Things finally went the Carolina Hurricanes way Saturday night in PNC Arena, as the Canes dominated the Buffalo Sabres in an all-around impressive 6-2 win
The Canes got a pair of goals from Teuvo Teravainen, a pair of assists and a goal from Vincent Trocheck, three assists from Sebastian Aho and goals from Martin Necas, Ian Cole and Nino Niederreiter as well.
In net, Antti Raanta had a really strong performance as his teammates piled on the scoring, helping the Canes to break out of their recent slump.
Following the win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Trocheck, Teravainen and Cole spoke with members of the media via Zoom.
Here is everything they had to say:
On if its relieving to finally have the chances go in: Yeah, it’s a relief for some of the guys. We pretty much scored every chance we had, it felt like. We got our grade-As, and they went in. You get those nights some times. I think we deserved it after what’s gone on the last little while.
On if Frederik Andersen is ok and on what happened to Andrei Svechnikov: We’re a MASH unit right now. Andrei had a little finger issue and had to have it repaired. He should be fine going forward. Freddie wasn’t feeling well. We have like four guys not feeling well. To get through this night with a win with all the guys sick and out, I’m pretty proud of the group.
On what this does for the confidence: I don’t know. It’s just nice that we got off that losing momentum that was kind of building. We just put that behind us. It wasn’t a great game. We all know that, but it was a good win. We needed that. With all the guys gutting it out tonight, that’s what I’m taking from this game. Hopefully we can start a little bit fresher Tuesday.
On Antti Raanta: I thought he was really good. The save of the night for me was when we were up 2-1 and turned it over and gave up a breakaway and he made two saves on it. If they tie it up, that’s a different game. He was solid tonight. That was good for us. We needed it.
On the chemistry of Aho and Teravainen: For sure. We know the chemistry those two have. We’ve seen it for many years. Tonight was one of those nights where they connected and the puck went in the net. They are good for those kind of plays, but it doesn’t always end up in the net so we forget about it. But when they put it in the net, you obviously remember them.
On getting goals from the guys that have really been struggling: I didn’t even think about that actually, but it’s a good point. Trocheck not finishing the game, I forgot that he had a good game going. I think it’s good for those guys. Everybody always presses. You can say ‘you’re playing well, don’t worry about it.’ But they always seem to judge themselves on putting the puck in the net. Maybe not so much for Cole, but for Trocheck for sure.
On Trocheck’s game misconduct: I understand. He’s engaging the player and the guy turns up on him. I know it looks probably worse than it was because his feet come off the ice. He’s engaging a 6-foot-5 guy. He’s 5-whatever. I get how it works. I’m glad the guy wasn’t hurt. He came back and played. There is onus on the player when you turn up and the guy is on you. Whatever. That’s about all I could say.
On the defensive depth of the team: The two callups that we brought up, Max [Lajoie] and [Jalen Chatfield], have played great. Maybe better than we expected. We’re missing some All-Star caliber players. Those are big losses. For those guys to step in, they’ve played as well as they could have. It’s been a pleasant surprise, for sure.
On if Andersen is in COVID protocol: No. We test every day, twice a day. If someone is in COVID protocol, you’re going to know. He just wasn’t feeling good. We had a few other guys that were the same thing. Obviously we’re not going to play him.
On having a night like this where the pucks are going in: It’s good for guys confidence. It’s the NHL. You’re going to go through droughts here and there. Obviously it’s going to hurt your confidence a little bit. Tonight to have a couple go in the net for us for a few guys that were going through. As a team, we hadn’t been scoring a lot. To put the puck in the net and have six tonight, it helps the confidence.
On his game misconduct: I saw the replay, and I guess you have to call the penalty. I definitely don’t think that five was warranted. I felt bad about the outcome, obviously. I was glad he came back out and was ok. We were both skating neck and neck. I was right on him the whole way up the ice, and then he cuts back. I didn’t have any time to react. He just kind of turned back right into me. It looked bad. I’m glad he’s alright, but I didn’t think it was a five and a game.
On what a win like this does for the team: It’s good. Our confidence has been down. We’re on a little bit of a skid. We’d lost 5 of 6. Just to get the win and have guys putting the puck in the net and having fun out there, it’s good for our confidence. We know what we’re capable in this room. We know we have a really good team. We obviously need the wins to keep coming in. To get one tonight before we go on the road was nice.
On how good it was to see pucks go in the net: Yeah, we’ve had some tough times lately. For sure it’s nice to get a night like this and get some goals. The boys are smiling again, so that’s good.
On being back on a line with Aho: Yeah, it’s always fun to play with him. It’s kind of easy. We don’t really think too much. We just read from each other and try to make some plays when there’s plays. A couple of nice goals.
On having to go back west again: Yeah, it’s been kind of tough. We’ve just got to do it and grind it and get some wins. It’s going to be a big road trip for us. We need to battle hard. Then we get home, and that’s just how it goes.
On if he notices on the ice when things are going his way: Yeah, I usually just play the same way. Sometimes a game just goes your way and you get the puck more. You get the bounces. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Tonight was one of those nights where the puck was just bouncing our way.
On getting his first goal and seeing the team get out of the scoring funk: When pucks are going in when you’re on the ice, especially in my role, that’s less than ideal. Especially a goal where you come back and grab a stick and then end up putting it in your own net. Or then a goal today that I don’t see that hits me in the shoulder and ends up going up and into the own net. Some tough bounces there, but there’s really no other alternative but to keep playing and going hard. I’m really proud of our guys today. Obviously we’ve been in a little bit of a scoring funk here, and the way they were able to kind of erupt for six goals tonight, I’m very proud of our guys. Hopefully this bodes well going forward that we have some confidence that we can score again.
On what this can do for the confidence: Another aspect of this was ‘yes, it was frustrating.’ It’s always frustrating to not score, especially for our forwards and the power play. But I will say that we did play well. We put together some games and tried to stick to the game plan. I’m really proud of our team for not cheating for offense in those situations. We still played hard and did the right thing. That being said, being able to score goals — we probably didn’t play our best game. I don’t know if we played as well tonight as we did against Ottawa overall. But I will say that scoring goals is always a good thing. And obviously Antti played great for us today, so it’s a good mixture.
On getting a goal himself: It’s great. I think I’ve had some chances to score this season, some good shots and good chances. They haven’t gone in thus far. It’s always good to score. It’s not my primary role. But I’ve said this before, I think everyone in the NHL nowadays has to be able to do everything. Defensive defensemen need to be able to jump in and add to the offense, just like offensive defensemen need to be able to play defense. Everyone needs to be able to do everything. It’s always good. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not.
On the defensive depth of the team: I’ve said it before, I don’t think there’s one guy that’s going to step up and replace Tony DeAngelo or Brett Pesce, or [Ethan Bear] when he was out. These guys are extremely good, extremely elite players for us. It has to be fill those holes by committee. Max [Lajoie] and Jalen [Chatfield] have come up and played awesome for us. [Brendan Smith] stepped up and played great. [Jaccob Slavin] and [Brady Skjei] have been their normal, extraordinary selves. I’m very proud of our guys for stepping up and really coming together and getting the job done. And it’s not just the D. Our forwards have been very helpful, too. A lot of people point to defensemen when goals are going in or not going in, but it’s a five-man group. It’s a five-man unit with team defense. All five guys need to help both offensively and defensively. Kudos to those forwards for being able to help.