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Fans greet, snap up tickets for 'Cardiac Canes'

Posted May 15, 2009

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— Hours after the biggest welcoming crowd Coach Paul Maurice said he's ever seen greeted the Carolina Hurricanes early Friday, hundreds more fans lined up to buy tickets for the Eastern Conference finals.

Maurice said he was astonished by the size of the crowd that greeted the exhausted Canes after their 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins. WRAL meteorologist Greg Fishel was among the hundreds of Caniacs who stormed Raleigh-Durham International Airport for the team's arrival.

"If you were sitting on that bus, you would have thought we lost the game, and then there was an unbelievable reception at the airport," Maurice said. "We thought there was no chance, it's 3 a.m. But we had a whole crew of people cheering for the guys."

Fans expressed no surprise at the cliff-hanger ending to the series the Canes once lead 3-1.

"You kidding me? This is normal. This is Canes country. This is who we are," Joe Greiner said.

Bonnie Good brought a sign saying "Cardiac Canes," because, she said, the team "always makes you wait till the last minute before they bring it home."

Canes forward Scott Walker, who scored the game winning goal in overtime Thursday, said he loves coming home to excited fans and his family.

"That's what makes it easy to play, you know, when you come home and the crowd's so good and it's just amazing," Walker said. "Winning a game with all the great guys on the team is fun, but getting home and seeing your kids is a thrill."

Later Friday, hundreds of fans stormed the RBC Center to pick up tickets for Games 3 and 4 of the East Conference finals. By noon, tickets to Game 3 were almost sold out.

If the series, which opens Monday in Pittsburgh, lasts long enough, the Canes will play again in Raleigh in Game 6.

"This is what the dividends are. This is what you want. This is where you want the organization to get to," said Dave Olsen, general manager of the RBC Center.

Olsen said he hopes Hurricanes keep going farther in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The facility depends on the Canes making the playoffs to turn a profit, and the team hasn't been there for the past two years, he said.

The RBC has only booked six of the 10 slots it has for touring acts, so the longer the Canes keep playing, the better it is for the RBC Center and the people who work there, Olsen said.

"This helps. It's great for everybody. It's great for the community," he said. "Our employees get to work another five, six events that we wouldn't had had this time of year."

However long it takes, fans predicted victory for the Canes.

"They're overachievers. They don't have a big payroll, but they know how to beat the big boys," Charlie Bruce said.


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  • colliedave May 15, 2009

    . The facility depends on the Canes making the playoffs to turn a profit, and the team hasn't been there for the past two years, he said.

    Don't know if the RBC need the Canes to make the playoffs to turn a profit. But as a company the Canes need to go several games in the second round to reach this level.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 15, 2009

    I'll be in the house for Game 6, assuming Carolina doesn't close out the series in 5.

  • sofie May 15, 2009

    I am one of the many that went out there. It was great seeing Walker's wife taking pictures of the crowd of fans. Thanks to backyard bistro for the sandwiches. Wish I would have seen Fishel there. Maybe next time. Imagine what the crowd size would have been if this was on a weekend. Go Canes....all the way.

  • Picaflora07 May 15, 2009

    a-moment-of-truth I was thinking the same thing when I saw the title... I don't mind sharing the arena honestly. But 'Cardiac Canes' just doesn't roll of the tongue as well.

    I DO think the teams have a lot in common with how other teams/coaches/fans in the conference feel about them. Now if only the 'Pack could start playing as well...

  • Sweet Tiffyhog May 15, 2009

    Go Canes!~

  • a-moment-of-truth May 15, 2009

    Am I the only one who is a tad bit peeved that folks are referring to them as the “Cardiac Canes” ala “Cardiac Pack”? I mean NCSU don’t have much to themselves anymore (other than Mary Easley)… can they at least keep “Cardiac” to themselves? Musta been a newcomer who has no idea WHO the “Cardiac Pack” is/was who came up with “Cardiac Canes”…bad enough they gotta share THEIR arena with the ‘Canes…the seats got put in the wrong shade of red…the list could go on.

  • Wags May 15, 2009

    I am a huge Canes fan but also a part time employee at the RBC Center. I have multiple reasons to want them to continue...both as a fan and an employee.

  • shortcake53 May 15, 2009

    Sooooooo proud of our Cains!! and the fact that they took it from Boston on Bostons turf is the cherry on top!! You boys rock!!!

  • that was easy May 15, 2009

    It's the NHL...refs don't get reprimanded for bad calls.

  • Journey985 May 15, 2009

    Is it just me, or did anyone notice that the refs were really trying to keep Boston in that game last night? Amazing win and I am happy it ended the way it did, but those refs need to be reprimanded for the blown call that directly led to Boston's first goal.