The Hurricanes fell 5-0 to the Nashville Predators in the their final game of the regular season Monday night, a game with little to no significance ahead of the playoffs.
Rod Brind’Amour, Max McCormick and Joey Keane, who made his NHL debut, spoke to the media after the game. Here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On what he takes away from the game: Not much, we’re going to flush it. I think we played 55 games and we were in every one. Some of the losses, we were right in every one of those. This is the one game the whole year we weren’t in. So it’s kind of flushed for me, to be honest with you. Obviously we’re going to look at it and pick some things system wise, but overall it’s just let’s move on.
On what the team needs to work on in practice: It’s going to be everything. We’ve got to get the tempo up again. We haven’t practiced in a month, had a real practice where I could push the guys and get going, get our pace back. You could see it tonight. To me, the last two weeks, you could see it. Once we clinched, I could just see that we got off the gas a little, so we need to get that back. I don’t know when we’ll start, but we’re going to have some time to do that hopefully and get back to playing the way we’ve got to play.
On Jordan Martinook: Well he had to get in, right? That was the thing. I don’t know how much of the rust factor, he’s still probably going to be a little rusty, but just the fact that he got one game under his belt will be probably good for him and his confidence. I think it was important for him to get in the game.
On the chippiness of a series like this: That’s playoff hockey. It’s going to be rough and physical. You’ve got to answer the bell. I expected it, the other night, for sure. They were fighting to get in. And then tonight with nothing really on the line, I didn’t think it was all that chippy. I think it got a little bit here and there, but playoff hockey’s physical and tough, and there’s no doubt it ramps up.
On the performance of guys like Max McCormick who are fighting for spots: Him, Joey Keane comes in and did the same thing for me. It’s just maximum effort, giving it everything they can. They’re trying to say ‘Hey, I want to stick here, I’ve got to do what I have to do, I’ll do whatever it takes’ type thing. That’s the kind of attitude you need to have, not just from guys that are maybe in or out, you need it from everybody.
On if there are any decisions to be made from these games: Maybe. We had some question marks if we get healthy. Right now, it’s hard to say. If everyone’s good to go whenever we start there will definitely be some tough decisions.
On the decision in net of Alex Nedeljkovic or Petr Mrazek: I wouldn’t say it’s been answered. I think we needed to get [Mrazek] the games to kind of get a good evaluation on it, and then we’ll hopefully have some good practices and make a decision on everybody, goaltending included. The great thing is I feel good about wherever we go, whatever direction there. I thought with Petr, the goals, we left him out to dry a little on those. It wasn’t an abundance of work tonight for him, but when we did, they were a little bit too grade-A.
On his first NHL game: It was a pretty surreal experience. From the first puck drop I was not really thinking, just in the moment. It was great. It obviously was not the result we wanted, but we’re moving on.
On his family being at the game, on if he got to see them before and on if he’s excited to celebrate with them now: I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them now. No, I did not get to see them before the game, but yeah it will be good to see them after.
On if the NHL game was what he expected it would be: I didn’t know what to think. I knew it was just going to be another hockey game, so that’s what I focused on. It was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
On if there’s anything that can be taken from a game like this that doesn’t really matter: Yeah, exactly. We’re putting that game behind us. We’re moving forward and looking ahead to game one. So, we’re just gonna head back home, regroup and get ready for playoffs.
On the chippiness between the two teams ahead of a first-round series in the playoffs between them: We know we’re playing them first round. Both teams know that. I think they’re just trying to send a little bit of a message there. I think it’s just a little bit of a foreshadow of the battle that’s ahead for game one coming up.
On if Nashville sent a message or just attempted to send one: I don’t really think too much of it. Like I said, we’re putting that game behind us. That’s not our game, not how we play. So, we’re just looking forward to game one.