The Hurricanes will be back in action against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, looking to extend their win streak to six games with James Reimer in net once again.
Brind’Amour spoke to the media via Zoom this afternoon, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On the NHL’s new protocols: We’ve talked about the change in your routine, I guess, is the way I would put it. I think we’ve done a pretty good job with our meeting schedules. It’s a little easier in the hotels, because we have ballrooms and we have access to that. At the rink is what they’re really trying to avoid, because we’re in tighter spots. It’ll be an adjustment tonight, and probably for the next little while, while we kind of work out the kinks. But at the end of the day, the puck drops, we’ve got to go play.
On if the Canes feel safe playing: I think the way I’m looking at it is it’s hard to avoid anywhere. We’re doing the best we can. When we’ve had our meetings, the chairs are all 6 feet apart, we all wear masks. We try to limit the contact as much as possible, which is what everyone tells you to do. It’s still hard to avoid. Do we feel safe? I think the good news from our standpoint is the guys that have come in contact with it, they’ve all recovered and really had no symptoms. You at least feel that if you do get it, these guys, it’s not going to affect them too badly. So there’s that comfort. But I think we’re all doing the best we can.
On Jesper Fast and who’s in net tonight: Fast, he’s skating now. So we’ll hopefully get him back at some point in the near future. And we’re going to go back with Reimer tonight.
On if he’s surprised at how well the Canes performed after the long layoff: After the hiatus, the initial, we had three games there. I was pleasantly surprised, just based on the lineup we were having to adjust with and the teams we were playing, which were really top-notch caliber teams. So I was really happy with that. I haven’t been overly happy with probably a couple of the other games that we’ve played, certainly not the other night. But you’re all about winning. So I’m happy with that, but can we be better? Do we need to be better? Yes, for sure.
On the pros and cons of frequent games this year: You don’t really practice. We got one in yesterday but it’s not like your normally would, as far as the intensity and this and that. The pros of it, I think for the players, are that they don’t have to practice. I think they love that. On the coaching side of things, the pros would be that you don’t have to prepare for 30 teams. You’re preparing basically for the same teams all the time. So that probably makes it a tad easier. But at the end of the day, it’s just one of these years that we hope we can just get through it and get back to normal here at some point.
On playing in a game where a player is having a big performance like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl last week: Generally if that happens, your team is winning. The game is, I don’t want to say easy, but stress free, because you’re going to win. You know right away, ‘OK, this is one of those nights where we got two points in the bag.’ It’s just fun. It’s terrible being on the other side of it when you have those games and you’re just like, ‘Oh, just want to get the game over with.’ And on the flip side, it’s kind of nice when every shift you almost feel like you’re going to score, because it just doesn’t happen very often. So those are nice games to have if you’re obviously the team that’s winning.