Thanks to multi-point nights from Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov and a goal from Nino Niederreiter Thursday night, the Hurricanes came up with a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders in their home opener.
Niederreiter, Teravainen, Svechnikov and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media following the win; here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On his thoughts on the game: I thought it was a really good game. Good game to watch. I thought it was really entertaining. Hard fought. Both teams played really well. I’m sure they would probably say they gave up too much, I thought we gave up a little bit too much. But it was an exciting game I think.
On the new players: The newer players, the guys that have joined us, I thought, played really well. I was actually pleasantly surprised, other than a couple hiccups here or there. I felt like they looked like they’d been around for a long time.
On Andrei Svechnikov’s start: He was pretty dominant tonight. It seemed like he had the puck every time he was on the ice, down low. He took the one penalty, we’ve still got to get that out of him, but overall he was obviously really good.
On how nervous he was on the Niederreiter video review: By the law, he’s getting tripped and pushed in by their guy, so I figured it was going to count. There’s a little gray area on a lot of things still. So you’re not 100% sure. That was a good move. Nino had a good game. I thought all our guys played really well tonight, and you have to to beat that team.
On the team’s depth: It’s nice when you can roll four lines and feel confident in them, have a fourth line with the veteran guys that we have there. That means a lot to you. It’s a good first step, and we’ll get back at it again tomorrow. But it’s a nice win.
On Teuvo Teravainen: He’s such a key player for us. He does everything. Power play, penalty kill, even strength. Whatever we need done, he can do it. It’s important for him to be healthy and just enjoying the game again, so I think that’ll be good.
On the lines and pairings: I think everyone played well. Everyone played hard. It was a really tough game out there, a physical game just fast too. Like I said, I thought everyone held up really well, and we’ll get a better chance to look at it again and really dive into it. But overall, like I said, I was really happy with everybody.
On special teams: That was a big part of the game. We only had one power-play goal, but I felt like every power play was dangerous and we could have had a couple more. So that was encouraging. And the kill looked good, solid. We know that in this day and age and this game, that’s the key. Special teams are huge, so it was good tonight.
On the new guys’ chemistry: Other than a couple shifts, I felt like they looked like they’ve been around for a long time. I think the amount of practice time we had has really helped. A longer training camp has helped those guys. There’s still a learning curve, but it didn’t look like it was that bad tonight. It goes to say we brought in veteran guys, and they get it, and know how to play.
On if he’ll be shooting more this season: I don’t know. We’ll find out, I guess. I’ll try a couple more times.
On the power play: We had a lot of good chances, it just didn’t bounce in. It was good to get one at the end there. It was a big goal. We’ve just got to do the right things, and I’m pretty sure the puck will go in.
On the balance throughout the lineup: Yeah, we’ve got a pretty deep team. We’ve got all four lines that can score and play both ways. That’s how we want to play. When we do that, we have a pretty good chance to win.
On what led to the steady offensive attack: Just the mentality to get the puck to the net, to create traffic. That’s how you score in this league. You’ve got to be at the net and shoot the puck there, and you’ll get the bounces. That’s the right way.
On if this was an ideal way to start the season: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like we had some good plays during the game, but we were also very sloppy at times. Obviously it was a good start and a great win. Obviously the crowd was very into it, which was fun. But overall, there’s definitely a lot of things we’ve got to sharpen up.
On dragging Zdeno Chara to the net and on if he was worried during the review: He’s a big man. It took me everything I could to get to the net. He held me up a little bit, and I feel like he pushed me into the net. As soon as I saw the puck go over the line, I felt like it should have been a goal. Thank god it was in.
On if he could tell it crossed the line: Yeah, the puck went in that direction. As soon as Chara pushed me, I knew it was going to go in eventually. I saw it going in. It was great that it counted. It was very fortunate, I guess.
On the depth of the lineup: Yeah, absolutely. That’s what we were working on all training camp, to be productive on all four lines. There’s a lot of things we’ve got to sharpen up, but it was the first game and obviously a big win for us.
On if he could see Svechnikov’s lacrosse move coming from the bench: You never know. When he’s behind the net, he does what he wants to do. It almost went in, so it would have been a great goal. We know what he’s capable of doing. He’s a terrific player, so it’s just a matter of time before he scores another one like that.
On if it’s rewarding to get an opening night win like that: Yeah, absolutely. It’s the first game of the season. Everybody was very energized and wanted to get things going. It was a long training camp. The energy was great, and we were very happy to win.
On Teuvo Teravainen’s performance: It’s huge. When he comes on the ice, he’s always one of the best players. It’s huge to have him back. Hopefully, we’re going to stay healthy.
On trying the lacrosse move: I did.
On if he was thinking about trying it: Actually, it was one moment in the second period where I was behind the net and thinking I could try it. I went into the locker room and was like, ‘Why didn’t I try it? Come on.’ In the third period it was a good chance, so I just tried it. I was too short. I’ve got to go a little bit farther. I didn’t have a lot of time, as well. I’ve got to do that faster.
On how he felt he played: I felt like we played great. I tried to play good. It’s the first game. We’ve got that energy because we didn’t play for four months, and you’ve got that energy. But we’ll see in the long run.
On if he felt any pressure in his first game after signing his contract: No, I don’t try to think about that. When you don’t have a contract, then yeah you’ve got a little bit of pressure. But it doesn’t matter for me. I’m going to work hard every day. I was raised like that.
On being on the ice a couple of hours before the game and on if he tries to envision the game ahead: I tried to think about this game yesterday when I went to sleep. You’ve got to think about those things, maybe how you shoot and stuff and about the puck going in the net. If you think like that, maybe it will happen in the game. I try to think like that. It’s one of my routines. I go on the ice and stick handle a little bit to try to feel my hands.
On if he was thinking about two goals and an assist: No, I wasn’t thinking about that. Maybe just one. One is good.
On the magnitude of having the fans back at full capacity: Yeah, it’s unbelievable. Just coming to the rink and there’s so many people outside when you’re driving there. It just gives you goosebumps on your body. Obviously then you go into the rink and you go to warm up and it’s huge. We didn’t have that last year. I’m glad we have this right now. It’s super exciting.
On the new guys: They’re great guys. I can’t say enough. They did a great job. It’s so hard when you come to a new team. It’s tough. But they did a great job, for sure.