The Hurricanes will continue their five-game homestand with a visit from the Columbus Blue Jackets as they look to maintain or extend their lead on the Florida teams for first place in the Central Division.
Rod Brind’Amour, Warren Foegele and Sebastian Aho spoke to the media following the team’s morning skate, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On updates on injured players such as Jesper Fast, Brock McGinn and Petr Mrazek: No. Hopefully they’re getting closer, but they’re not playing tonight.
On Cedric Paquette: He’s doubtful for tonight. So we’ll see right at the game time, but I would say it’s very, very improbable.
On if Teuvo Teravainen’s role will change: I don’t think so. His minutes are getting up there. Maybe on the penalty kill, we didn’t really that have many to kill the other night, he’ll probably get a little bit more there. But he’s on the power play and regular shift, so maybe you’ll see more on the penalty kill.
On intensity level: It’s a worry, for sure. Like I said, we know we’re getting close to the finish line, but we’re not there yet as far as the regular season. You’ve just got to guard against that mentality, because the other team’s going to play hard. I know how they always play. They’ve got injuries, we’ve got injuries, that checks that box off. But the intensity is still going to be there, I think. We have to certainly bring that if we want to have a good night.
On if possibly winning the division is something players think about it: I think the outer people, coaches, fans and media give it way more than the players do. I think the players just want to go out and play well. And that’s really what we want. If that means we can get that carrot that you’re talking about, that’s great. But it can’t be at the cost of not playing well or taking bad habits. Whatever the outcomes are now, it’s just more important that we’re playing the right way. And that’s really the focus.
On if Rod Brind’Amour should be up for coach of the year: I don’t even think it’s just this year. The last three years, he’s been unbelievable. You can see how every single guy on this time rallies behind Rod, and it’s an absolute pleasure to play for him. We all respect him so much. Yeah, he should be up for the award. I think I saw the last three years, he’s second in wins. I could be wrong on that, but I think that’s a pretty good job, and he definitely should be considered for that.
On the focus going into the playoffs: I think you just stay with the right habits. I know we’re playing a team tonight that is not in the playoffs, but we have to treat it like they are and just have good habits, because going into the playoffs, creating those mistakes that aren’t good habits lead to goals against. You’ve got to play the same way, and we’ve got to ready for the playoffs by doing that.
On what he remembers about this time last year: It’s pretty wild what’s gone on in the past year. I’m pretty sure last year I was back in Toronto doing nothing, maybe stickhandling outside and trying to do some work, but for the most part, it was a lot of uncertainty and just wondering when you’re going to come back. So I’m really happy that we’re playing right now, and we’re very fortunate.
On what Morgan Geekie meant when he said ‘you can’t out pizza the hut:’ I’m not too sure. He’s a pretty witty guy. When I saw that, I thought that was pretty funny and clever, but I don’t know the full meaning to it. You might have to ask him on that.
On if Rod Brind’Amour should be up for the Jack Adams: Oh yeah, for sure. You ask every player on our team and any person in our organization, they could say that. His impact for this organization for the team, for the individuals, it’s huge the work he puts in. The leadership, the whole culture is pretty much him. It’s been awesome having him as a coach for the past three years.
On what he likes most about Brind’Amour: There’s plenty of things I like about his style of coaching. He’s honest. He can be tough but he’s fair. You know he can expect the players to work for him because he does that for the players. He puts the most work in when he coaches. He’s a great leader for us.
On if he remembers Brind’Amour as a player: I remember. Obviously not too much. As a kid, you used to play NHL on the PlayStation and stuff like that. You picked Carolina and he was there. So I was aware of who he was, but not too much.
On his six-game point streak at a key time of the year: To be honest, you try to score points and goals every game, but obviously it is an important time of the year. I try to build my confidence as a team, as a line, as a power-play unit, all that stuff, you try to do it right, so you build it for the playoffs and postseason. It’s been good lately.