While the Hurricanes were swept in just four games last year, the team is more confident in its ability to go the distance now with its added experience and depth.
Canes captain Jordan Staal and forward Andrei Svechnikov spoke to the media over Zoom Monday morning.
On how to improve on how things went last year against Boston: Obviously we weren’t happy with the last time we played them in the playoffs, so we owe them a better series. It’ll be two very good teams going at it and it will be a good challenge for our group for the first round. It’s going to set us up for a very long run if we can pull it off.
On how the team is better equipped to face the Bruins: We have more depth. We also have a run under our belt which guys like [Svechnikov] and the other guys in the room have learned a lot from. That’ll help us in playing against a team that’s done it before and has been consistently a very good team for a long time. We’re trying to get to that level and it started with last year. We are more confident in ourselves and the team we can be, what we can do and the teams that we can beat.
On the Hurricanes’ top line: It’s what makes our team go. It’s pretty obvious. They’ve got such a great mix of talented players. With the big Russian mule beside me (Svechnikov), he’s hunting pucks, he’s playing physical, he’s got an absolute laser of a shot. [Sebastian Aho] is very similar with hunting the puck and creating turnovers with his speed and skill. His hands and vision too. Then you got [Teuvo Teravainen]. He’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever played with. When he has the puck, man. He sees the ice so well and creates plays and really just finds holes that you wouldn’t even see when you’re sitting up top. Just three very talented players that have pushed our team and made me and everyone else in that room try to be better. Try to be as good as that line.
On flipping the switch and getting to that elevated game: For me, I know from past experiences that it is hard to flip that switch. It can happen and it does work sometimes. I’ve found that, over the years, making sure you’re on your game every single time. In those exhibition games, even our first one against Washington, it was an intense game. Jumping right into that Rangers series also helped us get to that level right away, but I think it was all throughout training camp, [Rod Brind’Amour] did a great job of getting us prepared. I know some days were tough, but it doesn’t just flip sometimes. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, but you really got to make sure that everyday you’re full on and getting to that level as hard as you can. You got to keep raising it because when that puck drops come playoff time, it’s another level that you need to quickly jump into if you get behind.
On watching Boston during the week the Canes had off: We watched a little bit, but we weren’t like ‘Who are we going to play against?’ I think we are going to watch some videos today on Boston and we’re going to go from that.
On what makes the Hurricanes’ top line work and if they can get to another level: Obviously, you can get to another level. It’s always like that and I think we have good chemistry together. We played for like a full season and that’s why we have good chemistry. We have to get to another level for sure and we’re going to try that against Boston.
On matching up against the Bruins’ top line: They got big talent in that line. I don’t know if we are going to play against that line, but we’re looking forward to it if so. I think it’s going to be a good match. It’s just fun to play against those guys.