A clip from "Rocky Balboa" played on the jumbotron during the second period of Game 3.
Cardinal rule of jumbotron management: Never motivate with a Rocky movie made after 1985.
For tonight's Game 4, the CanesVision crew should consider the more appropriate "Rocky IV," aka the movie that single-handedly toppled the Soviet Union (perhaps it will have the same effect on Evgeni Malkin).
Specifically, the best four minutes of cinema in the entire Rocky catalogue. Of course, that would be the "No Easy Way Out" montage.
Win or lose, the Canes have never done anything easy. They even took two moves to relocate the franchise.
"Things just don't come easy in this sport," Canes forward Chad LaRose said. "We know it's not going to be easy this way either."
Cue Roger Tepper, and thrown in Adrian's lack of faith — "You can't win!" — to set the mood. Here's a brief history of the Canes' not so easy way out:
2001 First round vs. New Jersey
Down 3-0 and minus captain Ron Francis and rookie hotshot Shane Willis, the Canes beat the Devils 3-2 in overtime in Raleigh in Game 4.
Game 5 goes the same way in New Jersey, another 3-2 Canes win.
Back in Raleigh, the Devils end the dream with a 5-1 rout at the ESA, but not before a 5-minute standing ovation from the appreciative crowd (still one of the cooler things any fan base has ever done).
2006 Second round vs. New Jersey
Up 3-0, the Canes waste a chance to eliminate the Devils, losing 5-1 at the Meadowlands.
The next day, they pummeled the Devils 4-1 at the RBC Center to end the series.
2006 Stanley Cup Finals vs. Edmonton
Up 3-1 — with a power-play in overtime no less — the Canes give up a Halley's Comet of a short-handed goal to Fernando Pisani and have to shuttle back to Edmonton for Game 6.
After a 4-0 loss in Edmonton, it's another cross-continent trek from Edmonton to Raleigh for Game 7.
On the third shot, the Canes win the Cup 3-1 in Raleigh.
2009 Second round vs. Boston
Up 3-1, the Canes get shutout in Boston in Game 5 and then fall behind early in Game 6 in Raleigh, eventually losing 4-2.
In Boston for Game 7, with no other choice, the Canes win 3-2 in overtime.