3. Playoff Hockey is Back
The great thing about the NHL playoffs is that you need to win four times to win the series. Said another way, you get to lose up to three times and can still win the series. We burned one of those lives last night, but we get a chance to right the ship on Saturday. The series doesn’t start until someone loses on home ice.
Even if you drop the game on Saturday, we are still returning to Raleigh with games to be played. But there is no reason why we can’t still one in DC on Saturday. As discussed, if you straighten things out on special teams, and Petr Mrazek gives us sixty minutes like he did the last twenty last night, we will win.
We haven’t beaten the Capitals once this season, and we are due. Justin Williams and Rod Brind’Amour will know how to coach this team up between now and Saturday 3pm. The nerves were apparent for this team, and that makes sense. Ten different players made their playoff debut for the Hurricanes last night and there is certainly an adjustment period.
With that third period, and the energy that it brought, the Hurricanes won’t be gripping their sticks as tight as some other teams that lost in Game 1. If they can get off to a fast start in Game 2, things will start looking up. If Aho can get his act together for the first time in a month, things will start looking up even higher.
Look, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I really can’t complain. I’ve been waiting for this game for a decade. The energy in any NHL arena is insane in the playoffs. But there’s nothing like the RBC Center PNC Arena in the playoffs. Monday night it comes alive once again.
We get another crack at the defending champs in an odd 3pm start tomorrow in DC. I expect the Hurricanes to play a little looser and a little more comfortable, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we head back to Raleigh down 2 games to 0. It is great to be talking about a playoff series again.