RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The 82-game grind of the NHL regular season is over and now the race to 16 begins. A total of 16 wins is exactly what it takes to claim a Stanley Cup and the Carolina Hurricanes feel they have as good a chance as anyone.
“Every game and every period and every shift is a sprint and yet at the same time a marathon,” Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole said. “It’s going to be two months of doing this hopefully 16 times, 16 wins. It’s a pretty unique situation but it’s a situation that we all look forward to and as a team, we’re really excited to play.”
Facing the Boston Bruins only adds to the excitement. The Bruins have been a thorn in the Canes’ side come playoff time in recent years.
“Obviously these guys have put us out twice in four years,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said. Whenever a team gets the better of you, you want to beat them. But it really doesn’t matter who you’re playing; there’s that one goal at the end of this and you have to go through any team to get there so it really doesn’t matter who’s in front of us.”
Carolina dominated Boston in the regular season, winning all three meetings while outscoring the Bruins a hefty 16 to one. But the Canes know the playoffs are a different animal and the team they’re facing is playoff-tested.
“They are built to play in the playoffs,” Cole said. “And they’ve won it before they know how to do it and they’ve got a great core guys, a lot of leadership over there. It’s going to be a heck of a challenge but with that it’s a challenge we’re up for, a challenge we’re excited for.”
Game one between the Bruins and Hurricanes is set for 7 p.m. Monday at PNC Arena.