The Carolina Hurricanes won a wild one Thursday night, picking up a 4-3 victory in Chicago thanks to a late game winner from Jesper Fast and two tallies from Warren Foegele on his birthday.
Fast, Foegele, Jordan Staal and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after the win, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On the Hurricanes finding a way to win: I thought we had another great first period. I thought we came ready to go. I thought that was good. And then really the game was in control until we made a little bit of a bad gaffe, and then all of the sudden they get one. Then all of the sudden everything kind of flipped and they got a little life. You could see that definitely put us on our heels a little bit. A couple of their power plays all of the sudden got them going. It was just some weird bounces for both teams for goals, just not a lot going on either way for both teams. I don’t think it was poor, it just wasn’t great. But I liked the fact that when we had things happen, we just keep playing. That’s good for our guys.
On Jesper Fast’s game winner: It was kind of heading that way for really both teams. You kind of felt like it was going to have to be a goal like that, a grinder goal. We weren’t getting a lot of traction, really off the rush or anything. Really, the winning goal starts with winning a faceoff in our end, and then [Vincent Trocheck] makes a nice little play to get a little rush opportunity, but you had to drive the net. Get in the greasy areas, which [Fast] did, and we got rewarded for it.
On Warren Foegele: When he’s on, he’s hard to handle. He’s hard to play against. That’s really it, in a nutshell. He’s got a lot of speed and can create chaos for us and on the other team. He puts a lot of stress on the other team with the puck pressure he can put on.
On winning a game like this: I think anytime you put a win in that you’re not playing your best is a big deal, because you need the points. We’re not going to remember this game once we get home and focus on the next one, because they come so fast. We’ll put points on the board, especially after a loss, to come back, ‘OK, we can reset here and get going.’ Does it help us later on when we get in these situations where we’re not playing good? I think we’ve already established that our guys bounce back pretty well, so it’s two points, we’ll move on.
On how this game compares to Tuesday’s, which he characterized as a gross and weird game: Pretty much identical. It was just weird. Not a lot happening. It’s weird. We’ve had two games with one power play. That hurts our offensive guys. You want to get in the flow. Sometimes the touches on the power play can kind of get you moving in the right direction. We had none of that in the last two games, which also hurts on the offensive side of things, obviously. But it was not what I expected out of these two games with the style of play.
On Petr Mrazek’s conditioning stint: I watched part of it today. But I haven’t talked to him or seen him yet. But I heard he had a good game, so that’s good.
On finding ways to win: You always want to bounce back right away. It was very important for us to get back and get two points. Happy with that.
On Vincent Trocheck: It’s very fun to play with him. He’s a good skater, good with the puck and he’s very important to this team. He takes important faceoffs too. He really is a big part of this team and he seems like he hasn’t missed a beat after being out for a while.
On his game-winning goal: We just tried to keep it simple off the faceoff. Luckily I got the puck along the board there. I heard Trocheck yelling to come with good speed so I just tried to give it to him and get to the net. Got a bit of a weird bounce and I almost missed the puck too, but I was lucky it went post and in. Very happy with that.
On any past history of success on his birthday: Pretty sure I signed my first NHL contract on my birthday at midnight. I guess that’s the one that sticks in my head the most, but it was nice to get a couple, but more than happy that we got the two points and now we get to head back home.
On his line: You got three big bodies that can skate and get to the net and I think that was one of our strengths. Each of us is willing to go to the net. We played a little bit together last year and had some success, but we were keeping it simple and when you keep it simple, you get those bounces and good things happen.
On Jesper Fast: It’s nice to see someone get rewarded for doing all the little things that make the team successful. He’s working hard out there and keeping plays in and giving space to the skill guys. Sometimes he doesn’t get recognized for that, but the team, we recognize that so it’s pretty awesome to see him get that one in and get rewarded.
On if he knew the first goal was his: No. I was just trying to get it to Nino there and in the huddle he was like, “It’s you! That’s you!” so I was like, “Yeah, I’ll take it.” Just trying to throw pucks at the net and it’s funny how this game works. Sometimes there’s goals that should go in and sometimes there’s some where you get the bounce. Just keep it simple and play hard and sometimes you’ll get those bounces.
On if the second one was his first from between the legs: In the NHL probably, but I don’t know.
On Warren Foegele: Big birthday boy today. Had a great game. When he’s on, he obviously has all the tools. He can skate well, he’s got good mitts and when he’s going that hard, he gets it done. He’s a fun player to play with on this team. He brings energy, he’s got legs and he had a big night for our team tonight.
On Jesper Fast: He’s a guy that fits our mold in the way we want to play. He’s just an absolute workhorse. Every shift you see him and he’s never going to quit on a puck. He’s always going to be working. It may not always work out for him, but you know he’s going to give it his all. It’s great to see him get a big goal for us. He’s played well for us down the stretch here and done a lot of things under the radar that we appreciate as players and I’m sure as coaches.
On the message throughout the game: They’re a team that is opportunistic. They find ways to put the puck into the net quick. I think we had a little lull in our second period. We wanted to make our third our best here and I think we played pretty solid and kind of stuck with it. Every time we had a bad bounce, we kept moving forward and tried to get that next one. Guys kind of stuck with it tonight. There were some weird bounces and stuff happening, but we were happy that we came out on top.