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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Found A Way

Well, if I'm going to be totally honest with you I must say that tonights game was not at all what I expected. I really thought that after the last game the Canes were ready to make a big statement tonight at the RBC in front of the home fans. I thought they would come out flying and most likely have the game and series in control by the end of the first period. So much for my thoughts. I didn't think the Canes played as well as they are capable of. They seemed to not be skating as well as usual. I'm not sure if that had to do with understanding the importance of winning this game, or having the same thoughts I was having about Buffalo really being in a tough position with 3 top defenseman out as well as a top forward, and having to come to Raleigh for game 5. Whatever the reason, I didn't think they played their best. I also must say that a lot of the Canes problems were caused by the play of the Sabres. Buffalo showed a ton of character by competing the way they did, especially when it seemed that everyone(myself included) had counted them out of this series. They had every excuse to use, but instead played a gutsy game. There is no way I would have beleived you if you told me they would be able to hold the Canes to 1 shot in the 3rd period. But they did, and actually, for even longer than 20 minutes. In the end though, the Canes FOUND A WAY to win, and that is the most important stat of all. Thanks to great PK ing(Buf was 0-4) and 2 huge goals by the PP(2-7), not to mention 2 enormous saves by Ward(1 in the dying minutes of the 3rd on a breakaway, and 1 in OT on the pass across the crease), the Canes were able to find a way to win the game. In the playoffs you need a lot of things to go right to win the cup. You need to stay healthy, you need good bounces, you need lots of luck, great goaltending and you need to win some games when you don't play your best. Tonight's game was yet another good sign for the Canes. I would like to be able to say to you this series is over. I would like to be able to tell you that Buffalo won't be able to bounce back from this devastating loss. But the truth of the matter is both these teams are talented, both are deep, and both have a great deal of pride and character in their respective locker rooms. So, I guess the only thing I can say is there has been 5 real good games in this series and I expect game 6 to be another beauty. I can't wait til Tuesday.


  • At 5/29/2006 12:58 AM, Blogger iBm said…

    I have to agree with you on the fact that the Canes didn't come out the way I expected either. I thought they were going to come out with a big bang - but in the way they "Found A Way".

    Outstanding come back from a 3 to 1 - Peter's decision to put Cam back into the net proved to be a good one. Cam made some outstanding saves with one that I would have to rank as the "save" of the game. Cory's OT shot - STELLAR. We were jumping off our seats!

    Both teams are great and the Canes are going to have to go in for the "Win". With the right attitude and the mentality that they want to be the team playing against the Oilers - we have a chance and we will win.

    Tuesday's critical. "Let's Go Canes!"

  • At 5/29/2006 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As usual your right on. I watched this game and had that sinking feeling at times. Everyone looked slow and flat. It does show everyones character to get down by 2 goals and stick with it and find a way to get the puck past the goal tender. We are fortunate to have 2 excellent goalies in Gerber and Ward and it is evident one can step in for the other and pick it up.
    Game 5 in a tied 2-2 series like this is extremely important. I hope that the Canes can go into Buffaloes hostile atmosphere and bring home the Eastern Conference Chanpionship. As usual I will be glued to the TV with great anticipation.

    As usual thanks for your insight.

    Go Canes.

  • At 5/29/2006 2:36 AM, Blogger King Biscuit said…

    After Game 4 Buffalo readjusted in a bold way going back to what they do best, and gave them success in game 1. Using their blazing speed to run the puck down the ice on change of posession. The Canes were caught off guard early, putting and end to a string of good scoring opportunities. Gerber was unable this time to stop the resulting break-aways, and the Canes recoiled to protect their goaltender, putting a damper on offense for the rest of the game. Cam stepped in and allowed the canes to steal this game on a subpar offensive performance. After only 1 shot on goal in the 3rd period, the Canes were able to find the net on a long overdue PP goal.
    For Game 6 they need to create more movement in front of the Buffalo goal to clear shooting lanes. Buffalo has improved each game in shutting shooting lanes down. A moving attacker infront of the goalie distracts defenders. They also need to stay off the boards more and go straight for the goal. Buffalo was ready this game to do battle on the boards. The defense also needs to get more grittier. Do not let Buffalo attackers have 1 second to think. Always go for the puck The Canes allowed them too much room to control the puck in front of the goal.
    On the positive side, the Canes did not allow Buffalo free shots from the blue line and the PPK was excellent.

  • At 5/29/2006 3:01 AM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    Yeah...I too thought that after Game Four, the Canes had finally found their groove AND Gerber was starting to be numero uno again. But nope...whether a Canes nut wants to or not, ya gotta give Buffalo a tiny bit of credit: They simply won't give up.

    BUT, that said, neither will the Canes. Though, they may need to take a cue from Buffalo and get a little more physical...ESPECIALLY on the front of protecting Staalsy. Particularly did not like the brawl centering around the boy in front of the Sabres bench this past game. If the Canes' lack of being physical is already showing badly in this series...I hate to think how awful it will stick out vs. Edmonton. The Oil have thrived off of a highly defensive game throughout these playoffs.

    I *really* hope I am wrong about that...afterall, as we all know, the Canes *did* beat another notorious defensive powerhouse in Joysey. AND in that regard, I'm glad that the Canes' (hopefully) next opponent is the Oil instead of the more offense-minded Ducks. But as they say, be careful what you wish for...

    Anyway, despite my gripe, I thought the Canes played well overall. And what impressed me the most? Outside of Game Four, the Canes for once had a GREAT second period in this series. As a matter of fact, that GREAT second period was what saved the Canes' fats from the fire in Game Five, IMHO.

  • At 5/29/2006 7:35 AM, Blogger Rick said…

    I could title this blog, Who-duh Thunk It? Like you, Ron, I thought the Canes would have come out like gangbusters! Wide open and firing! But alas, without tooting my own horn, I think it comes down to physicality: the Sabres were pounding everything in a red sweater with a vengence! Even the TV announcers made comment about the physical game of the Sabres. It certainly seems clear that the other team's physicality takes Carolina out of their game plan or at least alters their style to the point that basically they are ineffective. That seemed especially evident with regards to Eric Staal. Buffalo pounded and beat him all night long. Sure he had the marvelous assist but basically Staal was taken completely out of the game plan by the physical nature of the Sabres. The only answer for pounding is to return the favor! Agreed, Ron, they did "find a way"; however, if Carolina is to win this series, indeed the Cup, they must become more physical! Get'em Canes!

  • At 5/29/2006 7:40 AM, Blogger caniacmom3460 said…

    I don't know all the technical "ins and outs" of the game yet, but I thought the same thing...The 'Canes looked tired and I was expecting them to dominate the Sabres. Instead, it was a nail-biter. There were a few times both the defense & offense looked to me like they were playing with a 3 goal lead instead of a 3-3 tie. Lots of great chances by Buffalo were shut down by Cam and the fans sure did their part! Anyway, I was there and it sure felt good leaving with a win last night! Let's finish it Buffalo...

  • At 5/29/2006 8:12 AM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    So,they weren't polished and they weren't consistant -but they won ! I was really pleased for Cam that he was strong in net ,though I don't think Gerber was entirely to blame for the first period's results.
    Is it too damn warm down there to play - it must be a challenge to keep the ice -well,icy .And before y'all (like that?) start thinking it's still cold up here -no it's not - we've got leaves and flowers and all that good stuff -and none of our rinks have ice right now -at least not the outdoor ones !!
    Stillman ,I've decided , is a clutch player -as is Whitney -they bring back memories of Bobby Nystrom and John Tonelli -real contributors during the first 3 periods -but watch out for them in overtime !From me ,that's high flattery !
    Put 'em away in game 6 ,boys -we don't want Edmonton to be too rested (or maybe we do .....)
    Til then -hugs from CB -the cdn.con.

  • At 5/29/2006 8:22 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    I was right there with you thinking the Canes were going to come out and dominate that game. Even thought that didn't happen, it was a fun game to watch, we managed to come out with a victory, and I still think we'll take this series.

  • At 5/29/2006 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ronnie ... first, like others have said ... thanks so much for your blog and your terrific insights ... this is the first place I head to every morning.

    You're right on target ... our guys looked flat last night ... the skating just wasn't there ... and I and the crowd I was sitting with were just as surprised as you were that we didn't come out flying. I'm looking forward to a different level of play at HSBC on Tuesday nite ... if a must win game last nite couldn't get the adrenaline going for the Canes early, hopefully a chance to clinch it all will do the trick.

    Gerber DIDN'T play badly last nite although he's looking a little iffy on those high shots. Almost any other game, even a Cup game and he'd have stayed in there but last nite was too important to take the chance and I think Coach did the right thing (of course hindsight is 20/20) by going with Cam when he did ... gave us a quick lift and got the crowd back into the game. Laviolette is gonna go down as a coaching genius when the Cup rounds are over. Hang in there Gerbs ... you'll get your shot ... Coach, the team, and the fans all have confidence in you.

    Lastly, thanks to those Sabres fans who were courteous at the same time as they (and we) were able to enjoy a close game w/ good sportsmanship up in the stratosphere seats. It's a shame those few adult-children who are unable to control themselves cause such a bad name for their townfolk.

    Go CANES and bring it home tomorrow night!

  • At 5/29/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger nchurricane1 said…

    I can see hockey being a game I won't be able to watch as I get older because surely I will die of a heart attack. This is definately entertaining and while a Canes fan, it will be hard to see the Sabres loose. A very gutsy team.

    I thought the key last night was Wardos save of Afinogenov's breakaway with something like 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd. It was then that I felt the most comfortable that the Canes would pull it out. How lucky are we to have two high caliber goalies playing so well at this point in the season and cudos to them for being able to interchange with each other so well.

    I'm also hoping Staal is feeling good today. He seemed to be the main object of the Sabres wrath last night. He has to be a sore puppy this morning! Thank goodness for youth.

    Looking forward to another great game coming from Buffalo. I didn't see much of the Oilers/Ducks series but can't imagine either of those teams standing up to the NHL East this year...just way too much speed.

  • At 5/29/2006 9:08 AM, Blogger Bear said…

    I was suprised as well, expecting the Canes to donimate game 5. Cam allowed them to "steal" a win in this one. I felt that Rod had a bad night, and that seemed to set the tone for the team. I really felt that at the start of OT and the way that Buffalo came out we were not going to pull out a win. Like you said, they found a way and I couldn't be happier! I am really hoping this will not reach game 7 and they play game 6 like they played game 4. Go Canes!!

  • At 5/29/2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was a little disappointed that we weren't skating a little better Sunday night as well....but, in a way the suspense and a win in overtime I think does alot to keep the fan base begging for more.

    Hurricanes hockey seems to have taken some lessons from my Cardiac Pack!

    Bottom line is I think this team has "it"..whatever "it" is and I believe that the chances are good for our boys to bring home The Cup!

    -Brad (enjoying the ride in Houston, TX)

  • At 5/29/2006 10:32 AM, Blogger lak said…

    Well, they pulled it off! I have to admit judging by the way they had played thus far going into OT I was a little nervous. My husband and I sat in the stands literally sick to our stomachs with nerves for them during OT. We needed that win so bad going back to Buffalo on Tuesday that I almost couldn't watch. Thank God, things went our way! I truly believe that they have what it takes to win the cup. Bring home this series boys Tuesday night! Remember to keep your EYE on the prize!

    Happy Memorial Day to our fellow Caniac serving in Iraq. We appreciate all you (and every troop around the globe) are doing for us to ensure our safety. Today we celebrate the lives of those around us who have fallen to ensure our freedom.

    Finally, to Mr. Francis, I can't tell you how much we appreciate you taking the time to write these blogs. Your insight is amazing and I look forward to hearing what you have to say every time a new one is posted. Please let Erik Cole know that he is in our prayers. We can't wait for his return next season.

    Wrap it Tuesday in Buffalo!!!! Let's Go CANES!!!!

  • At 5/29/2006 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I couldnt agree with you more Ron. This series is far from over. I was hoping to see charged up Hurricanes last night but saw more of lucked up Hurricanes. We need to take Game 6 as it was Game 7. We have played with that kind of Tempo before against Montreal. Buffalo is still a deadly sabre so lets not turn our backs to give them chance to stab. It's time to enjoy the 10 mins of win and prepare for the much challenging game 6.

  • At 5/29/2006 11:06 AM, Blogger rmmeli said…

    I agree that the physical aspect eh Sabres brought to this gane put the Canes out of their stride. They also went out of their way to beat Staal up and the inconsistency of the refereeing helped them in this respect (am I the only one who thought the referees were particularly bad in this game?). The Canes defence obviously has decided to sit back and let the Sabres fowrards show their hands before trying to stop them...but it didn;t seem to work last night. They are an extremely good team. As everyone else has said, this series is far from over.....

  • At 5/29/2006 11:10 AM, Blogger canesguy said…

    I'll certainly echo what Ron and many of the other bloggers have said. The Canes did not come out at ALL as I expected last night. They looked sluggish and lethargic, expecially on defense, and too often hesitated that extra second in going for the puck. The team that put on such a clinic Friday night did not show up last night. After all the talk about Buffao's defensemen being worn down, ours were the ones that started off slow. Aaron Ward and Mike Commodore have been rocks for us in the playoffs, but let's face it - their performances last night were not stellar to put it mildly. Marty was not at all sharp and while he did not play badly he was dangerously close to being blown out completely. Kudos to Peter for having the good sense and guts to insert Cam when he did and kudos, bows, hats off etc. etc. to Wardo for his magnificent play which gave us the chance to tie things up and then emerge victorious. I don't think any of us can imagine Marty producing over 40 minutes of shutout hockey after his rocky start. That simply wouldn't have happened. Cam's play finally energized the team and as the old saying goes, made it a whole new ball game.
    Some things were good for the Canes - penalty kill couldn't have been better (4 for 4) and the power play was good - 2 for 7 including the game winner.
    Best of all was the Canes absolute refusal (led as usual by Roddy Brind'Amour)to give up - "Whatever It Takes" is indeed a good motto for them.
    OK guys - it's off to Buffalo for Game 6 with a bunch of mad, totally desperate Sabres. Much as I would love to see a wild Game 7 celebration at the RBC, I don't want to take that chance. PLEASE have another Game 4 of total Hurricane domination on Tuesday night, kill 'em off in Buffalo and I'll be whooping and hollering at the airport when you arrive. (SFC Ken - I'll do some whooping and hollering for you too.)
    Canes in 6! GO CANES!

  • At 5/29/2006 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I feel really bad for saying this, but I think we've seen the last game this season that will feature Gerber starting in net. I love the guy, but he's really not at the top of his game right now. The first goal wasn't totally his fault, but the second one was without a doubt one that he could've stopped. And when you let a highly offensive team like the Sabres get an easy goal, it's a real momentum shifter. If we were up 3-0 or 3-1 I could see them letting him say in net to get back into the swing of things, but with so much riding on every single game Coach doesn't want to take that chance, because it could very well mean the end of the season.

    One thing is for certain- Buffalo isn't going down easy, and more than likely we'll be back here for the series finale on Thursday unless something very dramatic happens to make game 6 different than game 5.

  • At 5/29/2006 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay, if MY adrenaline was flowing as much as it was during that game, I can't imagine what the players were feeling. Despite some less-than-stellar play, the Canes have a "never give up" attitude that pulls them through.

    I loved Weight's thread-the-needle pass to Recchi. I loved Rod's laser goal and the great Staal pass that led to it. I hate when we have to battle back from behind, but we did it, thank goodness.

    On a humorous note, check out the overtime goal on's highlights. As soon as the puck goes in, Stillman, Whitney and Cullen all leap into the air, land, and take off running in perfect synchronization. It's fun to watch.

    Let's go Canes!

  • At 5/29/2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am very glad that the Canes pulled off game 5, I have a feeling that we will win the series because we have the momentum we need to win.

    Good Choice by Peter to put Cam back in the net and Cam made many needed saves. Good job by Stillman for scoring his third playoff OT winner.

    I am sure that Buffalo will put up a good fight tomorrow night, and we will have to play our very best.

    When we win this series, which I am sure we will! We need to NOT touch the Eastern Conference Cup. We did in 2002 and we lost. Edmonton didn't touch the cup and if we don't either then we will see what happens.


  • At 5/29/2006 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Right on Ron! Winning players and coaches find a way. Those were gutsy calls on the goalies by Peter in the last two games. The players responded and I loved Peter's reaction to Stillman's winning goal. The 'Canes have great leadership on and off the ice!

  • At 5/29/2006 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That was a huge nailbiter! Also a huge win for our guys. All we need is one more to move on to the finals. I was really surprised as well to see the guys not come out blazing. I really thought they would bring a lot of momentum from their last win. It doesn't surprise me they gave Eric a hard time, they know as well as we do how great he is and despite all of the physical abuse he still managed an assist. Way to go Eric! Also Ward had some awesome saves that kept our guys in it. As the Canes always say, it's a team effort! Let's take Buffalo in 6!!

    Go Cane!!!!

  • At 5/29/2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    PLease, please , please win it in Buffalo. If we go to game seven and heaven forbid the Sabre's win they will need more than the RPD to deal with the obnoxious Buffalo fans. The Govoner will be calling out the National Guard!

  • At 5/29/2006 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here we are again with approximately ten plays that defined game 5 of an awesome Eastern Conference finals. My wife and I noticed: 1. Roy's stunning triple deke on Gerber 2. Laviolette's gutsy but correct call on removing Gerber 3. The worried look on Sabres faces as Jay McKee left the game. McKee returns and has an assist on Lydman's goal 4. Sabres' defenseman Campbell skating for an incredible 30 plus minutes 5. 7 of the 13 penalties were hooking 6. Cam Ward denying Afinogenov's breakaway shot 7. Staal steadily approaching Bure and Trottier's points records 8. Sabres' 0 for 4 PP 9. First time Buffalo has trailed in a playoff series 10. Best sign: "82 years a Sabres' fan. 3 years a Canes' fan. With age comes wisdom!" Go CANES Go!

  • At 5/29/2006 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think we are so lucky that we have two great goalies that can do such a great job supporting our 'Canes to victory! The fans were never able to have this kind of confidence in Irbe and Weeks. Gerber and Ward are an awesome pair who both step up when the other needs the support. And hats off to Peter who has made who gets the start into a strategy/strength vs. a punishment to the person who doesn't get to start. There is such a great, unselfish team spirit to the players and the coach -- such a joy to watch. Go 'Canes!!!

  • At 5/29/2006 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay - I'm sorry to say this, but the 'Canes aren't up to their capability. Sorry - they just aren't. Agreeing with Ron - the 'Canes just aren't playing like everyone "thinks" they should.

    Sad to say, but if the Hurricanes do win this series and go on to play for the cup, people are going to be wondering if it has to do with Buffalo's bad luck in their defense column. Sorry to say it folks, but that's what the question is.

    Yes, the 'Canes have been strong and continued to fight, but geez, I'm not sure they would have gotten this far if Buffalo was playing with more of the defense that helped get them here.

    Go figure, one would question the same about Cole for the 'Canes, but he's replaceable as far as the Hurricanes depth. But Buffalo and having to dig into another relm of players for their team?

    It's just sad to think that IF Carolina wins this series - will anyone believe that they deserved it instead of, "was handed a break" for it? It's hard to swallow being oh so close to falling before a bunch of non-superstars with raw speed and talent.

    Sorry - that's the way I (and a bunch of people) see it. Good luck to the Hurricanes, but forget the media (and the reasoning) behind them if they do win.

  • At 5/29/2006 11:26 PM, Blogger linda schlachter said…


  • At 5/30/2006 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dismissing Cole as "replaceable" is silly. Take Briere out of the Sabres lineup, and take 3 of our d-men out... What's your point? Maybe the Sabres should have traded for some defensive depth. Maybe the Sabres should have given more of their Rochester guys time at the NHL level to develop them. We'd bring in Tverdovsky, Hutchinson, or Babchuk, and be pretty comfortable with guys who have been in the mix all season. The Sabres made their bed by banking on keeping 6 NHL defensemen healthy, instead of developing or acquiring good depth. Now they are lying in it.

    Have injuries hurt Buffalo? No question about it. But when it's said and done, it's on the GM to give the coach a deep team, and on the whole staff to develop enough bodies to get through the grind. The story, if the Hurricanes can come out of this series, isn't going to be how Carolina was handed something. It's going to be that the Buffalo staff didn't do enough to put a playoff-ready team together.

  • At 5/30/2006 7:33 AM, Blogger SFC Ken said…

    Hey fellow bloggers, looks like I realy missed a big nail biter Sunday night. I told you that I wasn't going to be able to see the game because of a mission. Well, the mission was me coming home for 2 weeks of R&R without my kids finding out.

    As I made my way back home I called my wife to get an update on the game. I called trom Ireland and the game was tied 3 all. When I got to Alanta She told me they Canes pulled out a win in OT.

    Reading Mr. Francis comments and everyone elses, I thing it would have been a hard game to watch so in a way, I'm glad I didn't have to suffer through an OT win, even though our record in OT is very good.

    I'm gonna be at the cool bars tonight, and if we win, I'll be at the airport. I really hope the Canes finish them off tonight. That way I'll should be able to go to all of the games against the Oilers while I'm home :)

    lak, thank you for you kind words.

    Mr. Francis, thanks for this blog, while I was away I was starving for any hockey news, and to have one of our own, who has been there AND done that, this blog has been great.

    I hope to see some of you at the games here soon

  • At 5/30/2006 9:22 AM, Blogger lak said…

    Well said to the person that posted at 3:25 am! We have been winning all year and to say that people might think it was handed to us or question whether or not we deserve to win this series (or the Stanley Cup for that matter). I can't think of another team in the NHL that deserves it more! These guys have played their butts off all season long. You darn right they deserve it!!! With you all the way CANES!!! Tonight is the night we get it done!

  • At 5/30/2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All I can say is FINISH IT TONIGHT!!

    You guys are awesome and a classy group!! Don't let the goons from Buffalo see another game this season!

    GO CANES!!

  • At 5/30/2006 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay..Okay..Okay.. We didn't play good on Sunday.. it does not take a Hall of Famer and a few "yes sirs" to make a point...
    Everyone saw it..
    I love Francis but he is totally stating the obvious...
    I want him to analyze the game..
    • Why were the defensemen having so turnover? — tired, out-of-position or being exposed to a different mix of players?
    • Deep in the playoffs..everyone hurts... what comes out is who does the small things right... Tooo many times, the Canes were unable to match the speed coming off neutral zone...
    This has happened throughout the series... What adjustments need to be made..
    • If Buffalo becomes more aggressive, does that not leave room for odd-man rushes and breakaways.?
    Ron needs to analyze the game.. he's a master at that and I just don't there's enough intelligence for hockey fans who have followed the game for more than 20 years...
    Sorry but that's how I feel... GO 'Canes..

  • At 5/30/2006 1:26 PM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    I just want to put my 2 cents worth in -I enjoy the game -have since I used to watch HNIC with my Dad way back when(he was a Chicago fan) -about 35-40 years ago -one of my favorite memories. I know the game as well as some ,better than lots and not nearly as well as some others .I am getting a smile from doing this on line chat with Ron,who no doubt knew more about the game by the time he was 6 -But I appreciate that his comments don't come across like a professor in a post grad course that would leave me out of the loop.Thank you ,Ron , for not talking down to us .
    As well ,too much insight and analysis could backfire -who knows who might be reading this -Lindy Ruff ? We wouldn't want that on our conscience ,now would we ?
    Keep up the good work,Ron -you don't need to change a thing !We've got Don Cherry if we want to be lectured !
    Good Luck tonight ,Canes !
    the Cdn.Con. will be there in spirit -on the edge of her chair !

  • At 5/30/2006 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Ron Francis has pointed out the essence of why this game was so thrilling for Hurricanes fans and so gut wrenching for Buffalo fans. When our team is playing with one mind, one focus, one shift at a time, and one period at a time, they are the One team that can not be denied the Cup they play for. Sunday night was not one of those nights, instead it was a display of teammates supporting one another making the key plays that effect the ultimate reason the game is played, to score more goals than the other team. The team that can find a way, makes it's own way.
    Go Canes!
    Sammy Markov 55


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