Game 7. Win and advance or lose and go home. It’s a feeling we know all too well. It never gets easier, especially after knowing what it feels like to be on top. The feeling of being world champions. Exiting the playoffs after Game 7 last night was difficult, as losing is never easy. Despite it all, I couldn’t be prouder of our team! This was an incredible, hard-fought series and a memorable season as the defending Champs.
Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes on advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs – they played tremendous hockey throughout the series and I wish them continued success. We have the world’s greatest fans and I am so grateful for your unwavering love and support of our team – chanting the roof off Capital One Arena, cheering at every puck drop, standing behind our team every step of the way. Your unwavering support led us to our fifth-straight 100-point season, as we became the only active team in the NHL to reach that mark; we claimed the Metropolitan Division for the fourth consecutive season; and you were behind our captain as he went into the record books after another historical season. When we needed you, we heard you. We are nothing without you.
In the end, this was not the outcome we had hoped for, but we hold ourselves accountable. We have the highest of expectations. We will take this time to regroup and focus on how to improve our team before hitting the ice at training camp. Off the ice, we will be busy with another round of major renovations coming to Capital One Arena next season.
Today, I know you are disappointed. And I am right there with you. We will do everything in our power to give ourselves an opportunity to bring the Stanley Cup back to our great city next season.