The Hurricanes will look to extend their win streak to a season-high six games in tonight’s matchup with the Nashville Predators, and Dougie Hamilton will look to extend his assist streak to six games as well.
Hamilton, Brock McGinn and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after Tuesday’s morning skate, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On Alex Nedeljkovic: He’s a good goalie, and he’s competitive. He’s worked really hard. Usually hard work pays off at some point, and I think he’s definitely put in his time over these last few years, especially.
On the shutdown last year: It definitely seems longer than a year ago. It’s hard to believe that so much has happened in a year. Forget about hockey, just in general. That seems like years and years ago. It just felt a little surreal. I remember we were in New Jersey and the basketball got canceled that night, and then it was just kind of like what was going on? Then the dominos started falling everywhere. We were kind of, not in shock, but it’s like no one knew what was coming next. It’s definitely an interesting time to look back on.
On if there’s anything that’s changed for good by COVID: I’m sure everybody’s life’s changed forever. I don’t know if it’s how we approach how we get together in meetings. Definitely for the better, how you look at cleanliness and how you take care of the locker rooms. And we were already doing a pretty good job, but just, I think in general, just everybody looks at it a little differently now. So hopefully that’ll be the good that comes out of this.
On Justin Williams: I see him all the time. Our kids are on the same hockey team. We definitely see each other, not here, because he’s not in the protocol and he can’t be around, but I definitely see him out. We talk about the team all the time. He’s always got opinions. He’s always had them as a player, he has them as an advisor watching the games. It’s good to have that around, especially a guy that we have a good relationship, and he knows the game. He knows the players still that are playing. Forget our guys, but other teams and over guys. It’s just good to have those guys around.
On if Williams gives him advice: I’m always taking advice. But that doesn’t mean I always take it. I listen. Everybody has their opinion on how to do things, and we hear it all the time. It’s just how much of it you use. That’s the big question.
On Jake Gardiner: He’s out for tonight. He didn’t feel good again this morning. He’s got a little with his back going right now. It’s weird. It was all good the other day and just didn’t feel right. So you always err on caution with everybody so he’ll be out tonight.
On adjusting on the power play against the same teams: You’ve got to adjust to what they’re doing. I think they’re adjusting to us, so we have to adjust to that. So they’re watching video, we’re watching video. We’re trying to find openings every game, even after every power play, we’re trying to find different plays. So we’re always talking to each other to see what’s open and just trying to be ready right away and adjust as the game goes on.
On the Predators: I think there’s no bad teams. Every team in our division’s good. It’s a challenge every game. So they’ve got a lot of talented players up and down their lineups, hard workers, fast and skilled. So we have to be ready. It doesn’t really matter looking back at the past, I just think every day is a new day and we’ve got to be ready for tonight.
On the team’s play since the three-game skid: I think just our mentality. I think we have to go out there and make sure we’re playing the right way and not getting away from our game. I think in those games we kind of got away from it and then were chasing the game, and then let some things get out of hand. So after that little skid, I think we just tried to reset our focus and get back to playing our game.
On playing the same teams over and over again and what that does on special teams: I think it goes both ways. I think they know our tendencies and we know theirs. So I think it’s just about going out there and executing. So you definitely learn a lot playing the same team a lot of teams. But it’s kind of just like a mini playoffs where you go out there and you’re adapting throughout every time you play them. I think you definitely take some things away from each game and you’ve just got to use them to your advantage.
On the penalty kill being aggressive: I think we have an attack mentality. I think when it’s in the zone, we don’t want to give them the time to make plays, and so I think if we stay aggressive with everybody jumping on bobbled pucks or rimmed pucks, I think that’s something that really helps out our penalty kill and doesn’t kill them the time to go out there and make the plays that they want to. And then when we are aggressive, we’ve just got to make sure to get it down.
On the Predators: I think they’re going to come out and work. I think we know that every night, every team we play against, they’re going to come out and work. They want to win as well, so I think we just have to match their intensity and go out there and play our style of game. I think when we have all four lines going, we’re a scary team.