first_imgCoupled with the Canadiens’ 2-1 loss to the Capitals, the Hurricanes clinched a postseason berth exactly 10 years to the day after their last one.Faulk, who just a teenager when the Canes selected him in the second round (37th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, admitted last month that the prolonged drought was a source of frustration.”It’s definitely been tough. It’s actually easier earlier in your career. You’re naïve, and you’re just playing the game,” Faulk said to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski of the Canes’ extended playoff-less stretch. “You don’t necessarily understand what’s going on around you, and you’re just trying to get your feet wet and make a name for yourself.”As it goes on, you’re thinking about it more and more, right? You want success. It’s not fun being on a team that’s not winning. I could tell you that personally. Doing worlds [the IIHF World Championship, where Faulk has played three times for Team USA] isn’t a replacement. It doesn’t make it better.”WE ARE IN! #TakeWarning— x – Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) April 5, 2019As recently as late December, the idea of Carolina being in the postseason was almost laughable. On Dec. 30, the team was 15-17-5 and just one game out of last place in the Eastern Conference. It might have been difficult to imagine how an eventual playoff berth would feel.”I don’t think about my feelings too much,” Faulk quipped to reporters after Thursday’s win.Carolina went 30-12-2 over its next 44 games to take control of the first wild card in the East. During that stretch, the team became famous for its “Storm Surge” postgame victory celebrations, being labeled a “bunch of jerks” by commentator Don Cherry and, ultimately, bringing playoff hockey back to Carolina. After a decade without playoff hockey in Carolina, Justin Faulk and the Hurricanes had had enough.Faulk, whose 558 regular-season games entering Thursday were third-most among active players without a postseason appearance, netted the go-ahead goal in his team’s 3-1 victory over the Devils. Just 96 seconds into the second period, Faulk unleased eight seasons’ worth of frustration with a rocket of a slap shot past New Jersey netminder Cory Schneider that gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. MORE: ‘Storm Surge’ passes: Ranking the best Hurricanes celebrations from 2018-19“We’re not done,” Faulk, the team’s alternate captain, said. “It’s not enough just to get into the playoffs. We have more stuff to take care of.”For now, the longtime Hurricane can revel in the fact that he has clinched a postseason berth ahead of the players with more career games played — Zach Bogosian (617) and a former Faulk teammate who was rumored to want out of Carolina, Jeff Skinner (660).last_img