After the win, Seth Jarvis, Brett Pesce, Martin Necas and Rod Brind’Amour spoke with the media. Here’s what they had to say:
On the overall game: It was a tough game. They played really hard. Everything we knew coming into this game we knew what it was going to be. It almost worked out exactly like we said it was going. Going into it, it was that we were going to have to grind and they played hard. That was clearly evident right from the start. We stuck with it. I was proud of our group, because it could have easily been a really frustrating game to have so many close ones and not connect. But they just kept playing and we got the two points.
On how it felt like this could be a game where you do everything right and still lose: Exactly. Especially on the one where [Jarvis] had the empty net and it hits their guy. You’re like, ‘Okay…’ The key was not giving up another one. For me, so long as we were right there within one, that we’d be in good shape. If they had gotten that second one, then I think those are the games where you are getting a bunch of chances but it’d have been tough to come back from. We were able to play a really good 60 minute game, I thought. We gave them the first one because the puck was on our stick twice and really no pressure and then it turns into kind of a long shift and then into the back of your net. But I think aside from that, we were pretty solid.
On the team’s composure: I think just trusting what we’re doing and these guys know that they are going to get opportunities so just sticking with what we’re trying to do. Composure is part of it. We have a nice mix. You can see there’s a little more veteran presence with this group. There’s no panic. I think that showed tonight.
On Seth Jarvis: He doesn’t look much like a rookie to me. He was great. First game with no nerves at all. I think that’s what makes him special. He’s out there at the end, on the power play and in big, huge moments making plays. It was a great game for him, especially for a first one.
On Andrei Svechnikov: He was hard and heavy all night. He was a handful. He can do so many things. Again, the compete on him is what makes him special amongst the other things that he does. Love it.
On knowing when to get pucks to the net versus making the extra passes: Coaches do it all the time and I’m… I don’t know if it’s guilty or not, but you simplify. You get pucks to the net, but you also know that if you have time with the puck, the better play is making the extra pass so the guy gets a grade-A chance versus a non-grade-A pass. You’re trying to balance that aspect. I think all teams fight that. I think we’re doing a pretty good job with it right now.
On having two competent power play units: You’ve got to have it. It won the game tonight. The penalty kill was great too. So many nights it comes down to special teams. A perfect example was tonight. I mean both teams were going hard at it and then we get the plus on the special teams side. It’s super important.
On winning four games in seven days: It’s not checking a box necessarily, but you certainly feel good. We’ve got a couple of days off so guys can regroup mentally and physically and then you get back on the gas again. It’s a nice way to end this segment if you look at it that way. You’ve got to win your home games. It was good.
On his rookie lap: Yeah. The first thing that went through my mind on the solo lap was don’t fall on the puck and don’t toe-pick. After I got past that, I was just super excited. The fans were awesome, they were loud. It was everything I expected. I had a great time, tons of fun.
On being trusted on the second power-play unit, being on the ice for the GWG, and almost scoring in the second period: It’s nice to be trusted. Roddy trusted me to go out there and make a play happen and score a big goal. That play in the second was… very close.
On if he thought that Pesce’s goal went through clean: I think it went clean. Jordo had a great screen on there, so the goalie was pretty out of position. When Pesce hit it, the goalie was just sliding back. It might have hit off the goalie, but it was a great shot.
On if there was a moment where it hit him that he was playing in the NHL: I think the first shift. The first shift I was like ‘holy crap, I’m in the NHL.’ After that, I calmed my emotions and it was just another hockey game.
On getting hit hard by Jay Beagle: I realized I was playing with men again. It was definitely a wake-up moment, but it was something I needed.
On having his family in the crowd: It was awesome. My brother is a huge supporter for me. So having him down here and having my parents was awesome. I heard my parents got in a little late, but they were able to enjoy the game. Having my brother here in the stands was awesome.
On if he had a feeling he was going to get his debut after Niederreiter got injured: You never want to see a teammate get injured. Watching him go off the ice, you could tell that something was wrong. After the game, I kinda heard from other guys that it was going to be bad. In that moment, I was kind of starting to get mentally prepared to play, but Nino’s a great player for this team and we hope to have him back as soon as possible.
On if he was given any advice before his first game: Yeah. Rod’s big thing was to just play the way I’ve been playing, not try to complicate things, and just play my game. From other guys, it was a bunch of different input, whether it’s having fun or making easy plays. Playing with [Stepan and Lorentz] made it a lot easier. Those are two defensively trusting guys, so going out there, making plays, and chipping the puck in for those guys to go after it helped me a lot.
On if Derek Stepan has been a huge help for him as he has gotten more comfortable: He’s been someone that, from the first day I started practicing with the team, I’ve been able to lean on. He’s a guy I can ask questions to and he’ll give me a straight-up response and he won’t sugar coat it. That’s what you need. On the bench, I can ask him any question I want and he’ll give me a good answer.
On if today was particularly fun for him offensively on the power play: Yeah, this one felt good. For sure.
On how you handle a game like today where a goalie is playing so well: It’s pretty frustrating when you run into a goalie like that. Kudos to them, I thought they played a pretty good game. They blocked a ton of shots and they play hard. The biggest thing for us was sticking to our game plan. I thought we did a heck of a job doing it over and over and wearing them down minute by minute. I thought it was a gutsy win for us.
On if the team knew they’d find a way to win after the 7-0 start: Yeah, I think so. Our team, especially right now, we’re oozing confidence. We believe we can win every game we’re in, so that’s a big factor.
On if it’s a relief making it through that four games in seven days stretch still undefeated: Not really, to be honest. It’s game eight, everyone’s fresh still. If you asked me in game 40, I’d probably say yes, but everyone’s still feeling good.
On Seth Jarvis: He’s awesome. From day one of camp, he stood out to me for sure. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s not afraid to get into those corners and get feisty. He’s got tons of skill and you love seeing guys complete in those corners and win puck battles.
On his relationship with former Czech teammate Karel Vejmelka: We don’t talk that much, but we’re friends. We were teammates for two or three years. It’s good to see him here.
On him being the guy to break his shutout: I told him during a break that he needs to let me score one. He’s played really well. It’s great to see him there. They haven’t won much yet, but he’s been playing really well. Good for him and good for us to get that win.
On if his early-season offensive struggles have been difficult: Of course, you want to get on the board. I haven’t scored in my first seven games, but we were still winning, so I love to see that. Finally, today, I got on the board, so it feels good.
On if it’s hard to stay patient during a tough stretch: I just try to shoot a lot of pucks at practice to get it back in my head. I know I can score, but it just takes one little bounce and things start rolling. It’s good to get that one, now let’s keep going.
On the Canes’ pace of play: It wasn’t bad. We tried to play fast, get pucks behind their D, work them down low. It’s pretty hard to play against that. We’re trying to keep doing that, lots of skating, just like that.
On the differences of playing on the second power-play unit: You have to break the puck out and be good at that. And you have to get pucks to the net. We got a faceoff win there at the end and Pesce had a nice shot. I think we have two good units for the power play. We just have to score goals.
On Jarvis: He’s really good. I liked him in camp. He’s a great skater and has great skill. Great kid in the locker room, too. I’m really happy for him to get on the board and he has many more to come.
On the mood of the team after starting 8-0: It’s good. When you’re winning, it’s always good, but it’s just the beginning of the season. We had a good camp with lots of skating, so our conditioning is good. We know how to play. Since then, we’ve kept rolling our lines over and over. Play well in their zone and play our game that’s hard to play against. We just have to keep doing that.