The Carolina Hurricanes improved to a team-record 6-0 on Thursday night after shutting out the Boston Bruins by a 3-0 final tally.
Rod Brind’Amour, Tony DeAngelo, Jordan Staal, and Frederik Andersen spoke to the media after the game. Here’s what they had to say.
On the penalty kill: That’s the game. Those were really crucial moments, and it was a great effort from those guys out there. Freddie was great tonight, but the penalty killers in those crucial times stepped up.
On the crowd: The crowds here are great. It’s a lot of fun. The players really enjoy it. You can feel it. We gave them something to cheer about, so that’s positive.
On the importance of beating an established team like Boston: We talk about the next game tomorrow, so this one will be forgotten. But for this group, that team’s proven. They’ve proven over and over and over for a long time. It’s nice to at least go toe-to-toe with them in some respects. They’ve moved on from it now, probably, already, and we’ll move on from it tomorrow.. For right now, it means a little something, for sure.
On Staal’s night: He went pretty much every shift against Bergeron tonight. He got away from him a few times, but he’s that kind of value to our organization and our team. We talk about him. He’s that good.
On the 6-0 start: Everything has to go your way. Tonight, we got the bounces. We got a crazy goal, really, two goals. If it goes the other way, you don’t win the game. That’s why it’s hard. There’s a lot of randomnesses. You get a random call that doesn’t go your way, you’re killing a 5-on-4, then another one and you’re killing a 5-on-3. That’s usually the game. There’s so much randomness to hockey, that it’s hard to string games together, but when you have your goalie making saves for you, it certainly helps your chances.
On Niederreiter’s strong start: He’s big and heavy. He can hold onto pucks. That’s kind of Jordo’s game, too. Quickie’s been really good, too. He looks like he has an extra step going, too, to start the year. The combination of playing those two wingers with Jordo, it’s been a really productive line.
On the importance of Carolina’s center depth: The center position is so crucial. It’s goaltending, it’s defense, and then it’s the center position. You have to have that. There’s so much responsibility there. We’ve been saying this now for a while, Seabass is legitimate as a center. He can go against anyone.
On Kotkaniemi’s night: It was a tough game because the penalties kinda took a lot of guys out of the game for long stretches. Especially early, I felt like he was good. That’s what we need out of him. He doesn’t have to be a killer every night. He just needs to play well. Tonight, he was involved. He made some nice plays, he was at the net for one of the goals. That’s what we need out of him.
On what he wants to see as the team plays their first back-to-back tomorrow: These games are tough because you have to turn around and do it again and not have a let down. We haven’t had a real ‘take a breath’ kind of thing yet, which is a good sign, so I don’t want to see that tomorrow.
On the penalty kill: Yeah, not many times you can kill back-to-back 5-on-3s. I know the first one was only about 25 seconds, but our penalty killers have been… I think they are in the 90th percentile or something like that, so they’ve been great all year. We’ve got guys that win faceoffs, block shots, good sticks. They’re doing a great job.
On if he knew he was the one that scored: I could tell by the way they celebrated towards me. I don’t know what it hit. Maybe a Boston defenseman’s stick. I know it changed direction somewhere, but I didn’t really see it.
On creating traffic in front: Anytime the goalie can’t see us, it makes it easier for the puck to go in somehow. Our forwards, all 12 guys, do a great job of getting to the net. We always have traffic and we’ve scored a decent amount of goals so far this year.
On if getting his first goal is a confidence booster: I didn’t like my puck play tonight. Thought I made too many turnovers with the puck. I didn’t love that, but confidence-wise, it’s nice. Good bounce. Lucky to be honest, so doesn’t do too much for me. Got to do better.
On the penalty kill: They have a very good power play. We were fortunate with a couple of bounces, but we made some really good plays to keep it out of our zone and keep it on the other side of the ice and keep them trying to break out. We have D whose sticks are very good and we have some forwards who are willing to work. So it’s good sticks and good plays. The PK was really the difference tonight, I felt.
On the best start in franchise history: It’s something to write about I guess. But it’s a good feeling winning games. We want to continue to do that. We have a game tomorrow and we’re going to keep moving forward. We have to get right back to it tomorrow. Obviously, we’ve strung together a great start and we want to just keep banking points.
On the team: I like our team. I really do. I like the way we work and I like the things we’re doing out there. The roles guys are in and the way they understand how to win games. We’re starting to learn that. It’s not always pretty — we’ve said that before — but we’ve continued to give ourselves a chance to win every night. Freddie’s been unbelievable and all throughout the lineup, everyone’s stepped up in different ways throughout these first few games here. We’re still just continuing to build and create an atmosphere and a team that we hope can’t be beat.
On the moral boost Frederik Andersen provides: It doesn’t hurt. He’s been a rock for sure and you’re not going to win that many games in a row without great goaltending and he’s been just that. He’s been everything that’s been advertised about him. Just a good dude and he’s been really good for us.
On his linemates: Both my linemates have been really, really good. [Fast] has been an absolute horse and so has Nino. Both of them have just been hounding pucks and just creating chaos and getting to the net and doing all the things we’ve gotta do against top lines. Make them have to play defense. It’s never fun to play in your own end and that’s what our line has tried to [make opponents] do and it’s great to see both of those guys getting rewarded and hopefully our line can continue to do what we’ve been doing.
On Andersen getting on the scoresheet: He’s getting involved with that too? Oh, good for him. He can do it all. But yeah, he’s been solid.
On the crowd: It was a good crowd. Seems like whenever Boston comes in, it’s got a little added atmosphere to it and even our bench has been through a lot against that team and we wanted to have a good showing tonight. It’s a very good team and I’m glad we were on top of this one.
On proving anything tonight: We’re played some good teams so far. Tonight was no different, but like I said, the history and the bitter feeling they’ve given us a few times now, it’s still a regular-season game, but always nice to get those wins.
On making history with a 6-0-0 start: I don’t really care about that stuff. Just happy to be winning. I think that’s our goal every night and that’s all that matters. I think all that other stuff is not too important. I’m more just happy that we’re coming in and playing really well every night and getting wins so far.
On the last time he made it onto the scoresheet: I don’t remember, maybe some time last season.
On if he’ll ask to be in on the power play meetings now: I guess I might have to. I didn’t even realize that it went in, but it was a good bounce for us.
On the team getting into a groove: I think that’s something that we feed off of each other when everyone is confident in each other’s work ethic. I think that reflects in everyone’s game. I think everyone’s playing more confident and looser out there and really just worried about their job and knowing everyone else is going to be doing their best in their own job.
On feeling the best so far tonight: I don’t really know. I haven’t compared yet. I think we’ll look at the video and see how it looked. I think sometimes I felt like I was all over the place actually, but it was just one of those games where you battle and I got a lot of good help from the guys. Aho made a great play on that 2-on-2 coming back and breaking that play up. Huge kills too. The penalty kill has been amazing.
On what has been consistent in each win so far: The work ethic and determination. I think that’s the key and I think that’s something we take a lot of pride in and something that shows up every night. We make it easy for ourselves when we work that hard.
On beating Boston being a little bit more special: Of course. The stakes are not as high, but I think you’re just worried about the one game and that was the game tonight. I think everyone wants to beat the team across from them, but having some history obviously adds a little bit to it too.