The Champs Are Here! The Central Division champions that is. The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped up the division tile just under a week ago winning their first title since 2006. Doing so, Carolina has guaranteed home ice advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
While winning the division was definitely a high note, the Hurricanes closed the regular season on the bit of a sour note that even Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour noticed after clinching last week. Carolina closed out its scheduled going winless in their last three contest with a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago before dropping a pair on the road at Nashville by the scores of 3-1 and 5-0. Saturday’s loss ended a streak of 13 straight games where the Hurricanes collected at least one point.
Monday nights disappointing loss while sitting a few regulars put the Hurricanes in unfamiliar territory of trailing by three or more goals in which Carolina found itself in that spot for just 35 seconds for the whole season.
So who is up for the first round of the Stanly Cup Playoffs? Those same Nashville Predators. Should Hurricanes fans put a lot into those last two games? Probably not. However, as we all know the playoffs are a different season. Last season Carolina swept the Rangers in the bubble after being swept by them in the regular season. With the possibility of returning some key players to the lineup, Carolina should be gearing up for another late round playoff run.
The schedule for the first round matchup with Nashville is TBD. Carolina Blitz will be providing coverage throughout the entire Stanly Cup run.