Talk about bad timing. Right when Matt Cullen’s left foot started feeling good, the Hurricanes’ season was over.
“It got better and better as the playoffs went on,” Cullen said. “Especially the last series, it was really disappointing, because it was finally starting to get to the point where I felt good again.”
Cullen missed the final nine games of the regular season after taking a shot off the foot and didn’t practice until the second round of the playoffs. But he was on the ice every night, putting himself through a brutal regimen of pain-killing injections to play.
He had only one assist in the first six games of the playoffs, then recorded five points in the final 12 games, including the opening goal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“That was something that took a long time to get used to playing with and trying to manage,” Cullen said. “Not having that explosiveness on one foot was tough. It was definitely getting better as we neared the very end.”