The Canes played their first game in 10 days Thursday night, as five members of the team were absent while still on the NHL’s COVID protocol. It didn’t matter though, as a great effort from Mrazek and the team led the Canes to a win over the defending champs.
The Hurricanes had a limited practice Friday morning, and they also had some good news out on the ice. Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Martinook and Warren Foegele, who all missed Thursday’s game on the COVID list, were practicing Friday in PNC Arena.
Some familiar faces have re-taken the ice at PNC Arena... Foegs, Turbo, and Martinook spotted this morning pic.twitter.com/qdbgkYfQJ5— ( ) (@kayderp) January 29, 2021
Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour, defenseman Jake Gardiner and center Vincent Trocheck met with members of the media via Zoom Friday to discuss the win over Tampa Bay and an upcoming two-game stretch against Dallas.
Here is everything Brind’Amour, Gardiner and Trocheck had to say Friday:
On if there’s an update on Martinook, Foegele and Teravainen: I guess the update would be that they are cleared to get practicing. They are not clear, as far as I know, to be, certainly not playing. This is their first on-ice workout that they’ve had in a while. It’s a good sign. They are on their way back for sure.
On how he’s seen Andrei Svechnikov grow: In all areas. You mentioned as a person, for sure. He’s definitely more comfortable just being in the NHL and in an NHL locker room with a bunch of older guys. He’s just familiar with it. You can just see that he’s comfortable. I think his personality, he was already really infectious, but now that he is comfortable you can see that he is owning the room almost.
I think his play reflects that. His first year you noticed him. His second year he was getting more and more. Now you feel like you notice him every time he is on the ice. He’s an impactful player. He’s just getting better and better. Like I’ve always said from day one, it’s his willingness to try to be better. He wants to get better. He’s in the coaches office all the time. He wants to watch video. He’s very receptive. That makes you think that he is going to continue to get better.
On if anything jumped off during film about the Canes’ overall effort Thursday night: No, I mean that was the go-away for me. We knew we had to have that kind of effort to take on any team in the NHL, but Tampa for sure. You have to throw your best at them. We made a lot of mistakes. We had a lot of key plays. Our goalie made some big saves, obviously Petr was great.
It gave us a chance. When you come and you work like that, it gives you a chance every night. That’s really all you can ask. So, we had some guys in there that made a lot of mistakes. When we went through it, it probably wasn’t as good as I thought. But, it was good enough. I just appreciate the fact that we dug in. That’s it at the end of the day.
On how much confidence it gives guys like Steven Lorentz to play like they did Thursday: You hope so. We went through their shifts today with them, some of them. There were a lot of errors, I’m going to be honest. But they made up for it because they were hustling. The competitiveness that he brings, and not just him. Max McCormick did the same. [Sheldon Rempal]. Even [Jake Bean], it was only his third or fourth, I don’t know how many games. He hasn’t played in a long time either. All those guys contributed in some form or fashion. That’s one tiny step, now they just have to keep making more.
On if he anticipates the team to feel better in games two and three out of the COVID break as compared to game one: I hope so. I hope so. I was actually pleasantly surprised yesterday at the pace that we came out with. I think our first period was actually our best period. A lot of that might have been adrenaline. So, I’m hoping there’s not a step backwards on that. I’m hoping your comments, I’m hoping that’s what I see out of our group. That our team keeps getting better and better in that way. I know they’re definitely going to get in better game shape as we move along. When you’re out that long it takes a toll.
On if the preparation for a team changes now that they are seeing them eight times instead of twice: I would say not really because you go through the same routines with the pre-scouts. You understand them. I think the difference might be that you don’t know them as well. But we will here within a game or two. Suddenly you’re right up to speed with everything that they are doing, and vice versa. If we’re not familiar with these teams, we will be real shortly.
On what he’s seen from Dallas that the Canes have to be ready for: They do it right. It’s a solid team from top to bottom. You want to say ‘well OK, attack this or that.’ They’ve got everything covered off. They do everything really well. Obviously right now their special teams are killing it. That makes some added stress for me. It’s just a solid team. It’s well coached, obviously. They’re honest. They bring it. That’s why they’ve had success.
On if there’s been more familiarity for Gardiner and if that’s showing: It’s tough coming over to a new team when you’ve been somewhere for a long time. I think that actually is tougher. You get so comfortable in one organization, and then it takes a while to get comfortable in another. Last year, I think he didn’t quite look the part that we saw or expected. This year, he’s definitely more comfortable with the surroundings. He’s played well so far. We’re only a few games in. We need him to be the player that he is and was in Toronto and that we hope for him to be here.
On being more comfortable with the team in year two: I think anytime you join a new team it’s going to be something new; new systems, new guys, new team, creating chemistry, reading off guys. Obviously I played with both [Haydn Fleury] and [Brett Pesce] last year, so that helps going into the season. I do feel like I have more confidence, and I’m playing well so far.
On the team’s confidence in Petr Mrazek and James Reimer: A lot. A couple shutouts already for [Mrazek], and [Reimer] has played great as well. Anytime they’re playing well, it always feeds the rest of the team.
On going into Thursday’s game missing players: Personally, it was just another hockey game. Obviously missing some of our key players wasn’t great, but we guys were going to step up. I thought everyone that needed to did it. It’s obviously exciting times for [Steven] Lorentz and the other guys getting opportunities. I thought they played great.
On if Brind’Amour’s system helps guys come in seamlessly: There’s definitely a few things that I noticed that they’re not used to, and that takes some time. But yeah, I thought it was pretty seamless and effortless for them to come in and step up like they did.
On if he was surprised with how the Canes played Thursday given everything the team has been through: I don’t know if I would say surprised. I think we know how good of a team we have here whenever we play our game. Last night was evidence that when we do play our game, play to our structure and play hard, we do have a chance to beat anybody.
On finding his fit with the Hurricanes: It’s nice to be on a team here that I feel comfortable with. Getting into the structure real well, and with a coach like [Brind’Amour] to be on my side. So far it’s been really nice.