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Rod Brind’Amour: ‘I think this game will tell us a lot.’

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The Canes’ head coach spoke with the media via Zoom Tuesday about injuries, goalies, Wednesday’s exhibition game and more.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers - Player Arrivals Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes are a day away from playing real live hockey against a divisional opponent, as the team will square off against the Washington Capitals in its lone exhibition game tomorrow.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour discussed his plans for that game and more on a media Zoom call Tuesday.


On his approach to tomorrow’s exhibition game and using goaltenders: We need to see how the guys are playing, but more the meshing of everything and are we grasping our game plan. To me, that’s what I’m looking for. How are we following the game plan? You’ll see both goalies. I’m not sure that I’m going to do it halfway or two thirds. We’ll definitely get both guys action. That’s the plan as of now.

On if he expects Necas or Hamilton to play tomorrow: It’s doubtful. I’d love to get them both in, obviously. But I don’t think they’re going to be ready. I would say it’s not going to happen.

On if the exhibition game is a competition for a chance to play: We’ve kind of built up this whole camp knowing that we had this game. I don’t want to say there’s a lot riding on the game, but there’s a lot riding on who’s going to play in the games moving forward or after that. I can guarantee it won’t matter to some people how they play; they’re going to be playing. But there’s a lot of questions for us as far as the lineup going forward. I think this game will tell us a lot.

On capturing late-season momentum: That’s the million dollar question. We looked at it a bunch of different ways. We wanted to pick up where we left off, but that wasn’t going to be viable. After a four-month layoff, we don’t pick up where we left off. But I felt like we wanted to, as far as practice and everything, just prepare as if we did just come off that last game of the season and then how do you replicate it? That’s what we’ve been trying to do in practice, the same kind of practices, the same intensity leading into this game tomorrow but obviously the playoff round. We had a plan. We talked about it and worked with it.

We had great practices all the way and I thought today was the worst one. Not because of a lack of effort, the guys just want to play now. They’re done practicing. They’re ready to get this rolling, and I’m excited to see what we bring.

On collaborating with other coaches and incorporating new things: Not really, I think you always take a little bit from everyone that you talk to. One of the things that I’ve learned is the more you talk to other coaches and get to know them, you realize that everybody’s trying to do the same things. So you’re really fighting for inches. You’re fighting for the little margin. And that really doesn’t come in X’s and O’s, it comes in other areas. But you’re always learning and I always appreciate being around other coaches. Even here, running into Jon Cooper in the rink as we’re crossing over and having a little chat with him. I really enjoy those moments, because you do pick up a lot of little things on how to handle different situations. I think that’s where I learned the most.

On if he has a starting goalie for the exhibition game: Yeah.