Later today, the Canes will know their opponent for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The players, such as Warren and Foegle and Nino Niederreiter, have tried to keep busy in the meantime this week.
The two wingers spoke to the media via Zoom Sunday about their activities this week and preparations for the next round.
On how the week has been waiting to play another game: I wouldn’t say it’s like training camp. I feel like we’ve used this time to really bond as a group. Obviously we’ve had practices and we’re managing our time in a way that’s going to help us prepare for the next round, but there’s lots of bonding going around, guys playing ping pong, cards, board games and yesterday we had a really fun day outside. I think the group’s just trying to stay a little bit light but not too light, and back to work today.
On preparing to play the Bruins and Capitals in last year’s playoffs: I just think for our group, since we’re pretty young, last year was a huge step for all of us, having experienced the playoffs. So I think having that experience and everyone just growing their game will be a lot better for our group. There is some familiarity with [Boston and Washington], but at the same time we’re just kind of focused on ourselves and trying to experience that we’ve gained and apply it for the next round.
On comparing anxiety levels to training camp and now: Obviously in training camp, we obviously didn’t quite know what to expect, if we were going to start or not. Obviously once you start the first series, we had the first game right off the get-go, which is great. Now it’s definitely kind of a waiting game to see who our next opponent’s going to be. So it kind of feels the same with everybody watching the other teams play and we want to see who we play against and how they play. Your mind is all serious about the next game coming up.
On if there’s a preference for the next opponent: No, I don’t think there is any preference for us. At the same time, obviously having a chance to beat Washington last year gave us the confidence that we have a chance to beat anyone in this league. Obviously with Boston, they swept us last year which definitely is going to be a good opportunity for us to try and get back at what gave us such a difficult time last year. At the same time, whoever it’s going to be it’s definitely going to be a tough series.
On Rod Brind’Amour turning 50 and the earthquake in NC: A buddy of mine just texted me that he was watching TV and he thought his house was about to blow up, so it’s definitely bad news that there was an earthquake and hopefully everybody’s safe. And for Roddy’s birthday, obviously we hope we gave him a nice day off and we’ll see how that’s going to go.