The Hurricanes will look to keep their four-game winning streak intact tonight in Chicago, and they’ll get some reinforcements to help them. Rod Brind’Amour said the hope is that Jaccob Slavin, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Martinook and Warren Foegele, all of whom were removed from the NHL’s COVID protocol list last week, will play tonight.
Brind’Amour, Slavin and Teravainen spoke to the media following today’s morning skate, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On the goaltending situation with Petr Mrazek out: I don’t know. I’m focused on today. [James Reimer]’s going to go today and we’ll see where we’re at. There’s no point in planning it out, because it’ll just change. I’m pretty sure you’ll see [Alex Nedeljkvoic] will get some games. I don’t know when.
On Alex Nedeljkovic going through waivers and then getting to play now: It’s a pretty easy conversation. He knows we love him. I don’t even think about that. All that stuff is more getting positioned and salary cap, there’s all these other things that are going on. We know he’s here now, and he’s been in our organization for I don’t know how many years. He’s a great kid, and he’ll get his chance again for sure.
On the guys coming back with conditioning and timing: Both. It’s game conditioning, like we even talked about when we had to pause it down. And these guys haven’t even had a real practice. That’s the other unfortunate thing. We couldn’t really practice them together. So that’s a big issue. Timing, conditioning, all that stuff is obviously a big issue when you’ve been out this long.
On if the lines will stay the same as before the pause: I don’t know. As of right now, the answer to that is no. But they’ve been changing quite a bit here, kind of on a day-by-day basis.
On Petr Mrazek’s situation and how long he might be out, and apprehension being on the road this long in the pandemic: On Petr’s thing, not really. I know he’s looking at two different options. I don’t know where that is right now. [editor’s note: Mrazek posted on his personal Instagram story that he’s headed for surgery].
There’s always apprehension on the road with what we’re dealing with with COVID and stuff. It seems to, guys are around each other a little more, and it seems like that’s where most of the teams are having their issues. So there’s obviously that apprehension, but we just focus on the day to day and try to get through the day. Then we can figure out tomorrow.
On lack of five-on-five scoring and goals from the defense: If you look at the chances we’ve had, there’ve been plenty of those, so that could easily be a different conversation. Our D have actually been in a lot of the offense. I think that’ll come around. As far as the scoring five-on-five, it’s hard to score five-on-five, but we’ve had our share of chances and good looks. I don’t really look at that number. You can score a lot of goals and not create chances, I think right now we’ve created a lot of good offense, just haven’t put them in. So I think that evens out.
On how he’s feeling and how he spent quarantine: I feel fine. I’m ready to get back in the action tonight. Isolation was what it was. I was in the hotel a lot, definitely bored. A lot of reading, a little bit of PlayStation. But it was good to finally get back to see my family, see my wife and my daughter. Now I’ll just get back into the swing of things.
On watching his teammates play well in his absence: It was awesome. I think it speaks to the culture that we have here and also just to the depth that we have as well. The guys that stepped in played awesome. They played great hockey games, so it was awesome to see that. It was awesome to cheer them on. It’s definitely different watching from the stands for multiple games, but it’s part of it. It’s what we’ve got to go through. But I was super proud to watch the guys competing.
On his expectations for tonight: I’ll just try to hop right back into it. I think we’ve prepared well, the guys that have been out, just with the skates we’ve been doing. So tonight’s just about a compete level. Roddy always talks about if you compete, you always have a chance to win. So for us guys that are jumping back into it, we just need to make sure the effort’s there and everything else will fall into place how it does. As long as we control our effort, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.
On the goaltending with Mrazek out: I think if you look at both our goaltenders, it’s not fun to have an injury, and Mrazek’s obviously a solid goaltender for us. But just the tandem we have is solid and going into this season we knew they both can play, they both can compete and they can both win. So we have all the confidence in the world going into this stretch without Mrazek. With Reimer between the pipes tonight, it’s easy to play the game back there with him, as it is with Mrazek. But then we also [Nedeljkovic] on the bench, and he’s another guy that loves to compete and another solid goaltender. So from the goaltending standpoint, we have all the confidence still going forward.
On how he’s feeling: I feel better now. Of course we’ll see how the game feels. I think it’s going to be a little tough, first game in a while. I’ll just try to get my legs moving again.
On how tough it was to be out: It’s tough to watch the games and you can’t really do anything yourself. So you’ve got to trust your teammates. They did a really good job. They played great. The new guys played really good. So it’s good that we had some wins.
On the timing tonight: We’ll see. We’ve been skating a few days now just in a small group, we haven’t really had any team kind of stuff. So we’ll see how the timing and conditioning goes. I’m ready for that.
On playing his old team in Chicago: It is pretty exciting. I like coming back to Chicago. It’s a great city and I had a lot of fun here. So it’s always fun to come back. But they’re a pretty different team than when I was there, so there’s not too many of the same people. It is pretty exciting.
On how he spent quarantine: Not much, I didn’t read any books. I played some PlayStation and just didn’t really do anything. I just tried to rest and that was kind of boring. There’s not much to do, but I’m happy I’m back here and it’s get ready to go again.