The team practiced before their rematch on Monday night and head coach Rod Brind’Amour and captain Jordan Staal spoke to the media via Zoom following the practice.
On Jordan Staal and Vincent Trocheck’s faceoff success: If you look around the league, most of the centers that are at the top are guys that have either a guy on their wing that helps on the offside or that can take a majority of the faceoffs on their strong side. If you can have that covered where you have a righty and a lefty, it just ups your odds. It ups your percentage for sure.
On if he expects physicality to stay high with playing the same opponents over and over: More than likely that’s for sure what’s going to happen. Anytime you’re around or playing the same teams, you start hating each other more and more. That’s just the nature of it.
On Jake Bean: Whatever the player is, you always say, “What does he do?” He’s got to do something to be noticed and he’s been putting up some nice assists and now he’s got a goal. He’s making plays in the o-zone, which is what he does. That to me is what stands out and now he’s working hard at his defensive responsibilities which obviously you have to have to play in this league. I appreciate the work ethic and willingness to work on the things he needs to work on.
On the physicality ramping up playing against the same opponents: I think that’s part of it, but also as the year goes, the games get tighter and the points will be squeezed out even more. I think having a little bit of fans helps too. It definitely adds some atmosphere. It was fun. It was a good battle and it’s good to be in those kinds of games.
On his team’s response to come away with two points: On both their first goals, the next few shifts we were solid and just kind of moved on and just tried to play our game again. That’s what you want no matter what the score is. We want to be consistent with what we do. Up or down, we want to do all the right things and I thought we did a good job of staying consistent as best we could with that and not get caught up with the emotions of the game.
On Warren Foegele: Foegs’ been solid throughout this year, but when he’s going, you see his speed and his decisions with the puck are better and he holds onto pucks. Just seems to make better decisions when he has it. He can create a lot. He’s been a good player for us.
On his success in the faceoff circle: I try to use my strengths. That’s just getting in the circle and using my strength. It’s been nice to have Trocheck as a righty, and a very good righty faceoff guy at that. That means not taking as many draws on the offside, so that’s probably helped a little bit in both of our faceoff percentages, but our team in general does a great job off the mark too. A lot of 50/50 pucks seem to go our way because our wingers and defensemen jump really hard to help.
On how big the off-day was for the team between Tampa and Florida: It was nice. It was a good mental break. Playing five games in seven nights but having a day like that between it all definitely helps. I thought it was nice just to hang out with the guys and get a little bit of Vitamin-D. Maybe some guys got a little too much, but I think it paid off in the end yesterday to get that mental break. We were fortunate enough to get the win after it.