The Carolina Hurricanes again failed to play well for 60 minutes Wednesday night, as they were done in by a poor first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jordan Staal, Jaccob Slavin and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after the game, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say.
On the effort: We worked hard. We didn’t come out as ready as we needed to in the first period but that was the game, again, unfortunately. Then we fought back. We dig in. We may be off and have some off nights, but it’s never a lack of effort.
On the line changes going into the third period: We didn’t have anything going offensively for maybe half the game. They sit back a little, so you’ve got to be careful on getting too excited about it, but we needed to change something up, because we were getting zero traction with the lines that we had going.
On the biggest hurdle for the Canes starting on time: Well, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On Alex Nedeljkovic: He was great. He kept us in there. That first power play we had, we gave up a breakaway and a two-on-one, so that wasn’t too impressive. But he made some big saves. Good for him, too bad we kind of wasted it.
On the difference between the start of the four-game series and now: The first game we played the right way and we didn’t get off of it for the full 60-minutes. Past couple of games, we haven’t had a good start. Obviously against a team of that caliber you have to be able to do it the right way the whole time and we just have to get to our game and what makes us successful at the drop of the puck and not wait until it’s too late.
On the slow starts: We just have to get in the right mindset and be prepared. It’s just doing the little things right and making sure we’re checking off on our assignments and doing what makes us successful is just getting pucks in deep and going to work. When you don’t do that, that’s the result you get.
On the Canes’ game just being off: [Vasilevskiy] is a good goaltender. We had our chances. There’s no excuse to be made on why we can’t play a full 60-minutes. Just a matter of doing it. In hockey, you have those times where you can’t make those passes, but that’s just where you got to dig in a little bit harder and just be ready. Learn from those things, but also just work that much harder to do it the right way.
On the team having trouble getting it going: I think our starts have been killing us the past couple of games. It’s hard to come back in this league, especially against one of the best. You can’t put yourself in too big of a whole. I thought we did get some chances towards the second and third periods. Started creating some plays, but it’s too little too late sometimes. We have to have a better start and be ready on time.
On the effort tonight: Looking around the room, the guys worked hard, but that’s only part of what we have to do. The other part is just being mentally ready and being aware of the plays that they have and the players that they have and what their tendencies are. I feel like we slipped on that in the start and they made us pay pretty quick, like good teams do. I think that whole package has to be there from everybody if we are going to want to be the best.
On the key to not allow the losses to snowball: What’s best is that we have this team tomorrow and we’re going to get right back at it and we’re going to show them our best. I think you don’t want those things to snowball and we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us again, playing a good team. It’s nice that we’re going to get right back at it tomorrow and hopefully get a win.
On if the mental aspect is the biggest hurdle: I think it’s part of being a pro. Being ready for games. It’s a big part of the game, everybody knows it. Being ready for games in that regard. When you play so many games, sometimes it can be mundane I think and it can make it that much more challenging to be on edge and be ready to go, but as a group we have to be better than we have been.