If something seems too good to be true, it usually is and on Thursday, May 16, the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team found out that they were not, after all, a miracle team of destiny hand-picked by God to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
Instead of pulling off a miracle and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, the extremely impressive Boston Bruins got out the large metaphorical broom and swept the Hurricanes – beating them in the fourth and final game of the best-of-seven series, making the final count in that series four games to none.
Now the Bruins will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals and the Hurricanes are done until next October. The positive thing is that, even by getting within one series of the cup finals, the Hurricanes far exceeded the expectations that many fans and hockey pundits had for the team at the start of the season.
Earlier this year, it looked as though the Canes weren’t even going to make it into the playoffs – however, they did and, once they did, the team caught fire and beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 in that seven-game series before sweeping the New York Islanders to make it into the Eastern Conference finals.
After the Hurricanes swept the Islanders, the Canes were 3-to-1 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Before the season began, those same Vegas odds makers were giving the team only a 1-in-60 chance of accomplishing that feat.
In the series with the Bruins, the Canes got destroyed in the first two games in Boston before returning to Raleigh and playing much better there in the final two games – but not well enough to win one. As the Canes final game wound down Thursday night, the crowd cheered wildly for the Canes’ impressive season even though the scoreboard showed that the Canes had no goals to the Bruins four.
After the game, Hurricanes Coach Rod Brind’Amour said that exhaustion played a role in his team’s defeat.
“I know how fatigued we are mentally, and that’s where I think the young guys don’t know how hard it is to win,” he said of a grueling playoff schedule. “Guys that have been there before get it, but those that haven’t – it’s not even close.”
He said that, hopefully, the young Hurricanes team will learn from this experience and become better from it.