Wisdom and youth make the difference in Canes playoff run

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Just a few months ago the Carolina Hurricanes were looking at last place in the entire NHL.

Now, they're heading to the Eastern Conference Final.

"Would I have believed you if you had said we would have swept them? Absolutely not," said Hurricanes Captain Justin Williams. "But I would believe you if you said we would beat them, and that's the main goal whether it takes four games or seven."

That leadership and wisdom from Williams mixed with the young energy from guys like Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho are the key ingredients that make this team who it is.

"It's every day just their approach to what we do. It's taking pride with how we do things, who they are doing it with," said Hurricanes Coach, Rod Brind'Amour. "They just come to work, man, they earn everything that they are getting right now and that's what's probably made me the most proud."

Svechnikov said it's truly a team effort.

"We just believe in each other, believe, believe and keep working hard and playing hard," Svechnikov said. "That's all what we need to do."

There have been some bumps in the road for the Canes, specifically because of injuries, but one thing that isn't lacking is a will to win.

"Everybody cares so much for each other and you can't put a price on that," said Jordan Martinook. "It's big."
Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney said, "Honestly, I think it's something that started before I got here. I think they put some work in during training camp and they were pretty excited going into the regular season and I was fortunate just to be able to jump on board and be a part of it."

That selflessness from McElhinney allowed him to jump in without missing a beat once Petr Mrazek went down.

"My opportunity comes at his expense unfortunately," said McElhinney. "But just go in there, be the calm presence and try and get the guys an opportunity to win."

Williams said McElhinney has certainly done that.

"The caliber of goalie he is, the talent he is," Williams said. "The mind he has, he is just solid every way you look at it."

The Canes await the winner of the Boston-Columbus series.

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