The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped up the final on-ice practice of the Phase 3 training camps today and will be departing for the Toronto bubble on Sunday.
In the two weeks, Canes captain Jordan Staal said team touched on just about everything and that mostly the team is ready to get going.
Staal spoke to the media over Zoom following Saturday’s practice.
On being ready for the next stage: The fellas are about done with practicing and we’re ready to get into it. I think there’s not a whole lot more that we can do. I think we’ve done it all and it’s about time to start playing some games. The guys are ready for it and getting back to competing with each other.
On getting everything out of the two weeks: I thought it was a great couple of weeks. We touched on everything that’s part of our game and our identity. Rod did a great job of driving that home and the boys responded well. Everyone was dialed in for that hour and a half everyday and made sure we were ready to go and sharp. There’s not much left out there other than playing some games and I think we’re ready for that.
On being away from his family: It’s not a fun feeling. Every run and win of the Stanley Cup comes with sacrifices. This year’s is a little bit different and it’s not something that any father wants to go through but it is a short period. It might not feel like it when you’re going through it. Being away from the kids and the wife that long, but it’s part of the gig right now. An unfortunate one, but I think it’s going to be tough. I’m sure there will be a lot of FaceTime and chatting that way, but it will be nice to get home to them with a ring around the finger.
On talking with brother, Marc, on the Rangers: A few texts here and there. He’s in the same boat, same hotel, same everything and obviously we’re playing each other. It’s gonna be fun. Playoffs have always been difficult for our family, but it’s still good that we’re playing against each other. It’s been a while since our families ran into that. It’s gonna be fun, that’s all I’m gonna say.
On the strangeness of the camp: I could compare this training camp to one’s at the start of the season. There’s definitely a lot more focus on what we need to do because you slide a game and that could be it. Most of the guys from last year know what it takes to win games in the playoffs and being as sharp as you can on every play. That could be the difference in a series, and especially a five game series. Attention to detail has been there and it’s definitely heightened from the normal start of the season. You play game ten and you let one slide, you hope you can get it back, but if it’s game three in a five game series and you let it slide, it’s gonna be much more difficult. I think the boys know that and understand that and it’s gonna be some good hockey coming up soon.
On a birthday celebration for Jordan Martinook: I don’t know about festivities but all the boys caught [Trevor van Reimsdyk’s] birthday yesterday and Marty was a little sour that we didn’t realize that it was his birthday today, so he made it known. We made sure to let him hear it with a little happy birthday on the ice. Marty is usually our go-to guy to be on top of birthdays and it was his, so he was feeling a little left out so the boys felt bad and we sang him a little birthday song.
On feeling fresh going into the playoffs: It goes both ways. As a team, especially last year, we were rolling into the playoffs playing some really good hockey, so that’s going to be a different feel on the ice on how the team clicks and how we move forward as a group. As for the body, personally, and I’m sure around the room, there’s no real lingering injuries that never seem to go away, especially throughout the playoffs. It’s better in that regard, but different challenges have risen for these playoffs for sure.