The Carolina Hurricanes practiced Wednesday afternoon in Columbus in preparation for the final game of their four-game series against the Blue Jackets.
Head coach Rod Brind’Amour as well as Brett Pesce and Martin Necas spoke to the media via Zoom following the practice.
Here’s what they had to say:
On giving Alex Nedeljkovic consecutive starts: We talk about it all the time. It was the same when Reimer was winning all those games. It’s like, ‘Should we keep it going?’ It’s all predicated on schedule for me though. We’ll make that decision tomorrow.
On goalies taking longer to get to the NHL level: I think sometimes it’s working with the NHL guys: the coaches, the goalie coach, and understanding a little better the pace of play. I don’t know why, to be honest with you, that they say goalies need more time. Not really sure why, but it seems to be that way. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to from day one of getting into our organization. He’s worked hard, worked with whoever’s been working with him and been great about it. I think that hard work is paying off. You’re seeing it.
On Tim Peel and if his firing will affect officiating the rest of the season: Probably not. But as far as Timmy, he’s been around forever. He was well respected by everyone in the business. I had him as a player too. You’re always going to have run-ins with the refs. It’s just part of it. But always if you saw him after games or saw him in various places, he was just a good person. I hate to see it happen the way it did. It’s unfortunate really because he had a good career.
On make-up calls being common in the game today: Watch the games. Watch what happens at the end of games. The team that’s behind always seems to get a power play. I think it’s just human nature. I know they’re not trying to do that. I truly believe that that’s not how they go about it, but it’s just human nature to maybe look for the team that’s down. But it seems to happen all the time. I’ve said it from day one, we have the hardest game to officiate. It’s too hard live. I don’t know how these guys do it. They’re phenomenal at what they do. The worst thing that we did was stick a video thing beside the coach because 10 seconds after, even five seconds after a penalty, I can already see if it was actually a penalty. I couldn’t tell live, I had no idea, but we get that quick look to see what was happening. Eventually we will get to that for these guys, but they are so good. They get it right 90% of the time, but we live in a world where you have to get it right 100% of the time.
On if an overhead referee would have helped: Probably not. I’ll be honest I only heard what happened, and it all could have been taken out of context. I really don’t know the whole situation on that. But like I said, Timmy’s a great guy. I’ve had my run-ins with him though, no doubt about that. In 2006 he called a goal back. That should not have happened in a Stanley Cup Playoff game, but everybody’s human. We all make mistakes. He had a great career and that’s how he should be remembered.
On if he went with the team to Top Golf during the off day: No, the players get enough of me. They need to have their own time and I was glad they were able to do that and at least get out of the hotel rooms and spend some time together which we really hadn’t been able to do this year. It was a good day for those guys.
On how he spent the off day: Like we always do. Cutting the video and getting ready for the next game. Watching a lot of games. There’s a lot of games at night. It’s busy, it’s just a little bit like Groundhog Day for us guys, but that’s part of it. Like I said, it was just nice that the players got that opportunity and that it was afforded to them to get out and get together and hang out other than being in the locker room.
On Aho and Necas’ chemistry giving him more line flexibility in the future: For sure. But I don’t know when Tervainen is coming back. That’s a huge void and we struggle to fill it, but it’s nice to see that [Aho] and [Necas] have had some sort of chemistry because guys have to step up. I think [Necas] has done that. That’s been a pleasant surprise. When opportunities arise guys have got to take advantage of it and I think he has.
On his father’s Twitter: For one, I don’t actually follow him. I personally don’t approve of his Twitter, but he’s a grown man so I can’t do much about it. So I have no comment on that.
On how he feels mentally and physically with 25 games left to play having only played in around 30 this year as opposed to around 50 in other years: It honestly feels a little similar. Maybe a little more mentally fresh. The amount of games we’re playing it takes a little toll for everybody. You don’t get much rest or days off. But I guess for the mental aspect, we haven’t played as many games so we’re probably a little fresher.
On what he’s missed the most from a normal season: A lot of things. I’d probably just say going out to eat on the road with the guys. That was personally my favorite part. Going to all these nice restaurants, but it is what it is. Hopefully it will be back sooner rather than later.
On who had the worst golf swing: You know what. Sorry Brownie [Mike Brown - Hurricanes’ Manager of Communications]. Brownie’s swing wasn’t too professional. I think he missed the ball more than he hit it.
On getting more responsibilities in all situations: It’s always nice. I played some PK time, but I didn’t play too much unless there were some guys missing or in the penalty box. But it’s nice that Roddy puts me there a little bit more than last season. It feels nice.
On playing with Sebastian Aho: You all can see how unbelievable a player he is. I think we’re a little bit similar about how we make passes and stuff, so even though we hadn’t played that many games together, we built some chemistry because we kind of know what the other guy is going to do. Plus with Nino on the line it’s been pretty good and hopefully it will keep getting better and better.
On his production stepping up with key players out of the lineup: I always wanted to be a player like that, or I always had been when I was younger, so I’m happy I’m there now. Happy that I’ve got this kind of role on this team and it’s fun to do that. I love doing that and hopefully it’s going to keep going.
On playing with Nino Niederreiter: Nino is playing, I would say, so much better than last year. He’s been scoring some big goals for us and he’s always battling for those pucks. Especially on our line, it’s working because he’s usually the guy that battles for pucks in front of the net or along the boards. He’s been good at that and when the puck comes to him, he’s usually putting it into the net, so that’s been great.