We have already tip toed into discussions on training camp battles, preseason and the upcoming season. But before we jump full force into the 2019-20 season, today’s Daily Cup of Joe follows on a few comments on Twitter from Monday and takes a look back at the magical 2018-19 season. With a fun second half surge to reach the playoffs and eight playoff wins, there are numerous great memories, but today’s Daily Cup of Joe tries to shrink the list to a very small set that will most define the season when we look back in 20 years.
#4 — Game 7 overtime win over the Washington Capitals
I will go on to later say that the season became a success and then a bigger success with two previous wins, but in no way does that discount the magnitude of the Hurricanes overtime win in game 7 against the Washington Capitals in the first round. Brock McGinn forever claimed a place in Hurricanes history when he first saved the game by sweeping a puck out of the crease and then later finished the game with an overtime winner. The win continued the franchises storied success in games 7s after winning consecutive road game 7s in 2009 and consecutive home game 7s in 2006. The game also belongs somewhere on the team’s list of classics.
#3 — Seizing the “Bunch of Jerks” insult and converting it int a rallying cry for the the Canes hockey community
Even before the Don Cherry event, the storm surge represented yet another instance of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey community doing it our own way. The storm surge was just plain fun from the beginning and had a fun contagiousness that grew the fan base. When Don Cherry criticized it, and the team embraced, owned and capitalized on it, “Bunch of Jerks” became the rallying cry for the second half of the season and the playoffs. Over time some details always fade from memory, but when we look back in 20 years, “Bunch of Jerks” will still be top of mind for the 2018-19 season.
#2 — Clinching a long-awaited playoff berth on home ice
When the Hurricanes won on that fateful night, a playoff berth was very much within reach. When a perfectly-timed Canadiens loss followed just as the Hurricanes game was ending, a return to the playoffs became official. The timing could not have been better with the players still on the ice and seeing it on the scoreboard. To this day, that whole scene seems surreal with the players embracing on the ice, Petr Mrazek hugging Rod Brind’Amour and Justin Williams tearing up in the post-game interview. No doubt a four-game sweep at the hands of the Capitals would have been a disappointing ending, but I still contend that at this point the 2018-19 season had clearly climbed into positive territory and become a success.
#1 — The return of playoff hockey to Raleigh with a resounding game 3 win over the Capitals
After a ten-year wait, the return of playoff hockey to Raleigh was everything that a fan could have wanted and more. With a 2-0 deficit after falling short twice in Washington, D.C. to start the series, the Hurricanes returned home needing a win to avert a quick playoff exit. And with an atmosphere and volume level that rivaled the best in the franchise’s history, the team seized a resounding win. The team fired out of the gate which ignited the crowd that had waited so long for playoff hockey, and the team and the fans never looked back on way to a dominant win and a joyous celebration. The result was a triumphant return of playoff hockey that immediately gave the fan base a full serving of all that could be so incredibly good with NHL playoff hockey.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you agree with my top 4 and their order? If not what would your top 4 things from the 2018-19 season be?
2) This really should be more like a top 10 list though I do think it becomes harder to order things after about the top 4 or 5? What else would you add to a list if it was a top 10?
3) What is one maybe underrated moment or event from the 2018-19 season that holds a special place in your heart?