Can Hurricanes close the series out in New York tonight? :: WRALSportsFan.com

Can Hurricanes close the series out in New York tonight?  :: WRALSportsFan.com

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford

Game 6 at Madison Square Garden is the first opportunity for the Carolina Hurricanes to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. There’s no doubt that they have the belief that they can win on Broadway. Heck, they’ve done it twice in the last month and a half.

At the risk of being labeled a “hater”, it’s simply a fact that the Canes are 0-5 away from PNC Arena this postseason. It’s also factual that they’re undefeated at home in 7 games. Of course, none of that means a thing heading to tonight’s potential close out game against the Rangers.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Hurricanes have not been significantly outplayed by the Rangers in New York. Now, I’m not suggesting that Carolina was the better team in Game 4, or even Game 3, when they peppered Igor Shesterkin with 44 shots on goal. But, Tuesday night’s game was there for the taking for Carolina.

The reason the Rangers won was simple. They cashed in their chances while Carolina did not. They were better than the Canes on their power plays. And, well, Shesterkin was every bit the Vezina Trophy winner and Hart Trophy candidate.

But, Brett Pesce could have scored early in the 1st period, which would have staked the Hurricanes to a 1-0 lead. Then, even after the Rangers went up 2-0 – with a little help from a pair of failed clearing attempts – Carolina dominated the 2nd period. Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas each had goals on their sticks.

Turbo’s bid was partially deflected by defenseman K’Andre Miller before Shesterkin flashed a pad to keep Carolina off the board.. Necas, presented with half of an empty net, punched his drive helplessly wide of the net. If either play results in a Canes goal – and they both should have – we have a different story.

According to NaturalStatTrick.com, at 5-on-5, Carolina held a 29-16 edge over New York in scoring chances. They had 11 “High Danger’ chances to the Rangers’ 7. And, expected goals showed a 1.9 to 1.59 edge for the Hurricanes. Does that mean the Canes were better than the Blue Shirts? No. My point is just that the game wasn’t the one-sided affair that were told based on the 4-1 final score.

There’s been just one game this postseason where the Canes were bad. Oddly enough, that was in Game 6 in Boston. Carolina played with little energy and seemed resigned to trusting themselves on home ice. It would be a gross error in judgment to revisit that strategy.

The Rangers could have won game 1 very easily. They were 2:23 away from snatching home ice away from the Hurricanes before Sebastian Aho’s goal sent the game to overtime. Oh, and lest we forget that they were it not for the overturned goal early in the second period Thursday night, New York would have held a 2-1 lead and it’s a completely different game.

No guarantees in any city. It’s anyone’s game. No reason not to go out and end it tonight.

On Jarvis…

Rod Brind’Amour on his 20-year old future star.

“He certainly doesn’t play like a 20-year old, or really a first year player.”

“From day one he’s been really good, but now he’s confident and he’s looking to make elite plays when he has the puck.”

“He’s always in the right spot…the adjustments we’re constantly making, he picks them up so quickly and he’s probably our best player right now, at least he’s right up there.”

This might look familiar…

Teravainen-Aho-Jarvis

Svechnikov-Trocheck-Necas

Niederreiter-Staal-Fast

Martinook-Kotkaniemi-Domi

Slavin-DeAngelo

Skjei-Pesce

Smith-Cole

raanta

Wanna bet…?

ML: Carolina EVEN/New York -120. O/U: 5.5 goals.

Coverage of Game 6 rolls at 7:00 on 99.9 the Fan with Storm Watch starring Dennis Cox. Opening face off of the Hurricanes and Rangers comes just after 8:00. Don’t forget to follow the Canes Corner Podcast. A new episode drops the #MorningAfter every Hurricanes game.

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