The Hurricanes wrapped up their preseason slate with a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. The team battled and made it close despite playing against a lineup with several more NHL regulars, thanks in part to a goal from Ethan Bear and assist from Derek Stepan.
Stepan, Bear and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after the game, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On the game: I thought it was a great game. I thought we played great, other than the special teams, the power play in particular, which I didn’t expect was going to be great, we weren’t really throwing power play guys out there for the most part. But I thought our young guys played really well, and the new guys, the guys that were new to the team this year, I thought did well too, so it was a good game.
On a timeline for a decision on Seth Jarvis and final cuts: We’ll start making them tonight, the decisions, we want to obviously get that roster down. With him, that’s another discussion we’ll have to have hear on the way home. Obviously he did really well. So we’ll see.
On a guy like Jack Drury stepping up against bigger guys: It wasn’t just him. I felt like we were playing a really good game. Every time, we made one mistake, it ended up in a grade-A chance against and they would score. But the guys didn’t stop playing. You expect that from the young guys, but it was just nice to see. Jack was one of them, he’s what we want in a Hurricane, that’s for sure.
On if this is where he’d hoped everyone would be: I thought this was our best preseason game. Now, I’ve got a few guys that only played one. I’m not too worried about them. That’s why they didn’t come tonight. I wanted to get a better look at some other guys. But I feel like we’re ready to roll, and that’s what you want to be coming out of preseason.
On if he has a number one goalie: I think we’re going to play them both. I don’t think I need to say one guy’s at one and one guy’s not. The schedule sets that way that we’re going to need both guys playing. We may go on who’s going good, I haven’t thought that through. I know both guys are going to play.
On going through the right process even if the result isn’t what was wanted: I think there were certainly a lot of things that as a coach and as an organization, as a group, you want to build. We did a lot of the things we can’t waver on. I thought we competed really hard. I thought we at times were playing the exact way you need for 60 minutes. We got a couple free lessons on turnovers, that’s for sure. That’s how the NHL works. Bang, bang and it’s in the back of the net and chasing the game. But for the most part, when it comes to compete and how you want to play this game, a lot of good things.
On what he’s learned about this team through training camp and preseason: The style of play is such a fun style to play. It’s high-demand and you have to be able to move up the ice quickly and you have to trust everybody, but when you’re playing it, it’s a lot of fun. Obviously these guys have been doing it for a long time so it’s fun to be a part of and I’m just trying to find my groove.
On Seth Jarvis: Super high skill and he works extremely hard. He’s one of those guys that seems to be in the right spot all the time and obviously in the shootout there you saw the skillset. It was a crafty move for a kid. Lot of really good things to say about him.
On budding chemistry: It makes it easy when you’re able to have chemistry early on. You’re able to trust your instincts and just go. Again, it’s a lot of fun to play that way. When you’re able to just be on your toes and have the puck and have opportunities to score goals, that’s what’s fun. You don’t want to be sitting back on your heels. So chemistry is a great thing to have early on because you’re allowed to learn the system faster because you are more comfortable.
On his scoring touch as of late: Everything seems to be going in right now.
On growing comfortable in Carolina: Every day when playing in a new organization and new system is just trying to find my game and get used to the way the team plays. Just take it day by day and just try to improve everyday. Just trying to improve everyday and that’s what I’ve been doing and that’s my mindset and it seems to be working.
On how he feels the transition has been going: I’m getting more comfortable with the system. I know the way the team plays and the way Rod wants us to play. Honestly, I like it a lot. I think it fits well for me and the way the team plays. Honestly, It’s a lot easier than what I’m used to. It takes the thinking out of the game and you just react and trust your teammates, so I really like it.
On the biggest differences since coming to Carolina: There’s been a lot of things honestly. Coming over here, it’s far away from home and there’s a lot of things I’m not used to, but I just keep trying to find what works for me and that’s basically it. Just trying to get more comfortable with the system, my teammates and that’s really it. Everyday you’re just trying to earn the trust of your teammates and coaches.