The Hurricanes will look to get back to their winning ways Monday night in Columbus after a pair of hard-fought overtime losses to the Blue Jackets. Alex Nedeljkovic will be in net, and there will be no other lineup changes.
Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media about the matchup this morning, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On difficulties scoring goals: It’s probably both. We’ve got [Teuvo Teravainen] and [Vincent Trocheck] out, that’s two of your top guys that provide a lot of offense for us. And then Columbus doesn’t give up a ton of goals. We had our looks the other night, we ended up with, I’m not sure of the shot total, but it felt like we had a lot of opportunities, we just didn’t convert. That’s the kind of games that we’re into with these guys.
On if there’s any panic after three straight losses: I’m not sure what the panic would be about. We literally should have won those two games, in my opinion. We had chances in overtime, if we win those games, does everyone say everything’s good? You really have to take a look at how the process is. I love the fight in our group, but it didn’t go our way. That last game was the strangest game I’ve been around where just some weird things happened. It’s kind of interesting to me that the conversation keeps going to this panic, and it’s like, it’s the furthest thing from my mind, so maybe I should be thinking differently, but certainly that’s not in my mindset.
On a wakeup call with COVID with a team having to forfeit the NCAA Tournament and his son’s team getting into the NCAA hockey Tournament: We just had our team meetings, we’re doing it virtually, we’re doing everything the same way. My son’s team would have got in anyway, just so you know. They got put in that seed, but they would have made it in. But it’s great. I think because we’ve had some fans come in the building, because things seem to be, I don’t know if better is the right word, but you can’t sleep on it, because you never know. We’re not sleeping on it. We’re definitely doing everything we can to abide by the rules and keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.
On Jake Gardiner: First of all, we needed to get him some practice time. The hard part was we hadn’t practiced at all. So he got cleared but then had no practices with us. We never feel good about putting guys in the lineup when they haven’t practiced. They practice on their own, but it’s a little different when you’ve been out that long and then not have a real good practice. So that’s kind of where that is right now. He had another little issue flare up here, so I’m not 100% sure what his health situation is, so he’s out for tonight.
On what determines the decision of whether or not to have a morning skate: A lot of it just depends on our practice times, did we practice the day before, did we not? Basically, too, a lot of it is based on where the guys feel. You can get a sense on that groundhog day effect, and sometimes just going to the rink and putting your skates on all the time is not what you want. You want to make sure they’re fresh at night, both mentally and physically sharp. Sometimes staying away from the rink is better, so that when they get there they’re excited about being at the rink. So it’s really kind of a day by day feel and based a lot on whether we practiced the day before or not.
On Martin Necas playing his 100th game: I think he’s come along like we thought he would. I think he’s still a young man. We knew there was a lot of talent there when he got drafted. We knew his game was going to take some time to develop and just the maturity aspect of growing up, being a little more physically fit. And then understanding the game at this level. You’re still learning. You’re always learning. But he’s still a young guy, and the more he gets under his belt, the more experience he’s going to have. I think he’ll still keep getting better and better. But you can see there’s a lot of confidence in his game.
On taking losses hard as a player vs. a coach: You never like to lose. I think that’s why I always kid that I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this. We’re talking about ‘Oh, you lost three in a row.’ When I left the rink, I felt pretty good about our game. And yet all you hear about is how we lost the game. I don’t know what else we could have done in that game. In my opinion, we had the game won. A fluky thing happened. Guys played hard, and we didn’t get the bounces.
The same thing happened the night before. We didn’t have a good first period, but we played two pretty good periods, had a chance to win, had a good look in overtime, almost had an empty net on another one. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, that’s not a bad effort. That’s really all I gauge my group on, the effort. Did we play well enough to win? Did we have a chance to win? Yeah? OK, move on, right? But you have to, win or lose, move on, because we’re always approaching it as what have you done for me today? How are we going to win today, regardless. It is a hard thing to do, to leave stuff behind, but you have to. You can’t look in the rearview mirror.