The Hurricanes put forth a solid effort in game one of their second round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but came up short in a 2-1 loss despite Jake Bean tying the game early in the third period with his first career playoff goal.
Bean, Jordan Martinook and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after the loss, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On if the Canes have another level: I think we were fine. We worked hard. We just made some mental errors. Our execution can be better on some things. It was a pretty good game for us. That’s a tough way to end it, but I thought we were OK.
On Andrei Vasilevskiy: He’s the best in the league, the best in the world. Let’s put it that way. We know that. We knew that coming in. It’s not a surprise. He’s been doing that for quite a while. We’ve just got to make it harder. We’ve got to figure out ways to make it a little bit harder on him. He’s going to make a lot of great saves. Like I said, it’s not a surprise. It’s pretty much exactly what we thought was going to happen as far as his performance. Now we’ve just got to keep trying.
On Alex Nedeljkovic giving up a bad goal and how the team handles that: It’s tough, tough for everyone. It’s no use hiding it, it was a bad goal. He’s going to admit it. OK, it happens. He made a lot of good saves tonight too. So that’s part of it. We’ll bounce back and he’ll bounce back. We’ve got to score more than one to win anyway. That’s the way I look at it. We had our chances. We’ve got to make it tougher. We’ve got to get more than one.
On if he expects the team to bounce back from this loss: Nothing’s come easy for this group, ever. Nothing’s ever handed to them. Everything they’ve gotten, they’ve earned. There’s never been an easy game. It seems like there’s been anything that’s gone easily. Obviously we’re in the playoffs. We’re going to have to go earn every inch of ice that we get, every goal. But this group’s always bounced back. So I don’t expect anything different.
On Nino Niederreiter: He’s very, very doubtful for returning this series.
On coming from behind: I don’t think in any of the games that we played poorly. A lot of those games, when we got down, it was our best period. That’s kind of the way it’s worked out. We actually had a really good first period, but we weren’t able to score. Obviously we’d love to get the first one, but they’re trying to do it too.
On Jake Bean and if his goal is jumping off point: I hope so. We need him to be good. We need him to step up and take another step. Hopefully it propels him to the player that we think he can be.
On if Niederreiter’s injury happened in practice: It was in practice.
On Niederretier’s absence: He’s a goal scorer and we just talked about that we need goals. You don’t replace that. He’s on the power play too. That’s an offensive weapon that goes out the window. But that’s part of the playoffs. Next guy up and we’ve got to fill the shoes.
On Andrei Vasilevskiy: He’s the best goalie in the league, so we’ve got to make it hard on him and get in front of him. You look at the goal we score, it’s a good net front. We had some good looks, but I think we can get there a little more, just try and get in his eyes. He’s the best goalie in the world, so we’re going to have to do some special things to get pucks by him. You’ve got to tip your cap, he’s very good. We’ll come again and try and throw everything we’ve got at him, try and get more bodies in front. It’s all we can do.
On the Canes’ resiliency: I don’t think we had a let off after they scored. Obviously we don’t want them to score, but I felt like we came back and kept kind of coming at them. Obviously plays get magnified so much in the playoffs, and the further you go, the more and more each play matters. I think we might have had a couple tonight that we’re trying to do the right thing but it might not go. We need it to go 5 feet more or 10 feet more. It’s little fixes. Everybody’s trying their hardest out there, everybody’s putting 100% effort out, it’s just little things that are easy fixes and I think we’ll be looking at them tomorrow and we’ll be able to fix them.
On if the team can feel good going into Tuesday: I felt like we played our game for the most part, but we can crank it up even more. We had stretches where it looked how it needs to look, but I think there can be more stretches like that, and it’s just every guy giving 1% or 2% more and then we can really control. I felt like we had a lot of shifts where we were doing what we need to do, but we just need to keep building on those, get more of the grind shifts and just do what we do.
On playing with Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas: It’s easy to play with two elite players. I’m just trying to sometimes stay out of their way but sometimes create space and get in front of the net. We had a few shifts there where we were doing our thing. We just need more of that. The second period was kind of tough because there were penalties and we kind of got out of sync a little bit, but we got back on it in the third and had some good shifts. But obviously we need to keep building on that. We talk about those being good shifts but that’s our style. It’s trying to wear them down and obviously those guys were skating well tonight and I was just trying to do my thing.
On scoring his first playoff goal: It’s nice to see that go in. We had a nice atmosphere tonight and hopefully next game we can get a few more of those for the fans.
On feeling like they’re right there with Tampa Bay: They’re a good team. Like you guys know, we’re a good team too. They might have managed it a bit better than us tonight in some scenarios and we might have been better than them in some other scenarios. I think we have another level and I think all the guys in the room agree with that. We knew this wasn’t going to come out without some kind of adversity.
On regrouping for Game 2: I don’t think we have to change anything. Rod had us playing playoff-like hockey all year and I think that’s an advantage come playoff time. We can just do our thing and do the exact same thing we always do and that’s going to help us get prepared for the next one.
On this series being a test for the team’s resiliency: Absolutely. That’s kind of our mantra here. There’s a lot of good teams that we’re going to have to go through and play and we just need to take it one day at a time. When adversity strikes, we’re going to try and be resilient.
On not being scored on first: It can be easier to play from in front. I don’t know if there’s anything that we can think about differently. Hockey’s a funny game. Little bounces go each way. You can be in the right position and do everything right and just sometimes it goes the wrong way. I don’t think we have to change anything. We’re just going to have to keep the plan the same way we are and hopefully the bounces go our way early.