The Hurricanes will look to carry over their momentum from Thursday night’s win over Tampa with another home game against the Dallas Stars tonight.
Rod Brind’Amour, Sebastian Aho and Brett Pesce spoke with the media via Zoom following Saturday’s morning skate, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On goaltending: It’s obviously important. The goaltending makes up for a lot of errors and allows you to play your game and not play tentative. I think both guys have done that for us. When we’ve made those screw ups, they bail you out, and that gives you a lot of confidence as a group.
On how close the group is to midseason form: We’re a ways away from that. I think especially with that pause we had. I think maybe had we played, I don’t know how many of those games we missed now, we’d be closer to it, but I think we were almost starting over the other night. It’ll take a while to get our legs and get all the greasy mistakes out of our game.
On the power play and penalty kill: Everyone always goes by results, and I get it, but our power play was actually really good. The first one, we had four grade-A chances, I think one off the post, one empty-net miss. So if you score there, you’re saying that was a pretty good power play overall. Obviously though, the key coming into the game was the penalty kill for us, no different than tonight. When you have hot power plays, it doesn’t really matter how your power play’s doing if you can kill penalties. It’s going to be another huge challenge tonight.
On wearing suits vs. casual: I hate wearing suits. I only wear them when I have to, but I think behind the benches I have to.
On the players coming off the COVID list getting to skate: It definitely brings some energy for everyone seeing those guys again. I’m sure they feel awesome that they’re done with that. It’s great to see they’re all healthy and hopefully ready to play soon.
On how close he is to midseason form: The third game in Nashville, I felt pretty good. My legs were going, my lungs weren’t burning and the game was slowed down in my head. But then we got a little break, and you’re kind of a little rusty in the first period in the Tampa game, but I’m sure it will be better tonight.
On playing Dallas: It’s another great team against us and the effort was good the other night against Tampa. We definitely need that same effort all through the lineup today. It’s going to be a good challenge, but I know we’re ready for that.
On precautions he takes against COVID away from the rink: I just try to stay at home as much as I can. You come to the rink for practice, meetings and stuff and then go home and pretty much spend the day there. I try to cook at home as much as I can and spend the time with my girlfriend, play some PlayStation and stuff like that. It’s pretty boring but it is what it is.
On the adrenaline against Tampa and similar energy tonight: We definitely have to have the same energy, for sure. I don’t think it’ll be too hard. Roddy and our team kind of stressed how it’s not an 82-game season. Every game is so important, especially coming off a long layoff. You’re just kind of assuming we’re going to be a little rusty. You can’t afford to have that rust, and you’ve got to just go and have incredible intensity every night.
On how close the team is to midseason form: I think we’re right there to be honest. Obviously it’s the beginning of the year, but I think everyone feels good, everyone’s in sync. It’s fun to see and obviously fun to play.
On the goalies: Tons, we’ve always had tons of confidence in those guys. It’s a good feeling, especially as a D man, knowing if you have a mistake you have those guys back there to bail you out. So it’s huge, and I know they’ll continue to be successful.