Brind'Amour says Canes don't like playoff format: 'What did we grind for?'
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Rod Brind'Amour says the Carolina Hurricanes believe the 24-team playoff format the league announced Tuesday dismisses the success they achieved throughout the majority of the season.

"I think the bigger issue felt like, and especially our guys, was like 'what was the 68 games we played for?'" the head coach said Wednesday on the "ESPN on Ice" podcast.

"What did we grind for? The bulk of the season was completed, and they just threw that out, and I think that's how (the Hurricanes) felt," he added. "I think that's justifiable in a way."

The Hurricanes, who occupied the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 81 points through 68 games when the season was suspended March 12, were one of two teams - along with the Tampa Bay Lightning - to vote against the expanded playoff format.

"For where we were and where our team thought we could get to, it hurts our odds," said forward Jordan Martinook.

Under the arrangement, Carolina will meet the New York Rangers - who earned 79 points in 70 games and sat outside the traditional playoff field - in a best-of-five play-in series.

Brind'Amour thinks instead of a play-in, the league could have played out the remaining games normally to decide the postseason seeding for a typical 16-team format.

"Why not carry the points over that you have?" he said. "If we're playing in, I think the thought was if you're playing in, five, six, seven games, however, we could easily have all had the same amount of games, figured that out and that would have been your play-in, and take your points with you and see how you end up."

On the plus side for the Hurricanes, Brind'Amour says defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Sami Vatanen, who were injured when play was paused, will be back in the lineup. Blue-liner Brett Pesce is "more of a longshot" to return.

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Brind'Amour says Canes don't like playoff format: 'What did we grind for?'
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