If you’re a Carolina Hurricanes’ fan, then the last ten years have been awful for you.
Your favorite team has missed the playoffs every season, have played like garbage, got no help in from anyone in the standings, and clearly did not win enough hockey games to be considered a contender. The team also played many games in what looked and probably felt like an empty home arena and rarely gave any of you folks something to cheer about.
That all changed this season. With a new head coach in Rod Brind’Amour and a roster that has a lot versatility, the Hurricanes were one of the best stories in the NHL.
Their story got even better on Thursday night, April 4. On this special night, the Hurricanes clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the 2008-09 season by beating the New Jersey Devils by a score of 3-1.
It was a night that was a long time coming for this franchise and their fans. They have worked very hard to get to this point and now, they have something to play for at the most important time of the hockey season.
The success the Hurricanes had this season was more than well deserved. For starters, they were actually one of the most consistent clubs in the league this year.
Night in and night out, the Hurricanes outworked their opponents, threw a ton of pucks on net (as of April 4, they average close to 35 shots per game), and found different ways to win hockey games. They played as a team every night, stuck up for each other, and came together anytime they faced adversity and it led to positive results.
Secondly, the Hurricanes are actually one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference even though they are currently (April 4) holding the top wild card spot. If the standings were formatted the way they used to be when it was the top eight teams in each conference that made the playoffs, the Hurricanes would hold the the seventh spot with 97 points (as of April 4).
Yes, I realize that may not look good. With that said, they are actually two points behind the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, all clubs that have played elite-level hockey this season.
What I also love about this team is that they play a team game rather than an individual game. They win together, they lose together, they work hard together, and they celebrate together.
The way this team celebrated victories on home ice this season was absolutely fantastic. Their celebrations were real, creative, and got everyone involved from the players and fans to share in the victory.
While it is not yet known what team they will play in the first round, the Hurricanes will not be a pushover in these playoffs. As such, you better not take them lightly or else the Hurricanes will storm surge right over you.
*Photo: USA Today