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.