The amazing run continues.
On Friday night, May 2, just after 9:30 p.m., the Carolina Hurricanes did away with the New York Islanders 5-2 in front of an absolutely bonkers home crowd in Raleigh. That victory meant that the Hurricanes, who weren’t even expected to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, swept the New York Islanders four games to none in the seven-game series.
That was the sixth straight playoff victory for the hockey team that’s so hot right now it’s amazing they don’t melt the ice beneath them every time they step into the rink.
This is the first time in franchise history that the Hurricanes have swept an opponent in a playoff series. The Canes are not supposed to even be playing hockey right now – much less are they supposed to be beating all comers like a rented mule.
Since the Canes did away with the Islanders in four straight games while the other series around the league are still going strong, the Canes get a big advantage heading into the next round, the Eastern Conference Finals: The team will be resting and recuperating while their future opponents are still getting banged up on the ice.
Here’s one illustration of the way in which the view of this Hurricanes team has changed over the course of the season. Before the season began, the odds of the team winning the Stanley Cup were 1 in 60. Now, the Canes are a 3-to-1 favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
On Friday night, the Canes dominated the Islanders for nearly the entire game – in the same manner that they did all series long. In the first round of the playoffs, it took the Canes seven games to advance, but now the team appears to be gaining steam with every game they play.
Until this year, the Hurricanes hadn’t made it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a decade, but the team seems determined to make the most of things now that they’re in once again.
Justin Williams, the Hurricanes team captain, said after the game Friday night that, before the series began, he never envisioned sweeping the Islanders – but he added quickly that he did feel confident the team would win the series.
Williams said it felt great to see the fans in Raleigh electrified like this.
“This means a lot to a lot of people,” he said of the historic win.
According to Williams, one big key to the game was the way the Hurricanes took an early lead.
In the game, the Islanders made the rare move of changing goalies soon after the start of the second period because things were already going so badly for them.
“We imposed our will on them early,” Williams said. “You’ve just got to create doubt in them.”