The NHL playoffs have been a hard-fought competition since the beginning. The grind on the player’s body is immense but the mental part of the long season and playoffs can be even more brutal.
The combination of pain and fatigue will wear down any human being but the added pressure to play at this level every other night after playing an 82-game season is only for warriors.
The Carolina Hurricanes are just 8 wins away from the promised land and hoisting that beautiful Stanley Cup.
As the Canes get set to host the Florida Panthers for a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Finals, the mentality of this team has to be addressed by the coaching staff in the preparations.
To make it this far without playing a pivotal game 7 is a blessing to the team and more so that the Canes have yet to trail a series thus far.
You might be wondering why this is something that needs to be addressed. Well, things cannot always go the way of Carolina and with the stakes getting higher and higher, the pressure can build.
Having to play from behind and make it all the way back builds character. Character is something that this squad is boosting on a daily basis. The confidence that the Panthers have right now is almost unmatched but they have done so in some high-pressure situations.
Knowing that the Panthers players have gone through such intense games can certainly wear on them but they are fearless having played against the odds.
The Canes will need to stay tough on the ice but more importantly from a mental standpoint. What if they lose Game 1? Is it panic mode?
For fans panic mode is a button that is hit far too often but for players and coaches panic is unacceptable. This group has the mental fortitude to battle from behind but it will be interesting to see how they respond if and when it happens.