The Carolina Hurricanes have the home-ice advantage to start the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night.
The road warriors of Southern Florida would love nothing more than to take the first game of the series at PNC Arena. The tempo has been set away from home in their two prior series victories.
In fact, the Panthers have won just 2 of 7 playoff games in Florida this year. The away record is much different having won 6 of 7 games as the visitors.
As far as things go with Carolina, the Canes have faired well both at home and on the road, with a slight edge on home ice in front of the Caniacs. The Canes have won 5 of 6 games at PNC Arena this playoff and have won 3 of 5 on the road in the Northeast.
Both team’s strengths will go head to head to start this series where this series could be won early. Another dominant start to a series at home for the Canes could knock away some of that magic the Panthers have found.
The “experts” say that a series does not truly begin until the home team loses.
If the playoffs and the Stadium Series is any indication, the Caniacs will continue to provide an advantage on home ice for the boys in red.
The atmosphere has truly been special at PNC Arena this playoffs but that is not taking anything away from the regular season atmosphere. Raleigh has been a great “hockey town” and the Stadium Series game should have put them on the map.
The continued success will certainly be a leading cause of a Stanley Cup Finals birth.