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They Said It: Brind’Amour, Slavin, Lorentz, Andersen discuss win over Leafs

Following a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs to move to 5-0 on the season, the Canes spoke with members of the media.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes stayed perfect Monday night in PNC Arena, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in a dominant performance.

The Canes got goals from Sebastian Aho, Steven Lorentz, Nino Niederreiter and Andrei Svechnikov, while Jaccob Slavin picked up two assists. In net, Frederik Andersen made 24 saves to take down his former team.

Following the win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Slavin, Lorentz and Andersen spoke with members of the media. Here is what they had to say:

Rod Brind’Amour

On if this was the Canes’ most complete effort: I don’t even know if that was our best game. Actually, I thought our first period was our best period we played, and we were down 1-0. Kind of weird how the game went that way. This group so far works hard. They’re going to work hard every night. We’ve still got some areas to clean up. It’s good that we’re finding ways to win, making big plays. Look at the Slavin goal, it’s Nino’s goal, but it’s a great individual effort that leads to the goal. [Jordan Martinook]’s block and [Lorentz] makes a big play. It’s the individual effort goals. That’s great. You’ve got to have those.

On Steven Lorentz: The whole play. It starts with the blocked shot and then getting it out. It was a second, third effort and he found a way to squeak it in. Their goalie was playing really well. At that point I think he was the difference in the game. We were able to get a couple there and found our way in. Once you get ahead, the game changes a little bit.

On why Andersen has earned the confidence to start every game: Well, it’s pretty obvious. He’s obviously played pretty well. He’s real calm in there. And then the way the schedule is set up early in the season. We’re getting to it now where we are definitely going to start rolling two goalies out. We’ve got to get [Antti Raanta going]. But early on I just felt like there was no reason to not to.

On Lorentz making a big block a couple shifts after his goal: He’s one of those guys that has kind of earned his way into the league. We talked a lot about that last year. He’s still not got a lot of experience game wise in the NHL. He’s just been great for us. We love his attitude. We love the way he comes to the rink every day. He fits everything we are doing here. You like to see him have that reward. For guys like that who work hard, they don’t always get on the scoresheet. It was nice. It was a huge goal for us.

On what he’s liked the most overall through five games: I just like how hard we are playing. To a man, I feel like everybody is not always going to be perfect, and you don’t expect them to be. But the effort is there. It’s making up for a lot of the mistakes that we are making. The compete level has been really good. If you ask me the one thing that stands out, I love the work effort of the group.

Jaccob Slavin

On his assist to set up Niederreiter: [Jordan Staal] had it in the high slot there and I saw it bounce up over his stick. I had some momentum, and so it’s easier to make a play like that when you’ve got some speed. I got it at the blue line and cut around him and then both guys came to me, so I saw Nino down there all by himself. He took it to the hoop and good things happened. That was a big goal at a big time. It was a big kill before that, though, so I’m thankful for my teammates that had my back there.

On if this was as complete a victory as the team has had: Honestly, I don’t think so. I think our puck management in the first two periods wasn’t great. I think we could clean that up a little bit, especially through the neutral zone. The effort is there. The effort has been there every single night, but there’s definitely some things that we could still tighten up a little bit. Miscommunications in the d zone, things like that. Overall, the guys worked hard. I thought that’s what got us to victory in the end. Freddie stood on his head again. That was huge as well, but there’s some things that we can tighten up still.

On what starting out so hot can do for the team moving forward: You learn how to win games early in the year, and finish off games. That’s something in the past that I feel like we’ve struggled with. Being able to finish off games. We finished off the game in Montreal, finished off the game in Columbus and again tonight. Just being able to play all the way to the last whistle and not giving them anything is huge. It’s a long year, so we can take that through the rest of the year. Just learning how to finish games is what we are taking from this right now.

On Lorentz’s goal: It’s huge. It starts with [Martinook]’s block, and then obviously [Lorentz] had a great individual effort. He just never gave up on that puck. For the bench it’s huge. It gets everyone going into the game again. We just kind of took it from there. Huge play there by [Lorentz].

Steven Lorentz

On his goal: It all started on the faceoff, really. When the fourth line goes out we know our role. We can’t really afford to get scored on. I don’t know what happened on their faceoff but it went up to their point, and [Martinook] just made a heck of a block. I think the puck just kind of got pushed up, and I was fortunate enough to get a good step. I think I just won the body positioning against their D-man, and I just wanted to get the puck to the net. I knew that we had some guys coming late, and I didn’t know if there was going to be a rebound or not. But I was very fortunate that it went in.

On what Martinook is saying to him during that play: He’s full of energy, you guys know that. He’s a great teammate. Him and [Derek Stepan] have both been so helpful to me in these five games and through training camp, just assisting me with anything I need on the ice and off the ice. There’s little pointers that they help me with now. We’re building off this game in and game out. Obviously it’s a long season, so we’re going to try to build that chemistry. We want to be one of the strongest fourth lines in the league. We want to ultimately win a championship, and all of that starts with the foundation right now. I’m happy having those two veterans on my line. It’s been so great so far. I can’t wait to keep working with those guys.

On his blocked shot a few shifts after his goal and on if there was a time earlier in his career where he maybe would have still been thinking about the goal there: Maybe, but this is the NHL. After that goal went in, I kind of understand that goals happen every single game. It obviously felt great, especially for the confidence, but at the same time I have a job to do. I’m not going to be a guy that goes out and scores 40 or 50 goals a year. I’m not doing that night in and night out. I know my role is to get in shot lanes and create energy, and when the puck went to the point I just got in the lane to do my job. I had to put that goal behind me a little bit. That excitement is still there, but I have a job to do. That’s what I did.

On what he’s getting out of this early hot streak: The one thing I know absolutely that I’ve learned is that you don’t take winning for granted. It’s very hard to win in this league. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been put into this system and I’m a puzzle piece in the big puzzle of being a championship team and a contender year in and year out. That’s the goal. There are times where it would be easy to just not get in the shot lane or not chip the puck in deep. Sometimes if you work hard a little bit early then you don’t have to later on and you don’t get scrambly. That’s kind of the recipe for success that we have here. Guys understand that and guys have bought into that system. I think that’s why we have success the majority of the nights.

On Andersen’s play: Freddie has just been a rock. We knew coming in that he had that calm, cool, collected demeanor about him. Just to be able to see him play these games with such poise and having that confidence in your goaltender back there to be able to make those saves and bail you out when you have mistakes. I made one last game in Columbus, and he and [Slavin] both bailed me out. It’s nice knowing that. Mistakes do happen in this game, but when it’s your mistake those guys do have your back. Watching him be able to go in net tonight and play against his old team and get a win, that’s very special for him. We know that. We understand that situation. We’re happy for Freddie.

On the Bruins coming to town: I know they’re a strong team. They’re a team that loves to come in and compete. I’ve been watching them my whole life with my uncle being a diehard Bruins fan. I’m not too sure who he’s going to be cheering for. But I know that we’re going to be ready for that test. We understand what their forward group brings. They’re a very deep team as well. That’s going to be a very good test, and we’re looking forward to it.

Frederik Andersen

On what this win was like for him: I was trying to not think too much about it. The most difficult part was to not think about what they were going to do because I know them so well. You kind of play those mind games a little bit. It was tough mentally to kind of shut that off and not analyze every play and what they might do and just react to it. I obviously got caught on that goal a little bit, that was maybe the case. He made a nice play and found a spot to put it through my stick. Obviously not so fun of a start, but I think the guys played a hell of a game and battled back and got the lead back.

On resetting after allowing the early go: You’re going to get scored on. You’re going to make saves. No matter what happens, you’ve just got to be able to get ready for the next one. Just take a sip of water and forget about it. Have that short memory and really try to stay present.

On having the confidence from Brind’Amour: I haven’t really talked too much to him about it. I know they obviously have discussions about it in the coaching room. But whenever Paul, the goalie coach, tells me to play, I’m getting ready to play. Just take it day by day and try to get ready for every one.

On being on the other side of the David Ayres game: It’s too soon. It’s too soon. that was brutal.

On Ayres being on the storm siren Monday: I didn’t even see him today. I didn’t know he was there. It’s a fun story for many people, but not in our room that year.

On the confidence in himself being high: Yeah. I think I’m feeling like I’m in a good spot right now. I’ve got a good groove going. It’s really special when the guys played like they did tonight. Everyone battled for each other, blocking shots and making huge plays. [Lorentz]’s goal, he battled and got the puck. I think he deserves the credit for that one. It’s just special when you come together like that.

On what Lorentz scoring can do for the team’s energy: That was a huge goal. Those momentum swings are big in the game. You never know when a big play is going to happen. You try to work as hard as possible and play well, and sometimes the talent takes over or the hard work.

On Toronto’s struggles this year: I’m not worried about their team. I’m worried about what we have to do next and get ready for our next game. I’ll leave it at that.