The Hurricanes will wrap up their four-game set against Tampa Bay tonight looking to achieve a 2-2 split.
Head coach Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media about the matchup, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On playing back-to-back games: Especially on the road, it just does you no good sitting around in hotels. In today’s world, that is literally what you do. So I think just getting prepared, we just finished preparing for tonight, and I think the guys want to play. There’s no point in sitting around. So we’ll have a day off tomorrow and then you play. The games just keep coming. I think it’s good. Put it this way, there’s no other option, so it’s a good option.
On Dougie Hamilton: He was probably playing as good as any D last year. That’s tough to replicate. There’s a lot of good D out there. I think our D in general has been a little off from what I’d like to see it, him included. It’s never about the offense for me. With Dougie, I think he’s got one goal, but he’s had a ton of chances. Last night, he had two or three right in the slot, ripping slapshots, those will start to go in. It’s the defending part of it we’re concerned about. I think as a group, as a D corps, we’ve got to get better there.
On keeping the guys focused with the schedule: We just try to focus on today. We’re big on going 1-0 and focusing on today. Five in seven, we don’t talk about that. It’s what are we doing today to win and be good. If there’s a game tomorrow, we’ll play it, if not, we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to get better on that day. If you look at that way, it gets real tough.
On the slow starts: That’s all we’ve talked about for about three weeks, and especially these last two days of games was about our start, and it went the other way. Sometimes you over cook it and they just think ‘Well, we’re all on it,’ and we’re a little off. So you’ve got to give the other team credit. They’re a good team. So when you’re a little off, it does have a tendency to maybe look worse than it is, because they make you pay, and they’ve got some high-end players. [Victor Hedman]’s a beast out there. We can say we’ve got to mark him and say we’ve got to know he’s out there, but it doesn’t matter. He’s still making plays. It’s a big part. We’ve got to play a 60-minute game. The other team’s doing their part to make sure we don’t.
On having fans back in PNC Arena: I know it’s a limited amount, but I think it’s just a positive feel that ‘Man, there’s actually some traction going on in the world and with this virus.’ We’re allowing people in. It’s starting to feel more like there’s just some positivity with it. We’ve played, here in Florida there’s some people, Dallas had some fans. We’re hopeful that it’s just getting back to some sense of normalcy. I don’t know how many fans that’s going to be, but I’m sure it’ll be noisy. It’ll feel a lot better than it has. That’s for sure.
On if this series has a playoff style feel: It does. The games, I don’t know if it translates on TV, but there are hard. These are playoff games. You can tell how tight they are. You have to fight for every inch. So it definitely has a playoff feel for me on the bench in how it’s being played and the intensity of it from the players.
On using the fourth line after a power play: In general, coming out of power plays, especially when you play eight forwards, you are limited to who’s next. Our fourth line’s been our best line the last couple games. That’s not what you want, because they’re not getting as much ice time, but maybe I should use them more. It’s more comforting, from a coach when we’re getting that kind of feel out of that line that you can throw them out whenever. You’ll hopefully see more of them tonight, because they were good.