In Jordan Staal’s 1,000th game, the Hurricanes came up with their worst performance of the season in an embarrassing 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Rod Brind’Amour, Nino Niederreiter and James Reimer spoke to the media after the loss, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On if there being a lot going on today had to do with the loss: No. Yes, there’s a lot going on, but so what. We talked about it. We emphasized all that, and this was not good, obviously. Normally when we lose, I can come in and say ‘Give the other team credit, we played hard.’ That to me is the one game, no disrespect to the other team, they played hard, but that’s the one game where I’m like, ‘That was gross.’ To a man, that’s the other part. We were not good. I coached a terrible game, because I didn’t get the lines going right, I couldn’t find the right matchups. It was just no good from start to finish and we got what we deserved in that one.
On the Haydn Fleury for Jani Hakanpaa: You never like seeing guys leave, especially since Haydn’s been here a long time. But it’s something we needed, a little something we don’t have, obviously. Tonight was evidence of that. A little more sandpaper to our game, especially on the back end. I think it’ll be a good opportunity for Haydn out there, and I think we got a little better on the back side, which is what we needed.
On the Red Wings exposing faults in the Canes: They worked and we didn’t. We wouldn’t have beat anybody tonight. They came and had a good game plan. We beat ourselves. If you don’t have 20 guys playing hard, you’re going to have a hard time winning, but you watched it, how many guys do you think had a good game? That’s a rough one for us. Chances are you’re not going to win that.
On the loss coming in Jordan Staal’s 1,000th game making it worse: No doubt. I’ve been here 2.5 years or whatever. That’s the first game I can say I feel this way about a game. Where we just didn’t bring it. On his night, that’s even more disappointing.
On James Reimer: I guess I should back track, because he played well. So when I say 20 guys, I guess I should say 19. He at least gave us a chance to hang in there.
On the trade deadline and Jordan Staal ceremony impacting the way Carolina started: No, absolutely not. There’s definitely no excuse. It was the trade deadline and it was obviously a big night for [Staal]. At the end of the day, the way we came out and played tonight’s game was definitely no good.
On why Detroit has caused so many problems for the Hurricanes this year: They work hard. We think we can just make some easy plays. They get it done. That’s the storyline, basically. I mean, we tried to be too cute. We’re trying to be too fancy in our blue lines or their blue lines, and that backfires quickly. They are a hardworking team, and they definitely outworked us.
On this loss hurting more because it came in Staal’s 1,000th game and they couldn’t get a win for him: I think that’s what hurts the most. It was a big night for Jordan. He’s such a great leader. It’s a big accomplishment he had for tonight with his 1,000th game. We showed up like that. It’s definitely not acceptable. We wish we could have given him a better night, but that is how it is. We’ve got to bounce back.
On why Detroit has been a challenge this year: I think it’s kind of two parts. They come out and they work hard, and they played well. Kudos to them. They play hard. They pressure us. They play an honest hockey game. Unfortunately for us, I think sometimes we just don’t bring our A-game when we play them. I think we don’t play like we’re capable of playing. When you put those two things together and the results speak for themselves.
On how disappointing it was to have this performance in Staal’s 1,000th game: Honestly, that’s probably the worst thing. You play a lot of hockey games. Obviously he’s played 1,000, too. You’re gonna win some, and you’re gonna lose some. But on special nights like this, you want to play hard and you obviously want to win. You want it to be a great night for him.
Obviously 10 years from now he’s probably not going to remember what the score was in his 1,000th game, but for the night itself tonight you want him to have a good taste in his mouth. Obviously this doesn’t affect his career in any way. He’s had a storied career so far. It’s just one of those things that as a teammate, you want to do your part. You want to back him up, support him and give him a good night. It’s a punch in the gut when it doesn’t work out like that.
On his approach to the three-goalie rotation and getting less frequent starts: Obviously it’s the situation we find ourselves in. I think as far as handling it, I think it’s just you really - I mean not that you never prioritize practice - but I think you really have to take advantage of practice and try to get in some game-like situations as much as you can and try to treat it like a game, so that when it comes to gametime and you do get the tap on the shoulder you’re as prepared as you can be. I think that’s how I’m handling it. I think that’s probably how all the guys are handling it. We kind of take it a day at a time and see who is up next.