Hopping on the Hurricanes' Bandwagon

By Patrick Hoffman

If you're favorite NHL team is not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, you now have 16 teams to choose from when it comes to rooting for a team to win the Cup.

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While I think it's a long shot, I am jumping on the Carolina Hurricanes' bandwagon in hopes that this franchise ends up winning their second Cup in franchise history. Again, I know it's a long shot, but it's okay to dream when it comes to the postseason.

For starters, the fact that they even made the playoffs this season is an unbelievable story. This franchise has not made the postseason since the 2008-09 season when they went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

This is a team that came into this season with many difficulties facing them. The club had traded Jeff Skinner in the summer, hired a new head coach in Rod Brind'Amour, a guy who had no head coaching experience, and they play in a very competitive Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference. 

Despite all of these things, this team defied the odds and managed to get into the postseason dance. As every hockey fan knows, anything can happen come playoff time.

Another reason I am rooting for this team in the postseason is because of their team team captain, Justin Williams. Williams helped bring this team together in fun and creative ways.

After each of his team's victories on home ice, him and the rest of his teammates celebrated in awesome fashion. The victory celebrations were fun, creative, humorous, and something that the team and its fans really embraced this season. It showed that everyone was together in terms of bringing this team to another level.

I am also rooting for this team because of Brind'Amour. As a first time head coach, no one knew what to expect out of him this season, but what he did with this team this year was remarkable.

One moment that sticks out for me in terms of Brind'Amour's first regular season behind the bench was how he celebrated when he heard his team had clinched a playoff spot when they beat the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout back on March 20. As you can see in this link, he was unbelievably pumped and proud of not only the way his team played in this particular game, but of what they had just accomplished.

Lastly, I will be cheering this team on because they are the underdog. Everyone loves to see an underdog do wonderful things and while I know that winning the Cup may be a pipe dream, there would be nothing better in these playoffs if the Hurricanes were able to defy the odds and take home hockey's Holy Grail.

Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave. 

He has previously covered the league for WTP SportsSportsnet.caKukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.