The Hurricanes celebrated the return of Teuvo Teravainen and the end of their six-game road trip in fine fashion Tuesday night, beating the Dallas Stars 5-1 thanks to three-point nights from Jordan Staal, Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov.
Staal, Aho, Svechnikov and Brind’Amour spoke to the media following the win, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On if Jordan Staal should be in the Selke conversation: There’s a captain obvious question. You set that one up. Yeah, obviously. I’ve been saying this for a long time. I think you do have to have the numbers, and I get it. Clearly he does. Hopefully he’ll get his due.
On Teuvo Teravainen’s return: He’d been hinting at it. I talked to him yesterday and he kind of said ‘Well, let’s see how I do in the morning.’ He skated by himself, really, and then gave us the thumbs up. Obviously that’s huge for us. I thought he was good. Obviously he had the one little gaffe there that I’m sure he’d like to have back. But other than that, I thought as long as he was out, he was good.
On Jordan Staal being motivated by Jamie Benn’s game last night: I didn’t see it that way. I know Jamie Benn had a good game, but it certainly wasn’t at the expense of Jordan. I think there were a lot of other reasons there. Jordo, he does what he does. He’s just consistent. Every shift, he’s there for us. I can’t say enough good things about him. If that’s how he felt, that’s great. I know if he gets a little angry, he’s a really special player. He was tonight.
On the third and fourth lines: Especially tonight, [Morgan Geekie] made a couple nice plays. [Max McCormick] getting a couple goals here in two straight games. You get contributions there, that’s huge. Obviously last night, we needed those goals. Tonight, the game was a little different story, but it kind of put the game away. That’s a big goal. If we want to be successful, we need everyone to contribute.
On how good it was to have Teuvo Teravainen backL It was. He’s been through a long year. It’s one thing to have a concussion, I can’t imagine one during the pandemic. I’ve been through them. It’s not fun. It’s not a fun injury. You just want to get back out there. It was awesome seeing him out there. He’s only going to get better. And he looked good already tonight. It was good. All the boys were happy to see him out there.
On the source of the energy early in the game: We had some more jump today. Obviously last game we looked a little sluggish, for whatever reason. Today was different than the other one. We got to the game that we wanted to play. Everybody was buying in. Everybody was moving the feet and making the right plays, the strong plays. It obviously turned into some good stuff in the first period.
On if there has been discussion about winning the division and possibly the Presidents’ Trophy: We’re trying to win every game. When you take that down to just the day-to-day, that’s what you’ve got to focus on. [Brind’Amour] said before the game that it’s gonna be important. Whatever these games mean at the end of the year, it’s gonna be important. We want to show up and play our style and stay sharp and do the things that we do to keep rolling into the playoffs.
On if clinching a playoff spot took some pressure off: I don’t know. I don’t think it really changed a ton. I think we just had some better jump and guys were sharper tonight than the previous night. And vice versa for their team. It was nice to see that ‘x’ beside our name in the standings, but I don’t think it changed a ton to the start of this game.
On having a good game as a captain after Dallas’ captain had such a good game Monday: Yeah, Jamie Benn is a great player. He got the best of me yesterday. I didn’t go home, obviously, feeling that great. I was happy to have a better effort tonight. That’s what we’ve got to do, just come back with a better effort if you don’t feel good with a game. I’m happy with the way it went tonight.
On Justin Williams tweeting out that Staal should win the Selke Trophy: [Williams] is biased. But obviously I’m happy with where I’m at and where this team is at. Contributing on both sides of the puck is what I’ve always wanted to do, and this year obviously the puck has been going in, which is nice. Getting on opportunity on the power play. It’s been a fun season. I’m just going to continue to finish off these eight games, and we’ll worry about that down the road.
On how Teuvo Teravainen did in his first game back: Good. He looked fast. I felt that he was right in the game from the first shift. Obviously he’s only going to get better from here. I think he’s showing that I can trust him out there in any situation, which helps a lot.
On the power play getting a couple goals and on the top units playing so well: It’s every night with the special teams, really. They are key in every game. Getting two goals and not letting any on the PK is going to give us a really good chance to win the hockey game. We try to gain some confidence from those goals. But then again, if we don’t score we want to learn and try new plays and just getting better all the time. It’s been a big role in the last two.
On Jordan Staal’s game, him setting the tone and if he should win the Selke Trophy: I’ve been saying it every time that you guys ask me about it. He’s literally doing that every night. Yeah, he scored today a couple goals, but I think his effort level and commitment and the way he grinds out there, it’s every night. He never changes. It’s just effort. Obviously it’s very nice to see him score, but there’s a lot of things. He’s our captain. He’s a successful player and has spent a long time in this league.
On seeing goals go in for the guys at the top of the lineup: It’s really good to see that, when other guys score, it helps. I think with our four lines, everyone can score. You can’t just beat one. Everyone can score. It’s good to have that, and we’ve got to move that to the next game.
On having Teuvo Teravainen back: It’s huge. All the guys are happy in the locker room to see him playing. I think he was really good today. Obviously it’s hard when you’re not playing for such a long time. It’s hard. But he was looking good. He’s going to be really good.
On getting 9 of 12 points on this road trip through some injuries: We just battle for each other. It’s huge. Like I said, all four lines can score right now. That’s huge. We’ve just got to keep going, keep battling. Hopefully we stay healthy.