RALEIGH — Back home here at the RBC Center, the Carolina Hurricanes are hoping to hear the deafening roar of their crowd and the sounds of the whistles to aid them in their pursuit of victory in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Boston Bruins tonight.
“If you’ve never been here for a playoff game, it’s quite an experience,” Carolina forward Patrick Eaves said after his team’s morning skate. “These are the loudest fans I’ve heard, pretty much around the league. So everyone’s really excited and everyone has fun tailgating before the game. It will be a great atmosphere.”
Center Rod Brind’Amour just doesn’t want his team to get too carried away with the crowd’s enthusiasm.
“Obviously, you don’t want to get emotionally involved and maybe get off your game,” he said. “But hopefully we can get off to a good start and keep the crowd in it and use it to our advantage. I don’t know, sometimes it gets overdone a little bit, but it certainly is a good atmosphere to play in.”
One thing that would keep the fans rocking would be some power plays for the home team. Through two games, the Hurricanes have enjoyed just two man-advantages (and failed on both). The club went through a similar drought early in its first-round series with New Jersey.
“You’ve got to give the Bruins credit. They’ve gotten away with a lot of stuff and haven’t been taking a lot of penalties. It just shows that they’ve got good team defense,” said winger Erik Cole.
Added Eaves: “Sometimes you get penalties, sometimes you don’t. You try to draw them by controlling the puck down low and stuff. I thought we did a good job of that last game, but we just weren’t getting calls. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
It sounds like the ‘Canes are doing their best not to complain about the officiating and let it be a distraction. But we’ll see how they fare against one of the league’s least-penalized teams in the pivotal matchup tonight.