The Carolina Hurricanes returned home Friday night in overwhelming fashion, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 in a game where Carolina outshot Columbus 50-19.
Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck did the scoring for the Canes, as goaltender Frederik Andersen picked up his third shutout win of the season.
Following their fourth straight win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Niederreiter, Staal and Andersen spoke with members of the media.
Here is what they had to say:
On if this one checked all the boxes: Yeah. That’s pretty obvious in our game. You hit a team that just had a very emotional win. It’s very similar to what we had last week where we had a big win and then travel and play the next day and you’re just flat. You could just see it. We knew that they were flat, and we took advantage of it. You have to do that. We played a solid game, right the whole game.
On if there’s been any change in Staal’s game of late: No. Do you? It’s just getting a bounce now here or there. It’s been a good line. They’ve played well for a while now. It’s nice to see him get rewarded because he does do it right.
On sticking with things and on just keeping throwing pucks on net: It’s not just throwing pucks on net. There’s a process to it. We were doing a lot of good things. We were getting a lot of close-in seconds. We had a lot of good action at the net. Our power play was really good. We snapped it around. We did everything we wanted to do, it just didn’t go in. Yeah, you’re right. You always watch about getting frustrated in those kinds of games because it’s 0-0 after the first period. They’re still in the game. You have to keep doing what we were doing. That’s what I liked about the game. We didn’t really change anything. We just kept sticking with it, and it paid off.
On if there’s an elevated level of confidence in the penalty kill right now: No. It’s basically the same group for the last few years almost. We have a lot of confidence in those guys when they go out there and kill a penalty, which they did another good job tonight. You don’t want to give a team life. When you kill a penalty, you can suck the life out of the other team. That’s a big part of the game. And our power play was good. Even though we weren’t scoring in the first period where we had a couple, they were really good.
On the defensive replacements: I thought [Jalen Chatfield], who is obviously the guy in, did a great job. The test is going to be over time now. It’s not a one-game thing. We’re going to miss Tony [DeAngelo] for a long time. We’ll see here how it goes. We liked [Chatfield] when he was up early. He did a great job. He came back in and did the exact same thing.
On Andersen’s consistency and focus in a game where he wasn’t getting many looks: He had the kind of weird one there were the guy was all alone, and he was ready for it. It was a good game for him because sometimes those are the toughest games where you don’t get a lot of action and then boom, there’s a grade-A. He looked like he was right on it. Good for him that he didn’t have a ton of work, but when he did he was sharp.
On if he’s seen Andersen get up or down at all: Nope. Nope. *insert straight line hand motion*
On if this was as good as the team has played this year: I would say it was probably the best two, probably three periods we have played this year. We stuck to our game plan. We knew what we had to do to be successful, and I think you could see it through the whole lineup how successful we were.
On just sticking with it early: Yeah, absolutely. Throughout the season we’ve been up and down. Sometimes we’ve shot a lot at net, and then some games we didn’t. At the end of the day, we know that’s the key to success, and it kind of showed again tonight. The more shots we get, the more opportunities we’re going to get and goals we’re going to score.
On his goal: At the end of the day, I knew he was trying to go back to the net. Luckily I hit his skate and it went in. As soon as I saw he couldn’t handle the puck I knew he was going to rush back to the net, and that’s were usually you hope you get a bounce like that.
On his goal opening the floodgates: Yeah, absolutely. Being up 2-0, it’s a dangerous score. They score one goal, and they are right back into the game. We tried to make sure we got the next goal, and that happened. Trocheck followed it up, and I think that was kind of the end of that game.
On getting some retribution on Columbus: Yeah, absolutely. They’ve played pretty hard against us all year, and we’ve had a tough time beating them. Obviously they beat us pretty good that one night. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a tough game. They’ve been playing some great hockey, and overall I’m glad we got that win.
On if there was anything not to like in that game: Not really. Obviously it was a good effort from everyone. Our goaltender made the saves when we needed him to. We controlled the game. It obviously wasn’t a game that they liked, and they had a tough schedule coming in here on the back-to-back. We were waiting ready, but anything can happen sometimes. We’re happy we came out with the full effort.
On sticking with it and the floodgates opening: That’s just the group sticking with it. I thought in that first period there was possibilities of getting frustrated and having turnovers. That’s obviously a team that feeds off of that with a tough neutral zone. We just kind of kept putting it behind them. That was the recipe tonight, and the guys stuck with it.
On the sequence that led to his goal: Yeah, the fifth time is the charm, I guess. That’s a turnover there, and I kind of jumped on an opening there. I just kept trying to jam it in there, and luckily it went in.
On if he feels like he’s getting more breaks now: I’m just getting warmed up. My line mates have really helped me lately. They’re both playing really well. We’ve created a lot. We haven’t cheated the game. We haven’t changed the way we want to play. The chances are starting to go in, and we want to keep rolling and be the line that this group needs us to be.
On the special teams: That’s good. All good things. I thought the power play stuck with it, too. You can get frustrated there, too. We found a way to keep shooting. Both units did a great job tonight of shooting the puck and creating the havoc. And the PK has been the PK. It’s been steady for our group all year long, and we needed that.
On Andersen making saves even without a lot of action: He’s been a rock back there. No matter what game gets thrown at him back there, he’s just steady. He’s comfortable. He makes everyone on our bench and on the ice feel comfortable. There’s no question that he’s been our MVP this year.
On staying aware of where a guy like Patrik Laine is at all times: Yeah, he’s a player you’ve just kind of always have to watch and be aware of. He’s a guy who can score from anywhere. He’s a guy you can’t give him any time. Once he gets across that blue line, you’ve got to be right on top of him. The boys did a good job of that tonight. [Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei] did a really good job there. It was a good effort.
On making tough saves even though he hadn’t seen a ton of shots: Yeah, I thought we played really good. We held them to a low amount of shots and chances. It was a really good game for us, kind of bouncing back from the last time they were in here.
On how tough games like this can be for the goaltender: It’s a challenge, obviously. It’s still a 60-minute game. You’ve got to focus for every second of it. I’m not trying to play too aggressive when there is a chance. That’s the balance of just trying to stay in it and stick with the process.
On if that was the best the guys in front of him have played this season: I don’t know. I think we played really good today. I have no interest in really comparing that stuff. I think that’s a waste of time. We’ve got to move on to the next game. I’m just glad we got a win today and played well today.
On the fans’ appreciation of him: It’s awesome. It’s really cool to be embraced like that. I’m glad we’ve had success so far, and it’s just made it really special to be here.