Carolina Hurricanes fans optimistic about Stanley Cup chances after NHL playoffs win

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Caniacs relish in Game 1 playoff victory
Carolina Hurricanes fans were in a frenzy as the Canes edged the Islanders 2-1 to open the NHL playoffs.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bob Rankl and his son have watched the Canes in the same seats since 1999.

For 24 years the proud season ticket holders have cheered in Section 201, Row A, seats one and two. "Without Svechnikov we're losing that scoring punch we need, but we are definitely on the right track. We're on the right road. We got a good solid core," said Rankl.

"Anything can happen. We showed that in 2006," he continued.

Svechnikov was there. Not on the ice for the action, but getting everyone excited for Game One in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Playoff hockey ain't nothing like it. It's freaking awesome. The excitement in the building. Everybody gets fired up. We just have a blast," said Rankl as he cheered on the Canes.

Rooting for the Canes came easy Monday night. Young fans like Addison Tabor and Maya Hurt were on their feet the entire game.

"I'm excited because we scored in the first couple of minutes and it was Sebastian Aho who is her favorite player and he's my second favorite player," said Tabor.

"I'm excited for the playoff crowds to be back and for the noise," echoed Hurt.

The same energy inside the arena could be felt outside as fans tailgated before the game. That's where Eyewitness met super fan John Flack, who made a replica of the Stanley Cup Trophy out of old tools.

"Any piece of metal I find I collect," said Flack. "Whatever scrap yard, all this stuff I had laying around," he continued.

The Stadium Series win over the Capitals was his motivation for this metal masterpiece that took more than 150 hours to make. "It's 160 pounds. If you saw me struggling to get it up a little bit that's why. Two old guys that's why," said Flack as he laughed with his building buddy.

Flack said he wants the Canes to go all the way. The next home game is Wednesday night at PNC.