Head coach Rod Brind’Amour along with Jordan Staal, Brett Pesce and Ryan Dzingel, spoke to the media via Zoom following the game.
On Jordan Staal’s ability to have strong return games: I don’t know if there’s a reason. He’s a professional, so he gives you what he can every night. Whether he’s been out or playing all the time, you know what you’re getting. There’s no real drop off with this guy. That’s what makes him a captain.
On the offsides review debacle: They came in between periods and said that they had messed up on that and now the power play was over. That was the explanation on that. Still a little confused. Because this new rule, my interpretation of it was that his skates were over, but if they’re doing a plane thing, which is what it sounds like, then his head was over the line so it would have been good. I don’t really understand it. I’m glad it worked for us, but what I originally thought was that that was why it was good when it counted.
On the Niederreiter “fighting” penalty: I didn’t understand why that was a fight. When one guy is fighting and the other one was trying to hang on. I got told that he should have dropped the gloves, so… I’m not going to complain though. Our sport is the hardest in the world to ref. It is absolutely impossible. That’s why we need review on more things I think. It’s just too hard on these guys. They’re great refs. I don’t know how they do it.
On the overall game: I liked how we just kept coming back. It felt like they would get one then we would get one. Or we would get behind, but I felt that we never stopped playing. It felt like it was always, “Don’t worry about that, get the next one.” The next shift mentality I thought was good. I thought the compete was high too. We’re still making some mistakes. Getting a couple of bad reads and guys are getting behind us. But I thought we grinded it out. I really thought we dug in and that’s what you have to do. Wasn’t pretty. It was nice to get a power play goal, that was huge. At the end we also did a nice job selling out. We did what we had to do to get a win. Slavin blocks that shot. I thought our best players tonight really stepped up.
On Patrik Laine: He’s got that weapon, that’s like Ovechkin or Stamkos. There’s a few players like that in the league that wherever they shoot it from, it’s a threat. We have to a better job of taking that away obviously.
On if he feels particularly hot with his offensive game right now or if his run of production is more of a result of good bounces: A little of both. There’s definitely puck luck, and that’s what you need if you’re gonna put it in the net, so we’ve been fortunate there. We’ve gotten some bounces, and it’s been to get them early and get going right away to start the season. I felt good coming into the season, I felt strong. I’m going to try to continue doing what I’m doing.
On his thoughts about what happened with the Trocheck ruling: That was definitely a first for me. It’s a fast game, it’s a game of mistakes and that stuff happens. If it was on the other side, we’d have to keep grinding, too. It’s fortunate that it was on our side. We’ll take the bounce, and they did a good job of making it a game right after that and played hard. It was a hard-fought game.
On the craziness of the game: It was kind of a rollercoaster game. It was one of those, kind of back and forth. Some calls that could’ve gone either way. It was a good team. We knew they were going to battle hard and we have to be dialed in for 60 minutes. I thought we did a great job of sticking with our game plan and not taking our foot off the gas.
On if he’s expecting the rest of their games against Columbus to be that hectic: I hope not. Yeah, that’s a team that competes. We know that from years past. They play a tight system, so it’s going to be a battle over the next seven games. We have to bring our a-game.
On how the Canes finally got a goal from a defenseman: We’ve been doing a good job of getting pucks to the net, they just haven’t really gone in. It’s nice to have a few goals now, but it was bound to happen. Maybe now that we have a few, we can get on a roll and get some more offense from the back end.
On how you play in a game like that: I don’t think that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to limit chances and never get into an end-to-end battle with another team. We’re trying to keep things low-scoring, and I think sometimes when you have two teams that are very similar, it kinda clashes like that sometimes and sometimes those games happen. We’re both similar teams, trying to get pucks deep and get our d involved and be hard-nosed and simple. I think it was one of those weird ones that turned out that way, but I don’t think Roddy and the coaching staff wants us to open it up as much as it was. It was good to get it done and be gritty and find a way to capitalize and finish.
On how the game played out differently than expected: Coming in, if you put you’re money on it, you’d say it’d be a one-goal game, low-scoring, two teams that try to keep the puck out of their net and play simple and not try to give a lot of things up. I think that’s one of the things that was different, we gave up a little bit more than we wanted, but those things happen, but we had the resilience to get it done. We definitely have to clean some stuff up tomorrow, and I’m sure they will too. There will probably be a lot less space and fewer scoring opportunities.
On how he experienced the controversial Trocheck goal call ruling that was changed after the fact and cut Carolina’s power play short: It’s 2021. Anything is possible these days. We’re not even shocked anymore, to be honest, when they tell you something. If you would’ve told us a couple of years ago that they’re taking a power play away, the guys would’ve been pretty confused. I guess there’s not much you can say there. I don’t get paid enough to make those decisions. It is what it is and we found a way to win. I guess it was offsides, they said, but you want to get those things right. It was good for us, but it didn’t look great. Obviously, it was a weird situation. We just kinda laughed it off and went to play some 5-on-5. It wasn’t too much for us in the locker room, we just kinda went back out there and played.