Brian Pothier had to wonder: what would it be like?
Pothier was playing for the Washington Capitals, one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. In the blink of an eye, a trade was made and the defenseman was in the Canes' dressing room Thursday, with a team that's a long shot to reach the playoffs.
But the transition was seamless, it seems. Pothier hopped on the ice and helped the Canes to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators for their seventh straight win and pull within seven points of a playoff spot.
"A couple of years back in Washington, they won 13 straight and they got the playoff spot on the very last day," Pothier said, not mentioning it came at the expense of the Canes. "it's a great opportunity to do something special.
"Obviously you put yourself in hole. But you always say miracles don't happen unless you're in a really bad situation. We're in a bad spot but maybe something special can happen and we can do something that doesn't happen too often.
'The start this team had is unfortunate. We played against them and they didn't play poorly. They were hitting posts and just the one mistake they made was a goal. It was just a crazy situation for them where every mistake they made came back to bite them."
"They're working hard and creating their own breaks and they're playing smart," Pothier said. "You could tell from the very first day they're very well coached. It's a reallyhard team to play against."
As for adjusting to the Canes' defensive system, Pothier said it was pretty easy.
"We got shuffled around quite a bit," he said. "It's not an overly complicated system. You have a responsibility and you make sure you take care of it and take care of your side of the ice.
"And then just compete. Compete down low and be as physical as you can and move the puck as quick as you can. It's that simple."