Despite two goals from Dougie Hamilton and a 3-1 third period lead Saturday night, the Hurricanes fell 4-3 in overtime to the Florida Panthers and missed on their first chance to clinch a playoff berth.
Hamilton, Andrei Svechnikov and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media following the loss, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On the Canes being shorthanded showing in this game: It showed pretty much the whole game. When you have six guys out, this is what you’re going to get. Either way, we had the game at 3-1. We were in a great spot, and that next shift can’t be that. Blowing a D-Zone coverage can’t happen. That’s on an easy one that we’ve shown a million times and talked about it. So that’s the frustrating part. And we give up a shorty after too, but that goal got the momentum going for them and then we didn’t really recover.
On if giving up a shorthanded goal is more energizing for the team that gets one or more deflating for the team that gives it up: I think it’s both. You’re looking to put the game away on the power play and you give it up, that’s just tough. It’s a tough pill to swallow. That’s exactly what happened to them. We get the shorties and it takes the game away. But we get a point out of this, so coming in here we got three out of four short staffed and everything else, I think that’s a win for us in a lot of ways.
On what changed in the third period: We had it 3-1 and the game’s over, should be over. But that next shift, we gave it right back on a real simple D-Zone coverage, we just took a breath. Now the momentum goes and obviously the power play, you can’t give up a shorty in that situation, that’s death. With 13 minutes left to go in the game, all of the sudden it’s 3-3. That shouldn’t happen. Neither one of those should have happened.
On if going 6-0-2 against Florida bodes well going forward: If you would have said at the start of the year that we would have done this, I would have said that’s probably pretty good. Especially coming in here with the injuries we have, we had great efforts from our top guys. They gave us everything they had. They were better than us tonight for sure, but somehow we managed to get a point out of it, and that says a lot about this group. That’s what I think.
On Jesper Fast: He didn’t feel right. We’re in that spot where if guys don’t feel right, they’re not going to play. We don’t have to put them in. I would have liked to have had him, obviously. He probably would have made a difference there. But guys don’t have to play right now with injuries. We don’t need to do that.
On what changed in the third period: I don’t know really. We weren’t really ready in the third, but we should have been. Especially on a penalty kill and they score. It kind of cost us and we have to be more careful with that. Nothing else to say.
On if this feels almost like a destined playoff matchup: Of course. No question. It’s hard when you play a team so many times. Every player, you know what they’re doing and they know what we’re doing. Especially in a situation like a penalty kill or power play. It’s so hard because they already know what you’re going to do. We tried to make it something new, but it’s hard. We just need to play our game and be ready for every battle and every shift.
On if the energy level tapered off in the third period: I wouldn’t say that. Our energy was there, it was just they scored on their penalty kill and it cost us. We’ve got to be careful with that.
On what changed in the third period: Most games against them have been like that honestly. I feel like most every game has been tight. We’ve had leads and they’re always pushing, pushing, pushing in the thirds. I don’t know if we got too many chances there in the third at all. We definitely have to be better at playing with the lead. Having that killer instinct. Roddy told us we needed that. Wasn’t a very good third. I think we played solid and then gave up the shorthanded goal. It was tough for us. They turned it on and we didn’t. That was the result.
On gaining confidence as the goals start to come: It’s obviously nice when it goes in. It’s like I always talked about before, it’s just about getting opportunities for me. Getting in spots to shoot. Everything works out how it’s going to work out. Sometimes you hit the post, sometimes you hit the crossbar, sometimes you make a great shot and the goalie saves it and sometimes you don’t make a great shot and it goes in. It’s just about the process of getting shots. I don’t think too much about if it actually goes in or not. I think it’s more about the process for me.
On what is the toughest aspect of the Panthers to deal with: Every game’s been close. They’ve got a different system than other teams. They play very fast and kind of run and gun. We know that and we’ve beaten them... I don’t even know how many times this year. We just needed to do a better job of closing it out. They turned it on at the end. Obviously desperate. When you’re down a couple of goals, that’s how you have to play. I think we’d try to do the same thing and turn it on too. It’s just that we sat back. We have to go at them and go at their end.
On if he anticipates seeing this Panthers team again before too long: I think probably. There’s still five or six teams right now that we’re probably going to see. That’s our division. We know we’re going to have to win our division to move on so we’ll get there when we get there.