Brind'Amour feels Hurricanes deserved better fate in conference final
Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour feels his club deserved a friendlier outcome than the harsh reality of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Florida Panthers.
Despite leading several key statistical categories for the duration of the Eastern Conference Final, Carolina saw its season end Wednesday after Matthew Tkachuk's dramatic series winner with four seconds left on the clock.
"That's the unfortunate part of this, (people are) going to look back and everyone's going to say you got swept," Brind'Amour said, per The Athletic's Mark Lazerus. "That's not what happened. I watched the game. I'm there. I'm cutting the game. We're in the game. ... It could have been four games the other way."
He added: "Did we deserve better? I think so."
The Hurricanes controlled 56.15% of shot attempts, 53.28% of scoring chances, and 57.35% of expected goals in the series, according to Natural Stat Trick, but they only solved Sergei Bobrovsky six times in four games.
Each game was separated by a single goal, but the Panthers were the ones to find the back of the net when it counted. Florida secured overtime victories in Games 1 and 2 in Carolina, then grabbed a 3-0 series chokehold Monday with a narrow 1-0 win before an unforgettable series finale.
"It didn't feel like a 4-0 series to me," said Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal.
Sebastian Aho, who tied veteran Jordan Martinook for the team lead with 12 points in 15 games this spring, was incredulous after Carolina's season-ending loss.
"It sucks. It's almost confusing," he said, according to NHL.com's Walt Ruff. "Like, what just happened? It's tough."
Martinook was similarly downtrodden.
"It shouldn't be like this. It's hard. There's been eight, nine of us here for five years," he said, per the News & Observer's Luke DeCock. "This one felt different. It still feels different, and we're done. It hurts. It hurts a lot.
"It feels like you got run over by a bus, emotionally."
The Hurricanes have now lost 12 consecutive conference final games (2009, 2019, 2023) since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.