It’s Anyone’s Game
Anyone, including the Carolina Hurricanes, can take it all.
It’s been well documented how the St. Louis Blues defied the odds by going from worst to first in the entire league this past spring. It has been commonly debated that if your team isn’t in a playoff spot at or around Thanksgiving that the odds to make it are heavily against you.
Last year both the Canes and Blues were at the bottom of the league’s standings into January, which is pretty remarkable when they both ended up among the NHL’s final four in the playoffs.
Now the fact that the Blues won the cup wasn’t all that surprising, seeing that they entered the season with a lot of expectations after a strong off season, but it was the fact that they were able to go on the run that they did that late in the season. To climb out of the NHL’s basement and leapfrog several teams to even qualify for the playoffs shows that getting hot at the right time is helpful.
Matching up agains the defending champion Washington Capitals may people were quick to write off the Hurricanes. In the regular season the Caps had swept the season series and it appeared as if they were well on their way to doing so in the playoffs after taking games 1 and 2.
We all know the rest of the story, but Carolina rose to the occasion as the underdog and rallied to win four of the the next five games to advance to the second round. Like St. Louis’ run, the Canes proved that the playoffs are like a new season and that anyone can win.
With all the time off, this time around this statement is more true now than ever before.
The qualifying round will add another level of uncertainty. With players not hitting the ice in who knows how long, and teams limited to a short “training camps,” anyone can truly win the cup this time around.