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Rod Brind’Amour: ‘When you’re out there, you got to go.’

The Hurricanes’ head coach spoke to the media about Brett Pesce, a dress code, special teams and more.

NHL: JUL 22 Hurricanes Training Camp Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first game of the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round is quickly approaching and with training camps nearly over, the Hurricanes are making the most of their time with game-situation drills and a heavy emphasis on special teams play.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media over Zoom following Wednesday’s practice.


On if he anticipates adding Brett Pesce to the final roster: We talked about it this morning. That’s something we still got to talk to Pesce and his doctor to get a real good decision on. We’re buying as much time as we can on that, so we’ll see in the next couple of days.

On if having eight NHL ready defenseman affects the decision to bring Pesce back: If he says he can go, we’re going to put him in there. I think the question is more on his doctor and what they’re saying, because that’s what you have to go on. If they’re saying he’s a possibility, you got to really think on it. If they’re saying it’s not a good idea, then it’s probably not going to happen. I think it lies more in that. Not whether we have eight healthy defensemen, because if he was healthy, he would be in the mix for sure.

On timetable for Pesce: He’s on track for what was supposed to happen, so it’s still a ways away. That’s why this is a touchy one. You’re not going to see him in the Rangers series or, if we’re fortunate to get past that, I don’t know if he’d be ready for the next one. There’s a lot of factors you have to weigh out here for this and that’s what we will make that decision on.

On sharpening up in practice: I think it’s going exactly like I thought it would happen. Everyone initially was super gassed and excited to be around and now you feel they just want to play. Everyone’s starting to get to it. We can do this for a long, long time, but until you start playing, you don’t know where you’re at. Just continuing to work on stuff and sharpening it up is the plan. But until we actually play a game, we won’t know where we’re totally at.

On the general message and tone of camp: The first week was more training camp tone in the sense of what you are covering is very similar to what you would cover in September in a regular season. Going over your stuff and how you want to play and establishing that. The change now is as we move into it, dialing more into your opponent. That’s where it changes. In normal training camp you aren’t talking about the opponent ever. Now you have to start talking about the other team because the games count so much right away.

On the Rangers power play: The special teams are always the key. They got a good power play and high-end players so that’s going to be crucial. It always is. Whether it’s a regular season game or a playoff game, it always seems to come down to the special teams. We are going to have to better on the kill. Our power play wasn’t great either, but when I went through it, we actually had quite a few opportunities. Sometimes the stats can be a little deceiving, but at the end of the day we got to kill penalties.

On Andrei Svechnikov being selected for Steve Chiasson award by teammates: Everybody loves him. It’s that simple. He’s done everything you could ask of a young kid and forget about how he plays. That’s kind of the icing on the cake. But he’s just a real great kid. He’s got the respect of everybody around here. Any type of team award or anything that’s voted by the players, you know his name is going to be around it, if not on it every time.

On deciding a team dress code: We kind of touched on it a little bit today, but we really haven’t spent much time thinking about that.

On what he’s seen from Svechnikov: He’s certainly more comfortable. You can see that whether it’s the playoffs or not. He’s grown up quickly, and not just physically, but mentally. He feels comfortable. Last year, he felt comfortable too, but it’s the first time. You’re not sure what’s going on necessarily. Now, he knows what to expect. He just knows he has that bigger role with the group. He’s one of our top guns and there is no question about it. He understand that. He’s definitely in a different place this year than he was last year.

On being an example to his peers of similar age on the team: It’s always important just to have the comradery. Those guys are coming in at the same time essentially and are good friends. I don’t know how much they really talk about the past though to be honest with you. They’re all geared up and want to do their one thing. They want to show what they got to help contribute. I don’t really know if it’s a talking point. The past is behind you and these guys are just excited to get going.

On dialing back camp to keep healthy bodies: That’s the tough part. If you start dialing back, then now you’re not sharpening up. I think you just got to plan when you give them the rest, but when you’re out there, you got to go. That’s the way you got to prepare. Obviously, you don’t want to get dinged up and, yeah that’s captain obvious for you, but to get to where you need to go, you got to push. You want to be at the top of your game, but that is a concern no doubt about it

On the new guys getting up to speed: They’re getting there. Like I said at the start, they’re the ones that needed the time the most. You put a system in place and you kind of expect all the guys to grasp it, but you quickly realize that when you watch it hours a day for months, you know it inside and out. The players, that’s not how they get it. They get it from practice and the reps. I see now from week one to two where they need the work and that’s why I think this time is beneficial to those guys while the others who’ve known it inside and out are chomping at the bits to just move on.

On the penalty kill getting up to speed faster than the power play: I would have thought that. I think it’s easier to play defense than offense in the sense that defense is being in the right spot and working hard, where offense is timing and chemistry a lot of the time and a lot of time that takes a little more time to get together. I’m not sure what we’re going to see but you’re probably right. It is certainly easier to put together the defensive side of things than rely on the offensive stuff to come together just because of the timing.

On what he expects to see from the exhibition game: I hope we see that we’re all on board. What I’m seeing, system wise, is we don’t have any major gaps and on an individual basis, everyone is kind of up to pace. They look like they should. If we can get though that game and if our top guys guys look like top guys and our other guys are doing their thing and if the new guys are in the right spots, then I’ll feel pretty good.