Justin Williams isn’t kidding when he made his decision to return to the NHL later this season. The 38-year-old sat out the majority of the 2019-20 season as he pondered his future, but he returned to the Carolina Hurricanes for 20 games before the campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And there is no way he made this return for nothing!
“I didn’t come back to play 20 games,” he said on a video call, according to The Athletic’s Sara Civian . “I came back for a chance to win a Stanley Cup.”
The Canes are facing a tough challenge. They finished the season as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, entering the playoff tournament in a qualifying-round matchup against the 11th-seeded New York Rangers.
The issue is that Carolina has lost all four games against the Rangers in the regular season by a combined score of 17-9.
Does that worry Williams at all? Nope, Mister Game 7 knows his team can become a Stanley Cup champion.
“Washington had our numbers last year, also. Playoff hockey is very different,” he said, per Michael Smith of Hurricanes.com . “We’re a Stanley Cup contender and we know that.”
Last season, the Canes had a Cinderella run to the conference finals, beating the defending champion Capitals in seven games and sweeping the New York Islanders before being swept by the Boston Bruins.
Williams, who tallied eight goals and three assists in 20 games this season, and his teammates are ready for more this time around.
You heard him with his bold statement!