The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their second straight game Tuesday night in Dallas, falling to the Stars 4-1 as Roope Hintz scored a hat trick for the home team.
The Canes came out on the wrong foot and never quite got things right, falling behind as the power play faltered once again and the team couldn’t get many dangerous scoring chances.
Carolina was also playing somewhat shorthanded, as Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce were placed on COVID protocol Monday, joining Ethan Bear. Jalen Chatfield and Maxime Lajoie were called up and played Tuesday.
After the tough loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour,
Here is what they had to say:
On needing to make the slide stop and on sticking to their game: We’ve got to make it stop, yeah, but I’m not sure what more we can do there. We’ve got to get sharper on the power play, obviously, but the overall game is — that might be our best game of the year. We only gave up 17 shots. It’s all about what you’re giving up. I don’t know what we had for chances, but we’re getting our chances. They’re going to start going in. At the start of the year, everything seemed to go in for us. Now, nothing is going in. Considering the guys we had out and the guys we had come in, I thought it was a great game overall.
On giving up an early goal: That’s not what you want to do. Playing from behind is not easy. We kind of took a little breath on that one. They came in and took a shot, we lost coverage for a second and it ends up in your net. But overall, I’m just going through the goals, we didn’t get it in. One hit the ref, the linesman doesn’t get in, they turn around and it’s 2-on-1 in your net. The other one, we didn’t get it in and it’s in your net the other way. Those can’t happen. The mistakes we are making are just costing us. That’s basically what’s happening. It’s not going the other way. Obviously they’re making a lot of mistakes because there’s tons of chances, but the ones we are making are just biting us right now. We’ll try to get a little sharper there. But again, overall I was really happy with the way we played the game. We’ve just got to find ways to get the puck in the net.
On Chatfield and Lajoie: I thought they were great. I was actually overly pleased with how they played. They seemed to grasp everything we were doing, so Ryan [Warsofsky] is doing a good job down there in Chicago. They were effective, had chances. Give them a lot of credit. For jumping in like that with no practices, just getting into the heat of it, they did a really good job.
On if he was surprised with his fine from the NHL for something that happened during a game: Yeah, I was shocked. But what are you going to do? You know I can’t say anything now. I took the job thinking that you could be yourself, thinking I could tell you guys what I really feel in a game or about a game. Now you clearly can’t, so there you go.
On if this is a case of the puck just not going in: We had a fair amount of chances tonight, obviously. I thought we created enough to win the game. Obviously we have to do a little better job of not giving away too many grade-As. We’ve talked about our power play. I think we gave up more chances against than created I think on the power play. We just looked sloppy. That’s got to be a lot better if we’re going to want to start putting the puck in the net and get some mojo going.
On the reason for the power play struggles: I think just the execution tonight was average. Especially my group. We didn’t get much time out there, but I don’t think we made one pass. I think we tried to shoot some more pucks. We still need to shoot even more and create some havoc. Those pretty plays will come as they come, but that’s obviously one thing we’ve got to get better at. The rest of our game was pretty solid.
On going behind 1-0 early: It’s huge, that first goal. It’s never fun playing behind, especially in this league. It’s not easy scoring goals, especially with the kind of funk that we’re in. We’ve got to do a better job of defending and trying to get that first goal. Playing with the lead is always a better feeling than trying to play catch up. That was a big first goal, obviously, and one that our line had to get back, and we didn’t. We need better starts, for sure.
On making sure guys are staying collected in a funk: I’ve got to do a better job of that, obviously. My stick is turning into a twig pretty soon with the more I’m squeezing it. It’s been pretty frustrating for a lot of guys, including myself. We’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing. Like I said, tonight we created enough chances to win a game, and that’s what you want. That’s all you can worry about. Obviously you’ve got to learn how to defend and not give up big grade-As. I think we gave up four breakaways tonight, or something like that. It’s too many big, easy, grade-A goals that they got. I think all those shots we created were from the outside. We’re going to get some bounces. We’re going to get some goals. But giving up those freebees is what hurt us tonight.
On Chatfield and Lajoie: Yeah, the kids played really well. That’s not easy to do, and they made it look easy. They both skate really well. They understand the game and move the puck quick, and I thought they both played really, really good for us. That’s always nice to see, when we’ve got guys down that guys stepping up and playing well.
On Brind’Amour’s fine from the NHL for his conduct in the Washington game, and on if it is good to have a coach sticking up for players that passionately: Yeah. It’s an emotional game. Obviously Rod is one of those guys that wants it more than anything. Sometimes your emotions get the best of you. It’s hard for him. Standing behind the bench, I’m sure he’s dying to be out there on the ice. It’s one thing that he can do, is get involved. According to the NHL he crossed the line. It’s our job obviously our job to not worry about the refs and go out and play. I thought we did a little bit better job of that tonight. We’ve got to take it out a little more on the team we are playing against instead of the refs. Just play whistle to whistle and not worry about penalty situations and just work for our chances.
On Chatfield and Lajoie: I’m very proud of those guys for how they were able to step up and play. I know [Chatfield] has played in NHL games, and it showed. Max had a ton of poise out there as well. I think they stepped in and did a great job. I’m very proud of those two guys for the work they did.
On not wanting to lose two games in a row and on the team staying controlled and not panicking: That’s the goal. Ideally, we never lose two games in a row. Maybe that’s a bit of a pipedream, but that’s the goal. I think the foundational mindset behind that is ‘ok, let’s right the ship right away.’ Let’s not let this linger. Let’s not continue to play well, but ‘oh hey, we lost.’ That’s not good enough. The name of the game as a professional athlete is to win. That’s it. That should be our only focus. We played well today. We had a lot of shots. We had a lot grade-As. We should have scored more goals. X, Y and Z, but we lost. Really, that’s all that matters. We need to figure out ways to win, and we need to figure them out quick. We can’t let this continue to slide. It’s only going to hurt us in the long run.