If it’s going to turn around, Sebastian Aho and Haydn Fleury will both have a major role to play in that. Especially with Svechnikov gone, Aho is the team’s best forward. Fleury’s arguably been the team’s best blue liner so far.
Here’s a full breakdown of everything both players had to say in their media availability Sunday:
On what’s been missing against the Bruins: I thought responding to adversity and urgency, I didn’t think our urgency was where it needed to be in the second and third period. We had a really good first, and as soon as they scored that goal it took the wind out of our sails. We didn’t really respond to that the way we needed, and didn’t have that urgent push that we needed to even up that game.
On earning Rod Brind’Amour’s trust: It feels really good. It’s something I’ve been working to. I’ve been believing in myself for a long time. It’s started to show now, its started to show before the pause, and it’s kind of just trying to roll with it and keep going, keep playing with confidence and playing my game.
On if it was hard to not get frustrated battling for a roster spot: There were some tough days. At the end of the day, everyone wants to play. Everyone has confidence in themselves and thinks they should play every night. For me, that wasn’t the case at the start of the year. Roddy kept saying, ‘There’s going to be an injury, there’s going to be something happening where we’re going to need you every night. Unfortunately, Dougie got hurt but that was kind of the start for me. I kind of tried to roll with that opportunity and take advantage of it.
On his development: It started in junior getting coached by Brent Sutter and his staff there. The last year we hosted the Memorial Cup, so it’s playing in big events like that and World Juniors, then playing in the Calder Cup last year and the NHL playoffs with the Canes,” Fleury said. “It’s all experiences that you can learn from, and build your confidence towards getting an opportunity like I am now.”
On rallying around Svechnikov like last year: It has to be. Svech is a great player, so it’s not going to be one guy. It has to be all of us stepping up and filling his shoes.
On any differences with Boston going from Rask to Halak: They’re both great goalies. I don’t really pay attention too much to that stuff. I just try to score and if I see the net, I try to shoot the puck in there. They still have great goalies out there so we make his job harder than it was last game.
On ramping up the physicality: I thought the Rangers series was physical too, but it’s even more so now. But they’re a big team, they’re a physical team. But we have to match that, and I feel like we can do that, too.