the importance of special teams: Our penalty kill has to be strong. Our power play as well. We’re doing a lot of work on that right now in practice. Just getting things back into place and going over systems and seeing what they normally do on the power play so I think there’s going to be a really big focus on our penalty kill for sure.
On importance of ramping up intensity of scrimmages: Lately, we’ve done a lot more scrimmaging and game-like scenarios so I think that’s been pretty important for us. Just getting back into the swing of things and going over systems and getting them refreshed in your brain. Lately, we’ve been doing that every practice.
On where he feels this team stands: We made a big step last year going that far into the playoffs and I think for our young guys, we are now another year older and we have that experience and I think that’s going to benefit us a lot going into these playoffs. I think we are a very strong team and very confident.
On getting a puppy: During quarantine it kind of gave me something to do. She keeps me busy. Wakes me up early in the morning scratches my face so it’s fun. I’ve always wanted one, but it was nice timing to get it.
On the asterisk argument for this year’s playoffs: Winning a cup is winning a cup. Everyone has grown up dreaming about winning a cup. You still got to win every series you’re in. If it’s the regular playoffs, you still have to win those four series and right now it’s kind of five. I don’t think there’s an asterisk. Anytime you get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, it’s a special moment.
On having no fans: It’s definitely going to be different. We are going to have to get energy from each other and just build off that. We’ll need everyone talking on the ice and just letting each other know where they are on the ice. We’re just going to have to build as a team and grab a lot of energy from each other.
On how to build that energy: Just keeping guys accountable and doing the right things. Just being loud and talking on the ice. I think talking on the ice keeps everyone engaged and that’s just one thing you can do.
On what the difference in the Rangers regular season series was: We had some good games, but we ran into a couple of hot goaltenders there. We’ve got to come into this series like it’s any other and just play our game out there.