Hello and welcome to a special edition of Tweetmail presented by Segra. This week, I take your Twitter questions straight to Jordan Staal, as he closes in on his 1,000th career game in the National Hockey League.
Let's get to it.
Who has the best flow in the family? - @Shhlomes
Staal: Eric had some pretty good flow this year. I'm losing my hair. When it's all said and done, Marc usually has the steady flow. His always looks pretty solid.
What is the current feeling in the locker room, and as captain, what is your role in the team environment? - @AddieCSmith
Staal: The feeling is good. We're playing some good hockey. There are always hiccups throughout games and maybe a period here or there, but as a group, we're very confident. We've bought into how we want to play. We're trying to get as consistent as we can with it. We're a very confident group. If we're down, we feel like we can keep going and find ways to win games no matter what. That's what you want. Our goaltending has been really good and steady for us. It's all been good stuff.
How have you changed in your second year as captain? - @ArcherforCanes
Staal: I'm having a better year this year. I was frustrated with my year personally last year offensively. The puck has been going in for me, which is nice. We were cruising along until COVID hit and all that stuff. Who knows how that playoff run would have went. It doesn't really feel too much different as far as the room and everything goes.
Do you spend a lot of time working on faceoffs, or have you naturally been pretty good at them? - @FleurySkjei & @BornACaniac
Staal: I wasn't very good coming into the league. I don't spend a ton of time on it. I've just learned over the years. I may or may not get the benefit of the doubt from a few refs out there, as well, since I've played so long, but not every time. You just learn. It's a little bit of a chess match between the player you're playing against, how you want to beat him and changing it up sometimes. And then going back to your strengths, that's just using my body and strength as much as I can. It's a learning curve as a player. You'll watch our young guys come up and get better and better at it as they go.
What do you do to prepare for playoff games? Any pregame rituals? - @ToTheSkye
Staal: I don't think playoffs are really any different in preparation. When it is playoff time, though, my mind might shift from a little less on everything else around me to more on hockey. It just kind of takes over. Your body is kind of always on. It's a good thing, but it can be exhausting. My wife has helped me through those times giving me some extra hours of sleep and stuff like that. As for the actual preparing, I'm just a routine guy, like most guys. I kind of do the same stuff, the same stretches. It's all very similar.
In the year(s) of weird that COVID has brought us, has there been anything unexpected that's kept you going? - @sparkleshorty
Staal: It's hockey that's kept me going. When you're injured, you always want to get back out there. During COVID, we just wanted to get back out there and play. We really miss the fans, though. That part has been nice to have some fans back. The normalcy is being able to play and compete. That's what I've done my whole life. That's been my normalcy, for sure.
Are there any similarities between this Canes team and the Penguins team you won the Stanley Cup with in 2009? - @Brstunna
Staal: Yeah, very similar, I think, especially with some young guns and the way they carry themselves. It reminds me of Sid and Geno. They want to be the best. That's what you want from your best players. Then, you've got some great depth and great defensemen, the whole works. It's a very similar feeling.
How do you feel about the nickname Staal Bunyan? - @Blevenger & @_thomas_wilson_
Staal: [laughs] That's Tripper. It is what it is. Tripper has a large vocabulary of stuff. He can bring up a lot of different stuff. That's another one of his good ones.
Not really a question so much as a simple thank you for being our team's leader. - @Andy_Elliott78
Staal: Thank you!
Join me next Friday for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you would like to share a favorite memory from Staal's first 998 games in the NHL, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.