The Hurricanes got back to their winning ways in their third game of the season, picking up a 4-2 victory in game one of a back-to-back in Nashville.
While there was plenty to like, including a strong night for James Reimer and big goals from Andrei Svechnikov, Vincent Trocheck and Sebastian Aho, the win did not come without a cost. The Canes, already without captain Jordan Staal due to his placement on the COVID protocol list, may have lost top-line forward Teuvo Teravainen to an injury.
Brind’Amour, Svechnikov and Reimer spoke to the media via Zoom following the win, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On how this game compares to the other two: The effort’s been great. It’s tough sledding. We lose [Jordan Staal] and then [Teuvo Teravainen] is out. You realize quickly how important those guys are, lugging close to 20 minutes a night, doing power play and penalty kill, then all of the sudden those guys aren’t there and other guys had to just step up into roles that normally they don’t do. From that standpoint, I think it was a gutsy win.
On Teravainen’s status: I don’t really know. He tweaked something, so we kind of kept him around for the one power play, because he said he thought he could kind of stand over there and work his magic, but I’m not sure where he stands for tomorrow.
On Vincent Trocheck: He’s a competitor. I said that from day one. You know he’s going to compete. I think we’re using him on everything right now. Obviously that was a huge goal. He’s going to compete every night. He’s going to make some mistakes, just like everybody, and it’s all generally trying to do too much. You really can’t fault guys for that at the end of the day. He’s making some good plays for us, and that’s obviously why we got him.
James Reimer: He was great. It always seems to come down to goaltending in this league. Obviously, they had some really good looks. He was just sharp. I think that was settling for us, so we could somewhat get our game going a little bit. That’s obviously what you need to be successful.
On Andrei Svechnikov: He seems to be getting more and more, in big crunch time, he doesn’t shy away. That was just a high-end play all the way around. His goal was a high-end goal. I don’t think people realize how hard that is, what he’s doing over there on that off side, to catch and turn and fire it that hard. It’s a skillset not many guys can do. Obviously he was a difference maker tonight.
On faceoff struggles the past two games with Staal out: It’s obviously troubling, but that’s why. We had a guy who takes 20 faceoffs a night, and now 30 of our faceoffs are going to guys that that’s not necessarily their specialty, that’s a big deal. So these are things that you miss when the big guy’s out. That’s just part of it.
On a morning skate tomorrow: There’s no chance they’ll be skating. We obviously have a few extra guys, so they’ll do their work, but this is going to be a year of this. We give it all we have in a game, rest and then do it again. All the practices are done in the video room.
On his goal to open the scoring after the Canes struggled offensively early: The first couple shifts were actually pretty hard, but after I thought it was good. On my goal, I think Dougie [Hamilton] made a great play for me. He made space for me, and I just walked in and shot it on net.
On the chemistry between him and Sebastian Aho: We played together all last year. We got some chemistry from last year. Obviously I know where he is going to be, and he knows where I’m going to be. That does make it easy on us. We feel each other now very well.
On if the team is getting its skates underneath it now: Yeah, of course. We didn’t play any exhibition games. And no one played. Obviously it’s hard the first couple of games. Your legs feel a little bit heavy. You don’t feel like you’re a part with the stick. Every game it’s getting better. Even today I felt way better than last game.
On the way Reimer played Monday night: He’s huge for us. He made very good saves. He’s very confident in himself, and we’re very confident in the team.
On playing so well and keeping his cool after not playing for so long: I wish I knew the answer to that. You just trust your preparation. I’ve been working hard in practice. We had that one little scrimmage, a couple morning skates. Every day you just try to bring your A-game mentally, and obviously physically. When it comes to games, obviously like I said in my interview during camp, there’s a big gap between practices and games. You just get in there and just try and play your game. Just trust it. You’ve got to know that you’re going to make mistakes. You know that’s alright. Just stay with it and trust it, and hopefully something good will come.
On the importance of facing shots early: Yeah, that’s nice. It was nice. It’s good to feel the puck. Like I always say, it’s nice to get shots as long as they don’t go in. It felt good to get into the game and make some saves and kind of get a feel for it and the quickness of the game.
On how he kept from pressing early in his first game of the year: It definitely is different when you’re not playing regularly, and in this case we obviously haven’t played for a couple months. Honestly, the biggest thing is just trusting your game. The way you trust it is to prepare and work every day. If you don’t put the work in, then you can be pretty nervous because you don’t know what is going to happen. When you come to the rink and try to be honest every day, then you just trust it. You never know how the game is going to go. You could have seven bounces that can go off of people and in, or you have a couple good shots. Obviously anything can happen. But like I said, you just try to have that trust.