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They Said It: Brind’Amour, Aho, Slavin break down win over Jets

A five-game road trip got started off on the right note for the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night, as the Canes won 4-2 in Winnipeg.

Carolina Hurricanes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

It was as good of a start to a five-game road trip as the Carolina Hurricanes could have imagined Tuesday night, as defenseman Jaccob Slavin scored his first goal of the season 30 seconds into game one of a five-game swing through western Canada and Minnesota.

With Slavin’s goal starting things off, the Canes beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 Tuesday night, getting goals from Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas and Vincent Trocheck as well.

Carolina saw a 2-0 lead slip away but fought back, as the power play showed revitalized signs of life with Necas and Trocheck both scoring with the man advantage.

On the other side of the special teams equation, the Canes had a massive five-minute major kill in the third period after Ian Cole was given a game misconduct for kneeing.

Following the win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Aho and Slavin spoke with members of the media via Zoom.

Here is what they had to say:

Rod Brind’Amour

On how lopsided the game was in terms of chances created: It was a solid game from start to finish. We had a couple of hiccups there in the second, but that’s pretty much it for the whole game. I think we played a solid game like this for the last couple of weeks, we just weren’t able to score in those other games. But the penalty kill was great tonight, obviously. That was a huge part of the game.

On the quick start: It’s always good to score on the first shift. It was a great first shift. We hit the post and pretty much did everything you’re supposed to do to start the game. So it’s nice to get ahead and set the tone, but it’s always easier to play from in front.

On killing the five-minute major: That could have been really crucial if they had got one and then the momentum and then nobody knows what happens. But we didn’t give them anything. That was one of the big, big keys of the game for sure.

On the way Slavin has played the last few games shown another step even with his minutes and roles: I think it’s a necessity, right? We’re missing two huge pieces back there, which is why in this little run, even though we haven’t gotten some victories, the way we’ve played defensively has been kind of really more, not surprising, but encouraging. With [Brett Pesce] and Tony [DeAngelo] out, that we can continue to play that way I think part of it is really because Slavin is picking up a lot of the slack there. Power play, extra minutes. That’s why he is what he is.

On Ethan Bear: He’s been good. Unfortunately, he got COVID and sat for 10 days. He’s just coming out of that, as far as physically. I thought he did better tonight. We eased him in the other night. He’s been great, a great addition for us. He’s got a lot of upside, for sure.

On Bear playing on the first pairing: Well, he’s been up there most of the year until he got COVID. Unfortunately with that, you just sit for so long. For a professional athlete to sit for 10 days and then try to get your game back, it takes a little time. We’ve had him paired with pretty much everybody, and he’s been great. Like I said, we’re really excited about where his game could go.

On Seth Jarvis: I think he’s been a real bright spot for us this season. He came in and earned his way. He’s certainly shown that he belongs in this league. That’s another young kid that we’re really excited about.

Sebastian Aho

On how good it was to have success in all situations in the win: Special teams are always huge in this game. We did a pretty good job overall. We let in one PK goal, but we killed a ton of penalties, too. It was a good effort all around, and it was nice to see the power play get two goals, too.

On what’s going better for the power play: I don’t think it’s luck. We have been trying to be a little more simple. Get pucks to the net. It’s just the simple side of the game when you’re maybe not playing with high confidence, just to try to put the puck to the net and go to work.

On getting the road trip started off with a win: It’s always nice to start the road trip with a win. It really doesn’t matter if you’re up two goals, tied game or down two goals. We kind of grind the same way. We trust that when we have a chance we are skilled enough to put the puck in the net. Nothing really changed when they tied the game.

On Necas’ power play goal: Yeah, it was huge. We took the momentum back in the game as well after that goal. It’s just a huge goal in the game. Guys were dialed in there. Jordan [Staal], the big man, was hacking and whacking the puck in front. Pretty much the whole unit was there. You could tell the guys were hungry for that goal. It was huge.

Jaccob Slavin

On how he’s feeling after playing 29 minutes twice in the last three games: Pretty good for the most part. I got sick there a little bit. It wasn’t COVID, so we’re fine, but I’m on the tail end of that. I’m feeling fine. The energy is good. I’m ready for a good night’s sleep tonight.

On the five-minute major kill in the third period: The penalty kill is something we take pride in as a group. I know [Tim] Gleason takes a lot of pride in it and how we do things. You step over those boards and you’ve got a job to do. Everyone was up for the task tonight. With that five-minute kill tonight, it’s huge. The game could completely change if that goes the other way. We did what we wanted to do. We had good pressure and kept getting the puck 200 feet. It was a great kill.

On his goal to get the game and road trip started off: It’s huge. We haven’t had the best stretch over the last couple weeks, so we wanted to start this trip off right. It’s huge going forward. We just need to start games on time. That’s something that we struggle with sometimes. When we can start a game on time, that makes for a huge success later on.

On the defensive depth stepping up and on what that says about the group: That’s huge. That speaks to management doing a great job of providing depth down the organization. And then these guys get their opportunity, and they’re capable players. They come up and do what they do best, and that’s just play the game. They’re great skaters. For them to come in and play the way they have is huge. It doesn’t change what we need to do as a D corps and continue to steer the ship for the team and continue to get the puck in our forwards’ hands. It’s been huge. Everyone on the back end has been playing great. Obviously we just need to continue with that.

On if this is the best defensive game they’ve played 5 on 5: Yeah, we played a solid game tonight. We got away from it in the second period. That’s probably where that chance came in. We were committed to playing the right way tonight, and that needs to continue throughout this trip and on from there. We played a good 5-on-5 game. Our forwards did a good job tonight backtracking, staying above their forwards and helping us D out so we could keep tight gaps and not give them any space. It was huge.