Ron Francis: Hurricanes' Quest for the Cup

Ron Francis, whose jersey was retired by the Hurricanes earlier this year after a 23-year hockey career, will blog exclusively for about the 'Canes bid for the Stanley Cup.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Get er done"

Finally, a home team won a hockey game in this series! Where do I start? Let's start with the good news. 1) The Canes won game five and are in the drivers seat. 2) Over the years, 80 percent of the teams who won game 5 have gone on to win the series. 3) The Canes special teams were very good tonight both on the PP and the PK. 4) The Canes had 2 breakaways in the game, and 5) Cam Ward was once again outstanding. Having said all that, I was not totally happy with the Canes game tonight. I really felt that in game 4 they had found their game again. They played very solid defensively in that game and did a great job of limiting any quality scoring chances by the Habs forwards. I thought that in game five the Canes would come out clicking on all cylinders after the 2 big wins in Montreal and start to dominate this series. They actually started well I thought, but Montreal did a good job of weathering the storm by dumping pucks off the glass and out into the neutral zone. As the game progressed, I felt that the Canes had to many turnovers in this game that resulted in a lot of opportunities for the Canadiens. Hey , the bottom line is the Canes won and the Habs didn't, and that is all that matters, but this game was won as a result of some good plays on the special teams and some key saves by Ward and not by a solid 60 minutes of hockey like we saw in game 4. Maybe it's the excitement of trying to put on a good show in front of the home crowd, and maybe the Canes will be able to play their game on the road in Montreal on Tues., only time will tell. The fact is the Canes are up 3-2 and in the drivers seat with two chances to eliminate the Habs. Lets not wait to game seven. "Get er done."


  • At 5/01/2006 2:17 AM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    Hmmmmm...first "y'all", and now "Git R Done"? I say, you've most definitely adapted quite well to Southern living, Mr. Francis. :D

    In all honesty, I did not see a lot of Game Five due to having gone out to eat. But what I did see (the third period), I LOVED. It was made obvious that the Canes played just as good as, if not better than in Game Four.

    And even though I didn't watch the first two periods, my brother did, and told me that the Canes' power play was AWESOME. Thus making me glad that I did record the game. :D

    Got to see the penalty kill in the third, and that was wonderful too, as you very well noted. I have become incredibly impressed with the improvement in not just the Canes' overall gameplay, but especially the power play and penalty kill aspects of it. The former was really killing them in the fourth quarter of the season...very, VERY good to see the Canes make a turn-around with that.

    And I wouldn't feel right if I did not mention Cam Ward too...the kid has been nothing but, well, to borrow from one Jimmy "J.J." Walker, DYNE-O-MITE(!!), in the crease. I'm looking quite forward to further good times from the boy, during the playoffs AND in the future.

    Anyway, yes, the Canes certainly have the Habs where they want 'em...and it will be best to finish them off Tuesday. Don't need to give the Habs a win nor a sense of momentum.

  • At 5/01/2006 6:48 AM, Blogger HurricanesAngel said…

    I agree with you Ron the team didn't play great as a whole but the two kids Eric Staahl and Cam Ward were AMAZING once again when it counted. I am so impressed with Cam and how he's stepped up to the challenge and help put the Hurricanes back in the hunt. I absolutely LOVE this team, every last player! Go 'Canes!!!!!!

  • At 5/01/2006 8:02 AM, Anonymous Canes cutie said…

    Awesome Canes!!! Lets finish them off in game 6. Can somebody please tell me what is a Hab????

  • At 5/01/2006 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For the answer to the Habs question (which 850 The Buzz answered incorrectly last night on the postgame show), see this link:

  • At 5/01/2006 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cutie, a Hab is a "Habitante", an inhabitant of Canada.

    Thank you so much for your well grounded comments, Ronnie. It is a pleasure to see and hear you on the WRAL newscasts on game night. Let's hope for at least 13 or 14 more appearances by you; I'm talking about Canes winning the Cup!

  • At 5/01/2006 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm remembering back to our first game in Oct. when Cam Ward stopped Lemieux, Palffy, and Crobsy in the shootout. I said it then, and it's still true: Ward is as cool as a cucumber! I think we should rename him CALM Ward :)

    I agree with your comments Ron. The Canes won, but that kind of play won't stand up agains Ottowa or New Jersey. It was a blast last night, but I'd rather see it 5-1 (better for the nerves).

  • At 5/01/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger Brittany said…

    Agreed, Canes beasted last night. I definatley think that they need to step up the defense and transition d. Too many chances, too many nervous breakdowns for me.

    Cam Ward -- HOW do i even begin?! Jeez, this kid is freakin amazing. Came up BIIG in the final minutes of the 3rd. Stacked pad save probably the best of the series.

    Game 6 - yeah we got this.

  • At 5/01/2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Zamboni said…

    This article was in today's Montreal Gazette and I think it is inappropriate and a sore loser.

    JACK TODD, The Gazette
    Published: Monday, May 01, 2006
    They unleashed the IdiotStix in North Carolina last night, turning what has been a good hockey crowd into a bunch of 3-year-olds in need of a bucket of Ritalin.

    Pity, because the fans who were too busy bashing their ThunderStix to watch missed a pretty terrific playoff hockey game.

    With another full house at an RBC Centre jammed not with appreciative hockey fans but with thundersticking yahoos, the Canadiens could not match goals with the surging Carolina Hurricanes.

  • At 5/01/2006 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, I had to listen to the game last night because I could not pick up the game on TV. I thought that Fox Sport South was broadcasting the game but when I tuned in I had a blank screen!! What a bummer!!!!! I like to know what happened?? Listening was great, but I felt the Canes did not play up to their potential, but they at least won. Ward is the saving grace so far!!
    GO CANES!!!!!! Hope the next game can be picked up in Fayetteville

  • At 5/01/2006 11:23 AM, Blogger iBm said…

    Whatever It Takes!

    Canes once agan rocked the RBC Center. They played a good game and once again Cam stayed calm and weathered the storm.

    As I said Cam is young and will prove to be a strong force. We still love Gerber (but) it's nice to see that the Young Ward is holding up so well under pressure. He's doing a great job.

    Canes going back to on Hab's ice will be hard as they will be more determined than ever. "Let's Go Cane's"........

  • At 5/01/2006 11:24 AM, Anonymous Darren said…

    Actually, I agree with the Monteal paper. The game was great, but I hate those darned sticks. It does look like a bunch of idiots with them most of the matter what arena or team gives them out. You see people who cannot seem to control them bashing the people in the row in front of them on the head every time they beat them together. I loved the game, but was constantly bombarded with blows to the head followed by an appology only to be hit again as soon as the Canes did something worth yelling about. Ban The Sticks!

    Now, Ron, you are right on with the game notes though. Canes start out strong, kinda get in a sleepy mode, then have to fight to keep it all together in the 3rd. Overall, I think we have looked much better in the last 2 games than we did in the 1st 2 home games. Game three was not too bad either. Let's wrap this thing up and get a little rest before the tough games with New Jersey. They are going to be a totally different team and we will not be able to come out half stepping at all if we plan to get by them.

  • At 5/01/2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I do not see the problem with the Thunder Sticks. My son watches the hockey and also has great fun banging the sticks together. Isn't that what it is all about...having fun? I didn't think the Canes played very well and were lucky their power play clicked. Let's not forget that Huet made some pretty good saves as well as Ward and kept the Habs in the game. Bret Hedican by his own high standards seemed to make a few mistakes resulting in dangerous turnovers. Oh and can someone explain the demise of Oleg Tverdovsky?

  • At 5/01/2006 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I enjoy reading your comments. Thank you for taking the time. I still occasionally wear my "21" jersey that you kindly autographed. There's not too many of those around.

    While I'm not crazy about the Thunder Sticks, the writer from Montreal sounds just a bit bitter. I have watched many playoff games this year, and have seen the equivelent at several other venues. This is not uniquely a Southern thing. I grew up thinking a Thunder Stick was a big-old shotgun. Now that's Southern!

    Go Canes!

  • At 5/01/2006 12:28 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    A few comments from my perspective:

    1. The PK was fantastic. Light years ahead of the other games in this series.
    2. Cam was playing out of his mind. I swear that kid has ice water in his veins.
    3. Hooray for the power play! It's working again!
    4. The bad calls went both ways last night. I think LaRose should have drawn two penalties - one on the initial interference at the defensive blue line, another as he was going up ice towards the goal.

    Overall a good, hard-fought game. Can't wait for tomorrow and game 6. Go Canes!

  • At 5/01/2006 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stormbringer. You didn't watch the game, yet you disagree with Ronnie Francis? Both Coach Lavi and Brindy stated after the game that they were not completly happy with their game, and that Cam Ward made key saves to win it. I watched the game and I agree with Mr Francis.

  • At 5/01/2006 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    GIT R DONE! I wonder if Larry the Cable Guy is proudly wearing his Canes jersey now (he got one with GIT R DONE on the back when he was at RBC in Feb). I am so glad to see us getting bodies in front and screening Huet, for it seemed to me as if that was not happening too much during the first two games.

  • At 5/01/2006 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hab not a habitant:

    "In 1924, Madison Square Garden owner Tex Rickard was falsely told by someone that the "H" in the logo of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team stood for "habitant", a French word that in those days was used to denote the farmers of Quebec. Rickard was told that the French players on the team came from the farms and that they were therefore "habitants" or "habs". At the time, the Canadiens were recognized as the French Canadian team of Montreal as opposed to the Montreal Maroons, the English Canadian team. In reality, the team logo of the "C" wrapped around the "H" stands for Club de Hockey Canadien. In 1917, at the founding of the NHL, the team changed its name to that from the previous Club Athl├ętique Canadien."

    And Jack Todd from the Montreal Gazette is an American; it's not sour grapes, the sticks are annoying.

  • At 5/01/2006 4:00 PM, Anonymous said…

    Canadiens...quit complaining about the superior Hurricanes. Give up on hockey this year and go do what you guys can do so well...kill more innocent baby seals. Shame on you!

  • At 5/01/2006 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am going to stick my neck out, count my chickens, and hope that Brodeur is not as sharp when we face the Devils next series.

    I am glad the Sens knocked off the Lightning as they just seemed to have our number this past season.

    Ron...miss seeing you in jersey on the ice, but I am darn proud of Rod carrying the "C" on his jersey. Now if only Cole was healthy and baaaaack!

  • At 5/01/2006 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jack Todd said the same thing about Lightning fans two years ago...he's just a bitter old man who believes the NHL should just hand the Cup to Montreal every year. Don't take anything he writes seriously.

  • At 5/01/2006 7:29 PM, Blogger KevynAdamsgal said…

    I was at the game last night and I agree with Mr. Francis. I think the Canes did not play their best hockey, but overall they were great. I can't say enogh about Cam, he is just truly amazing. There were several saves that he made that I just knew was going to get by him. On the other hand, Eric Staal is also amazing. He has proved time and time again that he is very much ready to play at the NHL level. I say let's go up to Montreal and finish them off tomorrow.

  • At 5/01/2006 11:40 PM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    Detroit's out ! Edmonton goes on ! Who'd have believed that 2 weeks ago ! Well,now you know where Habs came from -you know where to find them -and when they lose tomorrow -I suspect you'll be way more likely to find them on a golf course than out on the ice floes !That really isn't how most of us Canadians spend our time ! Honest !! Especially during the playoffs -1-2 games every night on our national network !! Good luck tomorrow night ,Canes ,I'll be watching !!

  • At 5/02/2006 1:08 AM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    "Stormbringer. You didn't watch the game, yet you disagree with Ronnie Francis? Both Coach Lavi and Brindy stated after the game that they were not completly happy with their game, and that Cam Ward made key saves to win it. I watched the game and I agree with Mr Francis."

    Not all of the game at the time, but some of it. And just because I didn't flat out say the team could stand more improvement doesn't mean that I think they do not need any more improvement. As a matter of fact, one of my most firm beliefs with not just hockey, but most sports in general is that a team or athlete *always* has room for improvement.

    As I noted in my previous response, I did record last night's game. And I watched it earlier today, doing my duty as the loyal Caniac I try to be (even after moving to Virginia/West Virginia). Now having seen the first two periods, in addition to the third, I saw what Mr. Francis, in addition to Lavy and Brindy, talked about...the Canes definitely need to work on cutting down the turnovers. While, obviously, it didn't cost the Canes the game, it did mar it in parts.

    But, despite the turnovers, I still thought it was a good game...still certainly was the best power play performance in quite awhile.

    Anyway, I think everyone can agree on at least two things: that Game Five was a *much better* game than at least Game One, AND that Cam Ward is being an absolute monster in net and is AND will be quite a treat to watch. :)

  • At 5/02/2006 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    can someone tell me when the Canes will be arriving at the airport after the game tonigh? if you don't know, do you know how i can find out when they arrive?

  • At 5/02/2006 8:57 PM, Blogger Dana Franks said…

    Anon, according to the sports guys, it depends on what time the game ends. Expect it sometime @ 1 a.m., most likely.


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