One of the absolute best things about the Hurricanes appearance in the 2019 playoffs is all of the memories it is bringing back from years past. In addition to creating an entirely new set of playoff memories, the games thus far feature a number of parallels to years past. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe shares a number of those parallels.
Building the bond between fans and team
Heading into game 7 against the Capitals I said that a loss would very much make this season like the 2001 season. Those 2001 playoffs were the team’s first in Raleigh and played a huge role in building the bond between the fan base and the team. The 2001 playoffs ended with a round 1 loss but were special nonetheless. By winning game 7, the 2019 Hurricanes blew past the direct comparison, but I still think the fans/team aspect is relevant.
Warren Foegele as Erik Cole
The 2002 playoffs featured rookie power forward Erik Cole. One of my favorite memories of the 2002 playoffs is Erik Cole standing up to nasty veteran power forward Gary Roberts. Foegele is similarly a tenacious power forward and similarly will not back down to anyone.
The game 7 win over Washington
The thrilling game 7 road win over Washington was very similar to the dramatic game 7 road wins against New Jersey and Boston. Both of those series wins featured late-game heroics with the Boston win also being in overtime.
Alexander Ovechkin losing his cool
Alexander Ovechkin losing his cool at the end of game 6 at PNC Arena hearkened back to Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur similarly blowing up at the end of game 4 in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. In that game, Jussi Jokinen bumped Brodeur on the way by just as the Hurricanes were scoring the game-winner with only 0.2 seconds remaining. Brodeur wanted goalie interference on the play but did not get it. After an extended review, the goal was ruled good which sent Brodeur into a massive tirade during which he broke his stick on the boards before stomping off down the same tunnel that Ovechkin did in game 6 in 2019.
Hamilton the pig as the latest Canes playoff thing
Each of the Hurricanes deep playoff runs has featured a symbol or two that became etched in Canes fans’ memories. The 2002 playoffs had Jeff O’Neill and the black eye game. The 2006 playoffs had Mike Commodore and his bath robe. And the 2009 playoffs had cowbells in the stands. Thus far in the 2019 playoffs, Hamilton the pig is the oddball thing that is becoming part of the 2019 Hurricanes playoff story.
Curtis McElhinney in relief
It is not that common for teams to use multiple goalies in successful playoff runs. A goalie switch usually means multiple losses which usually spells the end of the run. But the Hurricanes have a history of using multiple goalies. In 2002, Kevin Weekes stepped in and won a pivotal game 5 in the first round that included what I consider to be the greatest save in Canes history when he robbed John Madden in overtime. He went on to carry the team forward for a few more games before returning the crease to Arturs Irbe. The 2006 playoffs started with Martin Gerber in net before Cam Ward took over and wrote history.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which, if any, of these parallels stands out most to you?
2) Who has more parallels comparing the 2019 NHL playoffs to years past?