Two days after completing a three-game sweep of the New York Rangers in the qualifying round in the Toronto bubble, Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Jaccob Slavin and forward Teuvo Teravainen spoke with the media about the long break the team now has, the series they just played and more.
Here is everything that Slavin and Teravainen had to say:
On what the team is going to do for the next week: There’s a lot we are going to do for the next week. Obviously outside of practicing and making sure we are staying mentally sharp and getting ready; board games, Catan, golf simulators, Spikeball. A little bit of everything just trying to stay sane in the bubble, I guess. I’ll just continue to hang out with the guys and keep ourselves busy.
On if the long layoff was an issue for the Canes in the Boston series last year: Looking back at last year, I would say there were other factors that went into that series. I think we had a lot of little things on the ice that we didn’t do as well as the first two series last year, so I think those are the biggest factors. Taking too many penalties, especially against that power play last year, was a big factor. I don’t think the long layoff is gonna hurt. I mean, we just took four months off, and I think we were pretty sharp going into the Rangers series. I think there are still things we need to work on, but I don’t think the long layoff is going to be the issue.
On The Athletic’s Ryan Clark’s article about Slavin and his adopted daughter, if there have been talks amongst the Hurricanes about the racial and social issues that are in the forefront, and if the team considered doing anything more than just the alternating lineup in the first game: Ryan, first off, did a great job on the article. It was a very personal and very, in a way, sensitive subject. The way he articulated it was really well done and well written, so we appreciate that. We definitely had discussions about it. I think we came to a conclusion as a team that we didn’t want to do anything more than that. I think Jonathan Isaac, the basketball player, said it really well where kneeling and supporting black lives don’t really go hand in hand. If you look back at why [Colin] Kaepernick knelt in the first place, it was to get the conversation started about police brutality and the racism that’s still ongoing in our country, and that conversation is going on now. The awareness is there and there’s other ways outside of the camera that we can be supporting black lives, and I think those are the action steps that need to be taken right now.
On the fighting on the ice that has still been going on in the bubble, and what he understands about the fighting rules and the safety of that during a pandemic: You’re asking two guys that don’t normally get too mad on the ice, but fighting is definitely part of the game. Thankfully there haven’t been any positive cases reported. Fighting is just going to happen. The intensity of playoff hockey, guys cooped up for four months. We’re all professional hockey players. We like the physical aspect of the game, otherwise we wouldn’t be playing it. Especially during these times. Fighting is just going to happen. That’s just part of it. At the end of the day you look at it and say ‘it is what it is.’ I don’t think there is much you can do about it otherwise.
On how he’s seen the Canes’ top line mature: We’ve played pretty good I think. We’ve got a lot of talent and we just try to work hard. The goals will come when we do the right things, I feel like. Right now, the goals are coming. It’s a pretty special line, I think. All three guys just try to work hard and try to play a simple game, but when we have time we try to make some plays too.
On the fighting on the ice that has still been going on in the bubble, and what he understands about the fighting rules and the safety of that during a pandemic: People do whatever they can to win the games. Sometimes you’ve got to fight to win it.
On what he’s seen from Sebastian Aho and how he has elevated his game so far in Toronto: He played really well. I think he played pretty good all year, so it’s just continuing to do that same thing. He got a little rest and worked with his body during the break, so he looks really good right now. He hates to lose, and with these games only the wins matter. That’s one of the things that makes him even better.