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What Went Wrong: Hurricanes' Last Chance?

The Carolina Hurricanes' comeback attempt against the New York Rangers falls short

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Losing sucks, but one thing I always praise is when a team doesn't go down without a fight. We saw this with the Carolina Hurricanes in their Metropolitan Division Final series against the New York Rangers. The Canes lost the first three games of the series, leading to the conclusion that the Rangers would literally sweep their way to the Eastern Conference Final. However, the Canes managed to break the brooms in Game Four, and really get to Igor Shesterkin in not only Games Four and Five, but Game Six as well. After winning those two games, the Canes had a 3-1 lead entering the third period, and that had fans thinking that the dreaded reverse sweep would happen.

However, Chris Kreider put the kibosh on that hope with a Natural Hat Trick. The dream was over. Even so, the Hurricanes really scared the Rangers and Ranger fans with the possibility that they could pull off the NHL's fifth-ever reverse sweep, and the first since 2014. As I said, there's a lot to be said when a team goes down swinging, and that's what happened with the Hurricanes.

On the flipside, though, while they did go down swinging, the fact of the matter is...they went down.

The Hurricanes are in Year Six of this current run, and this is a regression. Last year, they were in the Eastern Conference Final in what was their best chance to get over the hump, yet they were swept by the Florida Panthers in a series that saw 17 periods played. They reached the Final Four twice in this stretch, but this exit comes earlier than last year's did. Yes, it was against the Presidents' Trophy winner in the Rangers. But the fact that they put up this fight after a 3-0 deficit shows me that they could have done this much earlier. So, I repeat, this is a regression.

You know, it seems to me that Sebastian Aho doesn't get talked about enough when the Carolina Hurricanes are discussed. He finished as the points leader during this run with a full dozen (4 G/8 A), which is good for him, because I still remember the disappearing act he pulled in last year's Eastern Conference Final. Aho is one of six players who had at least four goals, with the goals leader being Seth Jarvis with five, having scored his fifth in Game Six. Andrei Svechnikov finished second in points with 11 (2 G/9 A), and Jarvis had nine points during this run. As for goaltending, Frederik Anderson went 6-4, but finished with a sub-.900 save percentage and a GAA almost at three.

Last year, I said that the window for the Hurricanes started to close with their East Final defeat. This regression definitely doesn't help. I will not say that the window is all the way shut, but with this exit, it's now barely open. The Hurricanes have a few things to address. What will they do with Teuvo Teravainen and the newly acquired Jake Guentzel? Both of them will be UFAs now. Will they be traded? Will they be re-signed? The offseason will tell the tale. Even if they do remain Hurricanes, the team still needs to fix a few things, mainly their power play, which was decimated by the Rangers in that series. If this year wasn't the Hurricanes' last chance to get a 2nd Cup with that group, then next year definitely is.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    Your disappointment with the Hurricanes' game is incredibly heartfelt here.

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