The Hurricanes overcame a poor start against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night at PNC Arena, scoring four unanswered in a 5-2 thanks to goals from Jesper Fast, Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov, Martin Necas and Nino Niederreiter. The team also played in front of fans at 15% capacity (2,924) for the first time in over a year.
Staal, Fast, Svechnikov and Rod Brind’Amour, who won his 100th career game as a head coach, spoke to the media after the win, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On what he knows now after his 100th win that he didn’t know after his first: Too much. I did think it was going to be this stressful, because I had been an assistant coach for a long time. But man, it’s not good for you, I don’t think. This coaching thing. It can’t be healthy.
On the changes going into the third: We just decided we had to get to our game. I think we were just fighting it the whole night, I think, trying to find an easier way. We were fortunate to be tied going into the third and then the guys just started playing. You could see it, here’s our game. Obviously we had a couple big performances. [Svechnikov], [Staal] and [Fast], that line was there early. Then you can kind of cruise, but I definitely think we were fortunate to be tied going into the third.
On playing in front of fans giving the players a boost: It’s a good question for them. It was definitely noticeable that there were some people. They were certainly cheering and doing their best. So it was nice to see. And then at the end, when we started getting going, there was some emotion in the building. So we gave them something to cheer about, which was nice.
On if he knew it was his 100th win: I had no idea. The guys gave me the puck after, and I was like, ‘What for?’ And then they kind of told me. So I had no idea, but that was nice of them.
On Andrei Svechnikov: He did what he had to do tonight. He gets going in the first, and then a really good third period. He was really dominant, in spurts during the whole first and second too. So he was good.
On Jordan Staal and Andrei Svechinkov playing together: I just think when you have two big guys like that that know how to play, that can skate, I think it’d be tough to defend. I think about it from the other perspective, if I had to coach against that or play against that, that would just be tough. So there’s no really good matchup for any team when you have those two guys going. I think you’ve seen that here, at least in spurts for sure, this year.
On what 100 wins means to him: I don’t know. I just don’t really feel like it’s that big a deal, and it really isn’t, I guess. It’s 100. What’s the top guy got, like a couple thousand? It’s really peanuts in the grand scheme of things. But it’s nice, and it was nice of the guys to recognize it.
On playing against his brother: I was a little nervous my first couple shifts. I started thinking, ‘How is he?’ and started thinking about me too, started thinking about different things. But after a couple shifts, I started thinking about my game, and started focusing on that. It was good after that.
On playing in front of fans: It was actually huge. You can hear them and feel them. When you’re playing without fans, it’s actually kind of boring. Once we saw them today, you kind of got that energy and every shift you want to go.
On what he’s learned from Rod Brind’Amour: I’ve learned a lot from him. I came here when I was 18 and he helped me with lots of things. I watched lots of videos with him and with [Jeff Daniels] as well. But mostly I learned that he always tells us before the game that it’s all about preparing for the games. I think that I learned that a lot, because you’ve got to prepare yourself before the game. If you’re not preparing for the game, then it’s kind of hard to get to the game.
On scoring against a goalie for the first time in awhile: It was a little bit frustrating, but I really don’t think about that and just try to put some pucks on the net and maybe something will go in. But on that shot, I saw there was a little hole. Detroit blocked it, but I saw that little hole and I tried to put it in there.
On how they rebounded in the third period after a rough start: Yeah, the first two periods we felt like the energy was low for us. They had the momentum, we didn’t get pucks deep. They played much better than we did. In the third period, we decided we wanted to take charge right from the drop of the puck. We showed that.
On participating in his first Storm Surge: It was fun. I’ve only watched it before, so I enjoyed being part of it.
On a few guys breaking goal droughts: We’re a deep team. We have a lot of guys who can score goals, and I think we’ve shown that this season. Today, we didn’t play our best, but good teams find ways to win and that’s what we did.
On his chemistry with Andrei Svechnikov and if he’s been a lucky charm for him: He can make anyone a lucky charm. He’s a player that creates a lot of energy and a lot of offense. When he’s playing like that, he’s hard to stop. He’s one of our workhorses and tonight was no different.
On what he thinks it was like for Andrei to play his brother: I think he was excited, and you can tell in his game, as well. He wanted to win. He’s a guy who won’t take no for an answer and will do whatever he can to help you win games. To beat your brother, as well, I’m sure it was icing on the cake for him.
On the return of fans to PNC Arena: Dougie, after the game, said that it felt like a playoff game compared to what we’ve been playing with before. It was great, they were loud, and it definitely added some new life into the building that the boys were really excited about. Glad to see some fans and get back to a little bit of normalcy. Hopefully, numbers (of fans in attendance) keep growing and everyone stays safe.
On if they made it a point to have a strong third period: Yeah I think we were struggling to get to our game. They did a good job making it difficult for us to get through the neutral zone and forecheck. You could tell in that third period we just started chipping pucks in. When we get on the forecheck with our speed, we start creating turnovers quickly. That’s when we start making plays quick and creating offense and creating goals. We just did a better job of that in the third.
On Jesper Fast: What you see is what you get. He’s another workhorse with some sneaky good talent. He makes plays and creates offense through his work ethic. He’s a very simple but very talented player to play with. He could go on anyone’s line and be effective. He’s been a great addition to our team and he’s been a really fun guy to play with.