RALEIGH — Because the Carolina Hurricanes attempt to eradicate the New York Rangers on Saturday evening in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden, they’re downplaying the Stanley Cup playoff pattern that makes a Recreation 7 again in Raleigh really feel virtually inevitable at this level.
“It is sort of beating a useless horse about us not successful on the highway,” middle Vincent Trocheck stated.
The Hurricanes’ Game 5 victory Thursday evening improved them to 7-Zero in Raleigh this postseason. They’ve a aim differential of plus-17 and a goals-against common of 1.14, having not given up greater than two objectives in any sport in opposition to the Boston Bruins or the Rangers of their two playoff sequence.
The highway has been far crueler to Carolina: They’ve gone Zero-5, with a minus-13 aim differential and a four.20 goals-against common.
They’re evening and day, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They’re the Carolina Hurricanes at dwelling and the Hartford Whalers on the highway.
The Hurricanes are the primary workforce in NHL historical past to be concerned in 12 straight video games wherein the house workforce gained each contest to start the postseason. The earlier mark was 11 held by the 1962 Toronto Maple Leafs.
“They’re undoubtedly a greater workforce at dwelling than they’ve been on the highway,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant stated. “And I can say the identical factor for us. I do not know why that is occurring.”
His counterpart, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour has opted to de-emphasize that dichotomy.
“It is such a nonissue. It is all I hear about,” Brind’Amour stated Friday. “We’ve not performed poorly on the highway. There have been a few issues that went squirrelly. Each sport takes by itself sort of life.”
But there are some simple variations between the Hurricanes and Rangers at dwelling and on the highway in these playoffs:
The Hurricanes have been in a position to successfully deploy Jordan Staal‘s checking line in opposition to the highest traces of the Rangers and Bruins at dwelling, shutting them down at 5-on-5. On the highway, the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad does not have a 5-on-5 level in opposition to Carolina whereas registering 4 photographs on aim and 5 scoring probabilities in three video games. At dwelling, he has a aim and an help with 5 photographs and 4 scoring probabilities in two video games.
Carolina’s Antti Raanta has a .965 save share and a Zero.97 goals-against common at dwelling in seven video games, and an .883 save share and a three.59 goals-against common in 4 highway video games. The Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin has a .949 save share and a 2.05 goals-against common in six dwelling video games, and an .881 save share and a three.82 goals-against common on the highway (together with the workforce’s first-round matchup with Pittsburgh).
The Hurricanes’ energy play is 5-for-26 at dwelling, scoring for the primary time this sequence in Recreation 5. It is 1-for-21 on the highway, failing to transform whereas the Hurricanes’ penalty kill gave up a Rangers power-play aim in each highway video games.
What’s behind this disparity for the Hurricanes?
“It is the playoffs,” stated ahead Jordan Martinook, who watched the primary 4 video games of the sequence as a result of an harm earlier than returning in Recreation 5. “Everyone talks about how a house crowd can provide you a bit additional and it is sort of been confirmed right here. While you’re at dwelling they provide you a bit bit. While you step out right here and so they get loud it offers you additional vitality. It undoubtedly helps.”
However different Hurricanes gamers have adopted their coach’s mindset that their highway losses have not been egregious. “In Recreation three, we had a strong sufficient sport and fell brief,” Staal stated. “As a gaggle, we did not play very effectively in Recreation four. We have been sloppy. We’re hoping to sharpen the knife once more with a greater effort.”
The Hurricanes have proven they will management the puck, the tempo and the sport defensively once they’re locked in. They simply have not proven they will try this in New York.
“It is no totally different,” Trocheck stated. “Identical workforce, similar sport. It is only a matter of us being ready.”
But within the backs of their minds, the Hurricanes need to know they’ve two photographs at ending their sequence and advancing to the Jap Convention finals in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Even when the pattern holds and so they lose to the Rangers in New York, they know the Blueshirts need to steal a sport in Raleigh to win the sequence.
The Rangers squandered an opportunity in Recreation 1, permitting a Carolina rally for an additional time loss. However the final two video games in Raleigh have been firmly within the Hurricanes’ management regardless of the tight margins of victory.
“We gotta win one sport [in Raleigh] to win the sequence,” Gallant stated. “Hopefully that is Recreation 7.”