The Canes’ strong defensive play was a big part of the sweep against the New York Rangers in the qualifying round, and Joel Edmundson and Jake Gardiner both played a huge role in that.
Both blue liners spoke to the media via Zoom Friday morning about their preparations for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On how particular he is about his skates, hollow and balance: For me, I don’t really think about that stuff too much at all. I just get my skates sharpened up every time, and if there’s a knick or I lose an edge, our training staff’s really quick to pop a new blade on there. So for me, I’m pretty straightforward and easy.
On if the NHL should move to a 24-team format for good: No. I like the normal format the way it is. Obviously under these conditions, 24 teams is working, but I like what it’s been like in the past.
On the best and worst thing about the bubble: The best thing is the team bonding. We’re up on the eighth floor, so we have the floor to ourselves. We have a lounge up there, so whenever we have free time, we go spend time in the lounge. We’re playing cards, we’re watching golf, hockey, just hanging out 24/7. I’m a big believer that if you’re close off the ice it’s going to transfer onto the ice, so I think that’s the best part for me, and obviously the tough part is being away from family and friends.
On the second-period scramble against the Rangers: At the start, you always want to try and take your man or box someone out, but that was pure chaos when all that was going on. So I think it’s just do whatever you can to make yourself big. Anything you can do to stop the puck from going in the net. You see Sami jump across the goal line and take one off the shoulder, and obviously right after that [Reimer] had a huge save, and we got a lot of momentum from that in the game. It’s just don’t panic and do whatever you can do.
On playing with Brady Skjei: I haven’t really played too much with him in the past. Obviously he got traded here pretty late in the season, so it’s just a lot of communication on the ice. We’re good friends off the ice, so I think that translates onto the ice. He’s a good skater, so he makes it easy to play with him. I hope it’s vice versa too. But just communicating. After every shift, we’re talking about what we could have done or what we’d like to do.
On being back in Toronto and seeing Reimer’s last playoff start: I thought that was important for him to have a solid game. You never want to have a game like we did against Boston that time. It was a tough one. It was a historic game, one that no one’s ever going to forget probably. For him to come back, bounce back and make saves the way he did basically stole us the game. It was impressive and great for him.
On watching other games: Yeah, yesterday we had golf on one TV and hockey all day on the other. It’s some good TV to watch right now and it keeps us busy.
On scouting the potential opponents: I wouldn’t say it’s much of a scouting report, but we are watching to see who we’re going to play. There’s different scenarios, I’m sure you’re aware of them. But it’s out of our control, so we’re just kind of watching and relaxing.