Jordan Martinook has proven to be a leader for the Hurricanes on and off the ice. Although he had a down year after dealing with a few different injuries throughout the season, he proved to be a vital voice and beacon of energy for the Canes.
Now, more than ever, the Hurricanes will need to rely on Martinook’s voice and energy if they plan to generate their own force heading into the bubble postseason.
Martinook spoke to the media over Zoom following Tuesday’s practice.
On coming into the playoffs healthy and rested: You look at just going into the playoffs last year, a lot of guys were banged up and that first series you get nicked up pretty good too. Everybody’s healthy now. Need to keep it that way for the next week and half to two weeks and I think everyone will be going into the series full go, ready to rock.
On getting to playoff level in a short time span: Every team is in the same position as we are. It’s about getting yourself as prepared as possible in these two to three weeks. Trying to make that one exhibition game count as much as it can. We are all at square one. It’s basically whoever can adapt the quickest. It’s going to be a lot of mental work. You got to keep each other happy. Life’s going to be different in the bubble so keeping everyone happy and sane and trying to put everything you got into it.
On getting the team to a good energy level: Our practices have been more vocal than before the stoppage, so I think guys are aware that we are going to need everybody to talk and create their own energy. It’s going to be different when you’re scoring goals or if there’s a big hit and it’s just us that are cheering. The crowds in the playoffs grab momentum for you so it’s going to take some guys out of their comfort zones. To be able to scream and create that energy is going to be something for our team that we need.
On the league potentially censoring on-ice language over broadcast: Stuff happens quick, things get said that, when there’s a full building, the cameras and microphones don’t pick up. I don’t think it’s going to change the way it is and obviously they made that five second delay just so they can keep it PG for everybody, but it’s the playoffs. There’s going to be a ton of emotion and the vocal side of the game is part of it.
On feelings when the return was announced: Everyone stayed pretty optimistic throughout the whole thing. When we were getting into the middle of June to late June you were getting a little worried that timelines weren’t going to work, but when you’re hearing they can push next season back, you’re hoping that you can somehow finish it because you put in six to seven months of work. For it to all not mean anything... I think that doesn’t sit well with anybody when you put so much work into a season and it just gets taken away from you. I think everyone is pretty happy that it got worked out and obviously we’re hoping everyone can stay safe and not have any setbacks here.
On seeing the testing results from the league having only two positives: Obviously with our team, we’re doing our part, but we all have friends on other teams. You have players you played with around the league so as much as you are trying to keep your team safe, the hockey community is a pretty tight knit community no matter which team you’re on. Obviously, our team, first-and-foremost, we want to keep everybody safe, but knowing that if you do something to jeopardize your team going into this bubble, you can jeopardize others. Nobody wants anyone getting sick. In the playoffs, you want the best of the best and if somebody were to get sick it kind of diminishes that. We want everyone to stay healthy and just try and keep it as high quality as we can.
On being away from family: My family didn’t come back to Raleigh with me so I’ve been doing this for two weeks. You have your hard days and FaceTime is a big thing. I’m lucky I have that now. I haven’t seen my wife or my son for two weeks. It’s definitely hard. Luckily, we got a good team where everybody just keeps doing a lot of things together to keep your mind off of it, but it doesn’t make it any easier knowing that if we keep this thing rolling for two or three rounds, you’re not seeing them for a month and a half. It’s definitely hard and you think about it. I’m getting choked up a little bit just thinking about it, but it is what it is. You don’t get a chance to win a Stanley Cup every year. I’ve been around for six years and I’ve been in the playoffs once. If you get a chance to go for it and this is the sacrifice you have to make, so be it.
On expectations for life in the bubble: We’ll try to get outside and throw a football around, play some spikeball, but it’s going to be different. Obviously I’m a personable guy. I like to be around people and so far they’ve said you got to be in your room. It’s kind of like lockdown. It’s as good as you make it and we’re going to try and make it the best possible bubble we can.
On bringing anything interesting into the bubble: Not really. I have a board game, called Super Tock, it’s a fun little four person board game. I don’t know if I should be saying that. We’ll just make sure we’re sitting six-feet apart playing the game. Wash our hands, sanitize, wear a mask. All that stuff.
On bubble messing up game-day routines: For the first two games we are at noon, so I think that’s almost an advantage. You just wake up, you eat and then you go play. I feel like that day where we are playing at eight is the one that’s going to test us a little bit. Even during the season, when you have a pregame skate and you have all this stuff, the eight o’clock games, they drag along. It throws a wrench into your nap, it throws you for a loop, you’re eating at a different time. It just kind of pushes everything back. In the bubble, you’re going to have even more time in your room, but we’re all professionals. We know how to get ourselves ready. Those games mean a ton so you’re going to be able to get ready for those.
On resetting mentally to prepare for playoffs after long pause: At the end of Phase 2, the guys were almost to the point of ‘Okay, we’re just out here skating.’ You just want to get ramped up. When we did start training camp, there’s been a ton of energy throughout our team so you’re just trying to not peak too early. You’re just trying to gradually ramp up your intensity for these next two to three weeks. When we do hit the ice against the Rangers, we want to be firing on all cylinders but I think nobody will really know how intense it’s going to be till the puck drops.
On Morgan Geekie: We got to keep him rolling. He was very hot there before the pause. I’m telling him to shoot as much as he can during practice, that’s for sure.
On concerns over ice quality: Whenever you’re playing that many games on a sheet of ice, it’s going to be pretty beat up. Throughout all this, though, everyone is on the same thing. The Rangers are on the same ice as us. They have to deal with it and we have to deal with it. It is what it is and luckily for us, we have the noon game so that should probably be the best time for the ice. We’ll see how it goes.