AP NEWS

Canes feel like they are close

April 14, 2019

The talk heading into the Canes first playoff round in 10 years was all about youth and the contrast with the experience in the Washington Capitals locker room. After seeing the team play in two games it’s easy to see a couple of things.

The first is that the young Canes are not intimidated by the stage of the playoffs. Rod Brind’Amour admitted after game one that he “may have overthought that.” Yes, this team is down 2-0 but they didn’t have many moments where they appeared to be letting nerves get in the way.

The second thing is that the Canes are not intimidated by the Capitals.

Washington is obviously a very good team. They are the defending Stanley Cup champs, and when Alex Ovechkin is playing at his best, the team can look almost unstoppable. But even after the Caps took a rather commanding lead in game 2, the Canes didn’t seem all that phased.

The players feel like they are close to breaking through and finding another level. That could happen as soon as Monday night when they get the advantage of the home crowd.

This is a team that’s been very competitive in the first two games without a lot of scoring from key guys. That’s something Brind’Amour touched on after game two.

“If we get those guys going like they have all year it gives us a better chance to win. We are hanging around and I don’t think we are playing our best hockey so that’s somewhat positive,” Brind’Amour said.

The Hurricanes had to push pretty hard to make the playoffs and that has left some guys like Sebastian Aho a little fatigued. That’s part of the reason the team is taking Sunday off. They want to save their legs for Monday’s game which is sure to be in front of a very eager crowd.