The Hurricanes will look to continue their hot streak with the second half of their final back-to-back of the season Tuesday night. After a 5-2 win Monday, they’ll look to do it again against the Chicago Blackhawks, extend their winning streak to five games and their point streak to 12 games.
Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media Tuesday morning, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On the starting goalie: [Petr Mrazek]’s going to get the start tonight.
On Mrazek’s injury: I don’t think he had a really serious injury. So it’s just a matter of getting enough practice time, which we don’t do, to feel good. He had a good couple days, and we’ve got to get him up to speed. We’re running out of runway here, so he needs to get some game action.
On the Canes having three good goalies: I think it’s the biggest improvement for me, this year, is just the steadiness, and not just steadiness, the excellence, of the goaltending. It’s been very noticeable in almost every game that we’ve played. I think that’s really pushed us to the position we’re in.
On Brady Skjei: He’ll be a game-time [decision.] He’s a little banged up but nothing serious. We won’t know until after warmup with him.
On comparisons of this team to the 2006 team: Other than maybe the confidence. This group’s pretty confident. I think that group was pretty confident. No matter the game was, how it was played, down, up, I felt like we always felt like we could win. I think this group does. Different style, systems are different. But I think there’s more talent in this group overall. They’re certainly better in different areas, but that swagger, that confidence that you have in your abilities is definitely very similar.
On balancing staying healthy with playing well down the stretch: That’s the trick right now. There’s only one way to play. You can’t half it. You can’t say ‘Oh, I’m going to rest.’ If you’re in the game, you’ve got to play it the right way. Can you limit minutes and kind of guard that way? Yeah. It’s kind of tricky. We want to just play good every night so that we’re not picking up bad habits in anything. Everything we’re doing, we’re trying to get better. The luxury we have is we know we’re playing next week, regardless of the outcome. But we don’t want to be picking up bad habits along the way. So we’re trying to win every game, every shift. That’s the only way to do it.
On keeping the team’s momentum with the Florida teams right behind them: Florida’s putting the pressure on us, Tampa’s putting the pressure on us. They’re all winning their games, which I think has actually helped us. We have to stay sharp. There’s no way around it. So I just feel like there’s only one way to do it and it’s doing right. If guys are dinged up and can’t play or are iffy, we’re not going to put them in the lineup. That’s what we’ve afforded. But everyone that plays or is dressed for the game, we’ve got to do it the right way.
On his contract situation and the Seattle rumors: I’ve had great conversations with Don and Tom. I think that obviously everybody knows I’m a Hurricane. That’s the priority. I’m confident that we’ll resolve it all. I don’t really think it’s that much of a priority right now. We’re focusing on trying to win the games and have the best season. I think we’ll manage to get everything sorted out. That’s just how I’ll leave it right now.