Head coach Rod Brind’Amour spoke with the media before the game on a few player updates and overall team assessments.
Here’s what he had to say:
On if he was happy with how his team played against a heavy checking team like Dallas: For sure. That was two teams doing a lot of similar things. I thought we were good in that game, but there were a couple of little things that didn’t go our way, but overall I was pretty happy certainly with the effort. We weren’t backing down from the physical play and that’s the recipe for success. Very simple game. Straight forward with lots of pucks to the net. We know what they’re doing and they know what we’re doing. I’m sure you’ll see the same tonight.
On if Petr Mrazek will play tonight: It’s a good question. He’s on the ice right now, so we’ll see. I know he’s getting close, so I’ll say there’s a possibility. Probably in this next week for sure.
On if he feels that whoever can establish the forecheck better tonight will come out ahead: Both teams gap up well. There’s no room so you’ve got to put it behind them and forecheck. Generally that’s how you’d say it works. Last night, I thought we had some pretty good forecheck and it just didn’t work out for us. We had a lot of good zone time but we didn’t cash in. But generally, if both teams are playing their game, you’d probably see a lot of that style of play.
On what really drops off when there isn’t enough consistent time for practice: Sharpness. Sometimes when you want to make little adjustments that you could work on in practice before, that kind of goes out the door. Your practices now are in the video sessions. Those are no good though in my opinion because they’re virtual and you don’t really know if guys are understanding what you’re saying. You don’t really have eye contact. Just a lot of little things that practice can help. You need more practice so you can have that time together and that’s where I think there have been some hiccups. Everyone’s doing the same thing though so there’s no advantage either way, but that’s definitely where it’s missed. Making those little adjustments and knowing the guys get it and have an understanding because they’ve had practice, they’ve had reps.
On what he is looking for from Mrazek to know he’s ready: I want him to make sure that he feels 100% ready to play an NHL game. That’s why he’s practicing with us and had that game. Everything has been heading in the right direction. That’s why I’m saying I’m real hopeful or it’s probable that he’ll be in here in the next few games. Maybe tonight, who knows. We’ll see.
On how much the team misses Teuvo Teravainen and Jake Gardiner outside of their offensive production: We miss them both. Turbo, obviously, it’s his all around game. He’s one of the more higher skilled players in the league and he doesn’t get enough credit for his defensive abilities. That’s been a huge loss for us all year. He’s missed more games than he’s played so that’s tough. When Jake Gardiner’s on his game, that’s a good puck moving defenseman. Jake Bean’s stepped in and done well there in that role, but obviously those are two guys we’d love to have back.
On how he handles communicating with Andrei Svechnikov on his penalty that led to the eventual tying goal: We handle it right away. I don’t need to wait till after the game. Everybody knows that was not a good penalty. Generally bad penalties lead to goals. Just for whatever reason that’s how it works out. Frustrating. And he was frustrated too. He got tripped in the third, behind the net, with the puck and in the o-zone and didn’t get a call. Young kid. It’s just part of it. You don’t always get the calls, but that doesn’t mean that your penalty wasn’t a penalty. That’s just the way it works right now. He had a good third period. I thought he was more engaged. We need a little more of that out of him but I’m not too concerned.