Despite again being without five lineup regulars, the Canes put forth another stellar performance Saturday night, topping the previously unbeaten Dallas Stars 4-1 at PNC Arena behind a two-goal night from Vincent Trocheck and great game on special teams.
The Canes didn’t come out unscathed though, with Petr Mrazek and Max McCormick suffering what looked to be serious injuries.
Rod Brind’Amour, Trocheck, Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho spoke to the media after the game, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On the team’s past two performances: It’s been really good, obviously. The effort, I think is what’s been really special. I think everybody’s just digging in, really, to a man, and I think that’s propelled us to these last couple games, especially. We’re obviously short staffed and then we get an injury. It didn’t look good at the start, but the guys have just buckled down and we’re getting it done.
On the injuries to Petr Mrazek and Max McCormick: They looked bad. When there’s no fans in the stands, too, something that you guys might not appreciate, being at home, but you can hear him screaming on the ice. When there’s fans, you don’t hear that noise. When it’s just dead silent and you hear a guy in pain on the ice, it’s not good. We thought [Mrazek’s injury] was worse. Obviously it’s still not good, but I can’t tell how long he’s going to be out for. With Max, the same thing. That one looked bad, was bad, I think he’ll be a lot longer.
On possibly playing James Reimer again tomorrow: I think he had to come in and basically play the whole game, but I think he should be alright for tomorrow.
On Vincent Trocheck: He’s been great. We had those games where Jordo was out and he had to step up there. And then now with all those guys out on our penalty kill, he’s been doing that. You can’t say enough about him. That center position, obviously, is so important. And then being able to play all the special roles, it’s huge for us. He’s been great. That’s one of the reasons we got the win tonight. He was really good again.
On Sebastian Aho: He looks great. His pace has always been good, but early in some of the seasons, he’s been a little bit of a slow starter maybe. But early, from day one, he’s looked great. He seems to almost have another gear that has picked up. That’s obviously a good sign for us, and he’s a special player. He made a special play to Svech there, no doubt about it.
On Steven Lorentz and if team chemistry is coming together: I think so. It’s easy to pull for that guy. So I think everyone watching was probably thinking the same thing. But yeah, you have to have that if you want to be successful. I think in these kinds of times with what we’re facing, having that close-knit group to battle for each other and that next-man-up kind of philosophy, it gets tired to talk about it, probably, but there is a lot of truth to it.
On playing with skilled guys and being able to make plays: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of skill on this team. The nice thing about the skill players here is that they work their butts off. So, it makes it easier on me. Playing with [Martin Necas] and [Nino Niederreiter] tonight, they work really hard. They get the puck back. They make room for me. Obviously [Necas] has a lot of speed, a lot of talent. The play he made on the first goal was great vision. It’s just a matter of me getting into my spots.
On the Hurricanes’ good start after the Mrazek injury: You never like to see a teammate go down like that, him and [Max McCormick] both going down in the first period. We were just trying to rally behind them and get the win for them. Obviously we came out flying after that.
On the success of the power play: Yeah, I’ve thought our power play has been good this whole start to the season. We move the puck really well, getting our looks. Like you said, it was just a matter of time before they started going in. If you keep getting chances, they are eventually going to fall. It was no different tonight. [Andrei Svechnikov], [Sebastian Aho] and [Dougie Hamilton] moving the puck really well. Me and [Jordan Staal] are just trying to cement ourselves in front of the net and look for loose pucks.
On what it means to him to have the trust of Brind’Amour: It means a lot, especially coming from [Brind’Amour]. He played a long time in this league. He was a phenomenal player on both ends of the ice. To have his support and his trust, it means the world. With a guy like that, everybody on this team wants to play hard for him.
On what it means to have two straight performances against two really good teams after being away for so long: For sure, the last couple of games have been one of the best teams in the league. It’s been a great challenge for us, especially now with a few guys out of the lineup. Some guys haven’t played in a year, and are starting to play in the NHL without having any preseason games. It’s been awesome to see those guys step up for us. It’s been huge for us. It’s good to see. We know so many things can change in this year with the COVID stuff, so there’s no excuses. We just look forward and keep building.
On not getting distracted by the Mrazek injury: You hate to see that, your own guys goes down. And [McCormick] too, in the first period. It was a great response by the team. You really hate to see your own guys go down, but it is what it is. It was a good response.
On getting four points in the last two games after all the adversity the team faced: Even though we had a really long break, I think we’ve played a really good two games so far. Even though we are missing some guys, the new guys came in and are playing great. We played two good games against really good teams, and let’s just continue tomorrow.
On what Trocheck brings to their line: He’s a good player. Everybody knows that he has the skill. Finally we are finding some chemistry, it seems like. We’ve just got to keep building on that. Hopefully we’re going to keep scoring more and more goals, just like today.
On if he saw Mrazek after the game and on how he is: Yeah, I saw him. It seems like it is better than it looked like. It didn’t look good from the bench, from what I saw. I don’t really know what is going to happen. But it seems like, when I talked to him, that it is better than what it looked like.