'We're here to win': Canes ready for season opener

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- After much anticipation and negotiations, the Carolina Hurricanes begin the 2020-21 season Thursday night, but unlike the NHL restart this summer, it won't be in a bubble. Instead, the Canes start with a four-game road trip to Detroit and Nashville as they adjust to a new division and a lot more alone time.

"I usually don't bring my video-game system on the road, but this time I brought my PS5 to stay occupied," said Warren Foegele. "It's definitely going to be weird not hanging out with the guys because of the protocols, so I brought my PlayStation to keep me busy."

Foegele isn't the only Cane turning to gaming for on-the-road company.

"There's like nine of us that got Nintendo Switches," said Jordan Martinook. "I haven't been much of a gamer in like six years. I got the new golf game 2K21 and that's been my go-to. I took $20 off of Brock (McGinn) last night playing golf, so I'll have to keep that going, maybe earn some extra cash on the road. It's definitely unique. I don't like being by myself, and we're encouraged to be by yourself in your room. I was pacing around a little bit. Just not what I'm used to."

Throughout all these changes -- there is one thing that's stayed the same

Asked whether he was more of a "PS5 guy or a Nintendo guy," head coach Rod Brind'Amour's response proved he's a hockey guy.

"I'm not really sure about that," the coach responded.

Brind'Amour's focus is still all hockey, and with 56 games in just 116 days, the Canes third-year head coach is clear about his expectations.

"We're here to win, and that means win everything," Brind'Amour said. "I have no doubt in this group and their abilities, but we have to get to it. We can't hang around or wait to see. We can't tiptoe into this, so that's my apprehension a little bit is to see where we're at."

The Canes are anxious to get on the ice and start the quest.

"It feels real now," said Dougie Hamilton. "I think we've been practicing for a while. Being out there today, getting on the plane yesterday, all that stuff it feels real again so obviously we're really happy to be playing."

Peter Mrazek will start in net Thursday night for the Canes.

One other thing to note, just one out of the 20 players expected to dress tonight was not on the team's roster, that player being newcomer Jesper Fast.
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