Williams’ experience vital as Hurricanes face elimination

6 Comments

When it comes to postseason experience, there are few active players who can match Hurricanes captain Justin Williams. He has a reputation for shining when it matters most and has been in almost every situation. He even helped the 2014 Los Angeles Kings battle back from a 3-0 series deficit.

With the Hurricanes down 3-0 in their series against Boston going into tonight’s contest (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN; live stream), Williams will try to accomplish that rare feat all over again.

“We obviously would’ve rather had won and not be down 3-0, but with being down 3-0 creates an opportunity for yourself and that’s the way you’ve got to look at it,” Williams said, per NHL.com. “You have to instill a little bit of doubt, and that’s the first step you have to do. But you have to do that by winning a game.”

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

To an extent, what Williams says isn’t different from what anyone in the Hurricanes’ position would say. Don’t dwell on being down 3-0. Take it one game at a time and just focus on winning Game 4. We’ve heard that kind of talk before, but the words carry extra weight when it comes from someone like Williams.

It’s particularly helpful when he’s preaching to a young and relatively inexperienced team. This is the Hurricanes’ first playoff run since 2009. Meanwhile, Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with his first Stanley Cup victory coming back in 2006 with Carolina.

The Hurricanes have looked up to their captain throughout the season. They might not have made the playoffs or gotten this far without him. Now more than ever, his experience can help focus the young squad going into a do-or-die Game 4.

Ryan Dadoun is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @RyanDadoun.