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 WRAL.com about the 'Canes bid for the Stanley Cup.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Game Seven

Well, as exciting as game sevens can be, I know nobody in this area was looking forward to watching one. This game reminded me in a lot of ways of game 5. In that game I thought the Canes didn't play a great game but won, and tonight, I didn't think they played all that bad a game and they lost. The first period was definitely all Buffalo, but at the end of it the Canes were only down 1 and that is not a bad spot for a visiting team in a hostile environment. You want to weather the storm and still be within striking distance at the end of 20 minutes of playoff hockey on the road, and the Canes did that. As the 2nd and 3rd periods progressed, I thought the Canes did a good job of slowly taking over the game. When Hedican scored, I'm sure a lot of you felt like I did, the game was now theirs. But again, similar to game 5, there was a great scoring chance near the end of the game, this time by Brindy not Afiniganov, and this time the save was by Miller and not Ward. The similarities don't end there. In overtime, this time it was Weight penalized and not Dumont, and this time Buffalo scored on the PP and not Carolina. So here we are. A game seven on the horizon. A game seven in the RBC. As a player I never wanted to have to play a game seven when my team was up 3-2, but I always wanted to play a game seven when my team was down 3-2. I also, always wanted that game seven to be in my building, with my fans, in a comfortable surrounding. That is where the Canes are now. The reason they worked hard all year was just incase there was a game seven, it would be in their building. The focus has to be all on game seven. Nothing that has happened this far in the playoffs or the regular season means a thing now, only Game 7. Historically game sevens are awesome. You think your heart has taken a beating to this point, game seven will show your heart that everything up to this point is childs play. There is no tomorrow. You win, you get to play for the Cup. You lose, you take out your Titleist Clubs and head for the links. As much as I love my Titleist Clubs, I would still like to watch hockey in Raleigh for a few more weeks.

57 Comments:

  • At 5/30/2006 11:17 PM, Blogger iBm said…

    I am guessing all those who watched the game tonight don't need a re-cap. Nice shot Hedican and great saves Cam. It is what it was..... too bad - I didn't want to see a game 7. To be honest I don't think my heart can take it.

    They'll have to play very different come Thursday night but being a big Hurricane Fan - I still think it's in their blood. Positive energy for the energy line. "Go Canes"

     
  • At 5/30/2006 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good job, guys, in getting back in the game. Now we have to close the deal. Let's show those Sabres that indeed, talk is cheap and that the action on the ice will speak volumes. Kudos again to our team for great effort and even greater character. I'm proud of our guys and proud to be part of the Caniac Nation. GO 'CANES!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These teams are a match made in heaven, but I'm hoping that tonight's loss will give the Hurricanes enough momentum to take the series on Thursday. The RBC center will certainly help, as well. It's getting to the point where I can't watch these games live because of nerves, but any amount of stomach knotted'ness is worth the possibility of the Stanley Cup! I say whichever team wins this series takes it all!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 1:38 AM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    As I said in my blogs: I may have picked this series to go seven games, but I would have preferred to see it end tonight instead.

    I *really* don't know how to feel about Game Six. On one hand, I thought the Canes played well...especially Cam Ward. Despite the loss, the Canes *really* ought to treat Wardo to a nice dinner, do all of his chores for a week, something, anything. Cam *was* the reason the Sabres only scored one goal in regulation.

    On the other hand, as much as I'm abhorring the refereeing in this series, it *is* hard to deny that the Canes are taking some obvious penalties here and there. If they could have cut that out AND play a complete sixty minutes of hockey tonight, we *might* have been talking about the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals.

    But enough about what could have been...and a little about what is coming. It cannot be stressed enough: The Canes have GOT to play a complete hour of hockey in Game Seven. The most definitive win of this series, Game Four, only resulted because a complete hour was played by every single Cane. If they can somehow repeat that performance, that coupled with a VERY LOUD Caniac heavy crowd* should result in a Sabre K.O.

    * - If I hear one, *just one* "Let's Go Buffalo/Sabres!" chant oozing its way through my TV's speakers, it will be all I can do to not tear out my hair. As if there just being a Game Seven isn't already making me crazy enough...then again, I've always been crazy, making this paragraph somewhat obsolete. :D

     
  • At 5/31/2006 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know. The last two games have not been strong for the Canes. I know they seemed to get a bit of life last night starting in the second period, but everyone except Cam seemed emotionally, mentally, and physically worn out. All night Buffalo seemed to have unrelentless energy, and I certainly expect them to carry most of their momentum down here; They have not seemed to be intimidated at all by the RBC Center.

    I really want Carolina to win, but I just can't help but to think that last night was their chance. They got throroughly beaten up by Buffalo, in more ways than one, and it's going to take an unbelievable amount of character and energy to win the next game. I believe Carolina has the character, but I'm not as positive on the energy.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 7:26 AM, Blogger Bobbert said…

    Good thing we don't have to decide the winner of the series based on the last two games, because I'd have to give it to Buffalo! Who was that team in White in the first period? They didn't even belong on the same ice as the Sabres. I love the Canes, but I'm very worried by what I have seen in the past two games. They had better show some of the fire they showed at the end of Game 6 for all 60 minutes tomorrow night! GO CANES!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ron, the Hurricanes did show a real spirit for overcoming in the third. However, I think the real story is the team let down Cam Ward who did everything in his power to perserve the game. Cam wore the brass conjones tonight, but no doubt this team will rebound. This match-up was made for 7 games. Losing now with this team would only mean the hunger has diminished. Hopefully the Canes will match Ward's intensity Thursday night.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 7:46 AM, Blogger nchurricane1 said…

    This sure has been a tremendous series of games. Who would of thought at the beginning of the season based upon all the pre-season write ups about the Sabres & Canes that we would be watching hockey like this this late in the season? Anyway...it will be fun to have the Canes win this most important game of the year at home!
    What I hope Ron is that the Canes come out tomorrow night right from the very beginning with their A game. It just seems that Buffalo comes out with a full intensity right from the initial puck drop whereas the Canes seem to take a period or more to get it going. I think I understand that the purpose is to slow Buffalo down some but that doesn't seem to be working and with the exception of the 4-0 win, we find ourselves playing catch up. As a fan watching the game, that certainly makes me somewhat nervous. I am hoping that this being Game 7 with a do or die outcome, we come right out. When the Canes kick it in to high gear, they are outstanding and I wouldn't be surprised to see another shutout. That last goal last night was just one of those flukey things that if Cams glove had been an inch higher, would not of happened.
    LETS GO CANES

     
  • At 5/31/2006 7:57 AM, Blogger rmmeli said…

    Like everyone else (at least here in Raleigh) I thought it was the Canes game to win after they had drawn level. Unfortunately it was not to be. Hopefully they can get it done on Thursday. It is obviously anyone's game now but it is better to be on home ice than on away ice.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This roller coaster ride is not for the faint of heart. I am with the majority in saying last night was their chance to bring it all together. I hope they can do it one more time in game seven on home ice but that creepy little doubt is in the back of my mind. They play an excellent game of hockey for 60 minutes when they want to. I asked myself the other night when they were down 3-1 "do they want to win the Stanley Cup?" The answer was obvious in the way they came back and won. But last night they did not show me too much especially a seasoned played like Doug giving the edge to the Sabers the way he did. All except Cam. What a brilliant young goalie and what a future he has in hockey. Thank God for Cam - now rally Canes around your goalie and let's get it done.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The canes were lucky that the game wasn't higher scoring. Ward play awesome in goal and he was the only reason why we had the chance to tie it at the end. Would someone for god's sake please tell the players to go to the front of the net?? There were so many opportunities that our players were looking for passes to the front and for rebound shots. We need to show the world how loud canes fans can be for game 7!! During game 5, I got really tired of hearing all of the annoying buffalo fans saying how we were lucky that we won because they were shorthanded due to injuries. Excuses, excuses. Just wait sabres fans, a hurricanes a brewin'!! GO CANES!!!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was not looking forward to Game 7 either, especially since the Sabres fans have been filling up the 3rd level and getting noisy. But that's the game...and we'll be there to shout them down! Cam Ward definitely needs extra kudos, but all the guys need to just clear their heads and get it done Thursday night! I was all set to change signs on the car, now I have to wait....just finish it guys! Go Canes!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:15 AM, Anonymous robert y. said…

    I sure hated to see that puck trickle in over Cam's shoulder. What I hated worse though was the no-call on Briere's hook on the clearout attempt at the end of the PP. The outcome may have been the same after all was said and done, but the stripes have got to reward the defense (and penalize the offense) in that situation. I'm guessing that if there had been more time left on the PP they probably would have blown the whistle. Hopefully if there's a questionable call on Thursday it will go our way. But that was extremely frustrating. I anticipate an onslaught from the Canes from the first drop on Thursday. I think the Sabres have the momentum right now but the crowd should be an equalizer early in the game. Then it's up to the boys to get the job done.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Game 6, Cam Ward… jaw dropping save, after save, after save. Now we know how Buffalo felt the morning after game 5.
    This will be the series that people will talk about for years to come. Now we have Game Seven to be played in The Capital of North Carolina on the first Official day of Hurricane Season.... who wrote this script? Each team has so much riding on the last game in the Eastern Conference.
    I say to all Hurricanes fans, do not waiver, fill the part of you that enjoys hockey with a belief in our team who has earned every bit of it, all season long.
    This Hurricane is heading for Edmonton.
    Sammy Markov 55

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    That was a tough one -a few times the Canes were able to look like they were getting it together -but for the most part the Sabres just out-hustled them .They were fast ,had sharp passing -and there just seemed to be so many of them -in the way ! Time to say -Right back at ya !Cam was great -but the Sabres did to our boys what our boys did to 2 other teams -shut them down -so they know what to do ,they've done it before -and 7th games are so exciting -if you don't care -and scary as hell if you do ! Just no overtime -I can't take it !Wish I could be there !I wiil be in spirit ! Go ,Canes !!
    I'm not ready to stop talkin' to y'all -just 5 more games -our way ! Is that too much to ask ?
    Ron,put those clubs away - it ain't over yet !! the Cdn.Con.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:53 AM, Blogger canesfan said…

    Poor Officiating
    A fund needs to be established and a bounty put on the heads of NHL officials.

    Effective immediately!

    Enough is enough.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger Rick said…

    For the first time in this blog, I disagree with you, Ron. Not that I have any "right" to nor certainly the expertise to, however, I feel the Canes did NOT play well tonight. They did not seem spirited and full of energy. They did not go after loose pucks and certainly not with a vengence or determination. They did not play aggressive defense. They did not finish checks, with a few exceptions. They did not pound bodies in the defensive zone. They played with reserve. Indeed without Cam Ward's exception work in net, they would have lost 6-1 or more. I dare say the 2-1 final score is not even close to indicating the nature and quality of the game. While I know I am beating the same ol' drum, the physicality of the Sabres has dictated the style and nature of the Cane's game. I am bewildered why the Canes do not play more aggressively? Why Laviolette doesn't motivate them to pound bodies, finish checks, play with reckless abandon in the defensive zone? Why not give Buffalo a dose of their own medicine? I believe in the Canes and their abilities, their talent and the desire to win; however, unless they get tough, physically tough, like you suggested Ron, they can call for tee times.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bring in Gerber!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    First, before anyone labels us crybabies, I thought the Sabres completely outplayed the Canes in Game 5 and should have won.

    That being said, the officiating is atrocious - but last night was one of the worst. I wonder if Bettman said to the refs, "We can't have both conference finals end in 5-6 games, make sure this one goes 7!"

    Let's look at some key stats:
    Period 1 Penalties: Car 1, Buf 3
    Period 2 Penalties: Car 3, Buf 0
    Period 3 Penalties: Car 0, Buf 0
    OT Penalties: Car 1, Buf 0

    You mean to tell me the Sabres did absolutely NOTHING wrong for over 2 periods? GIVE ME A BREAK! The refs handed them this game after the Canes got their legs. After the Canes started playing, penalty after penalty against us.

    More facts: Kevin Adams gets a penalty for elbowing, yet when Glen Wesley is elbowed in the head against the boards leading him to go to the bench (prob with a slight concussion) was there a penalty on Buffalo? NOPE.

    More facts: Kevin Adams was given a penalty for roughing after the play when he took out one of the Sabres players near the goal. Later, after the play, a Sabre player clocked Ladd in the face with a punch but was a penalty called? NOPE.

    More facts: Fine, you call a boarding penalty in OT on Weight. But what about the hook/trip that Briere did to keep the puck in our end right before he scored the winning goal? Penalty? NOPE!

    I just hope the referees will be consistent in Game 7.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger viapanam said…

    Well, its off to game seven, and I also hate the infiltration of Sabre fans into OUR HOUSE. But really, shame on us for not selling out our house and making sure that there were no seats available. I have found the Sabre fans - particularly in game 5 - to be so obnoxious that they really limited my enjoyment of the game. I suspect it will be even worse tomorrow night. Oh well, no better way to shut them up than by scoring and WINNING.

    Remember, the Canes beat the Sabres 4 - 0 in Buffalo. We can do this. Every one of us needs to be there, yell as load as we can, and root this team to victory.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Canes fan -> Poor Officiating hmmm...

    Let me see - I agree the officiating was poor IN THE FIRST PERIOD - two cheap penalties against the Sabres. Also cheap tripping call against the Sabres #74 later on.

    The boarding call in OT was not cheap, it was a proper call seeing they let another one by the Canes get by late in the third period.

    Now all that said - the Sabres know all about bad officiating (NO GOAL) BUT - BUT - BUT great teams overcome any and all officiating.

    Rise your play to the level ABOVE the ability of any ref to make a difference.

    It was one great game and I will tell you OT is much easier on the heart live than on TV. Had some nice seats thirteen rows from the ice at HSBC - the place was deafening. Seen ghosts of Tim Horton and Roger the doger Crozier flying around the Area, no wait that was the mascot coming down from the rafters as the fans lifted the roof during the pregame introductions... 8-)

    Well good luck canes, always liked you Ron Francis, but this is one longtime Sabres fan hoping we get this game seven for Don Luce, Craig Ramsey, Jim (the rookie whipping three Bruins in one game) Schoenfeld, Danny Gare and whole heap of other quality Sabres throughout the years.

    Enjoy the time Caniacs and get ready for a few "Let's Go Buffalo" calls coming down from the 300 level.

    -Frank Broughton - Buffalo, New York

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:28 AM, Blogger rmmeli said…

    There is a reason why the Sabres fans are there in large numbers - the ticket price hike and the unwillingness of people here to pay the money. If the Canes really wanted to fill the RBC Center with Canes fans they would not have priced the tickets the way they did. I know a lot of people who either were unwilling or unable to pay the prices. But this is a business just like any other and the goal is to make as much money as possible (and you can't blame them for that). I will be there surrounded by Sabres fans again on Thursday.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:30 AM, Blogger DrFrankLives said…

    Ron, go talk to the guys and remind them that they have to actually play in the First Period.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here we go again - it's the officiating and "boo-hoo" for Carolina. For God's sake, the 'Canes did not play well and seemed to be much slower than Buffalo most of the time. The calls were pretty fair and you know it (I watched all of the replays too).

    The thing that saved the Hurricanes from being scored on much, much more than they were, was Cam Ward behind the pipes. These rookie goalies in this series are the strength for both teams right now.

    Buffalo deserved that win last night. Everyone hopes for the 'Canes to win, but let's not attribute the loss to officials - Carolina needs to play better (and smarter) if they hope to win.

    Anyone would fall in love with the Buffalo team after last night. They skated faster and moved the puck amazingly better than the Hurricanes. It shows that Buffalo's shallow roster isn't going to limit them.

    Game 7 proves to be one exciting nail-biter. Don't let the Buffalo fans get to you - the Hurricanes fans can "give it" just as much. Let's stop crying about the loss and give it up about the refs. A win is a win (just as a loss is a loss) and tomorrow is anyone's game.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks again for an excellent commentary Ron. Let's give the 'Canes all the support they deserve for working so hard during the regular season to have the advantage of playing game 7 AT HOME!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger SFC Ken said…

    I don't know how many of you were at the Ale House last night, this was my 1st exposure this season to the Caniacs...man if felt good, I've really missed it.

    3 TV stations were there for the 3rd period to film the victory, when Bret scroed they were all over the place taping our excitement of the goal.

    Unfortunately the OT didn't go our way. I can't lay the blame on the refs though, because the Canes didn't play 60 minutes of hockey. We all know what they can do when they play their game all 3 periods, and they didn't last night.

    Game 7, as a season ticket holder, it will be my 1st game that i get to go to this year, and everyones 1st game seven in the RBC. Unfortunately, it could also be my last game of the season too. I really hope not. The team worked hard all year long, they deserve the cup, much more than our run in 2002.

    I hope they come out with urgency and dominate, because if they don't, it's gonna be a sad night for them and us Caniacs. GO CANES!!!!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    What's done is done and we can't dwell on it. Miller and Ward both played a hell of a game last night and the Sabres got a lucky bounce to win it. We just need to be solid tomorrow and come out strong.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 12:32 PM, Blogger linda schlachter said…

    HEY RON, SURE WAS DISAPPOINTED LAST NIGHT IN THE OUTCOME. I THINK THE CANES WERE NOT AS AGRESSIVE AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST PERIOD. BUT I THINK THEY MADE A TERRIFIC COMEBACK,TO LOSE IT IN OVERTIME. THEY REALLY NEED TO STAY UP ON THESE GUYS AND KEEP THE PUCK FROM THEIR END. MY HEART HAS REALLY TOOK A BEATING THIS SEASON, BUT I THINK WITH ALL THE FANS PULLING BEHIND THEM AND FILLING THE RBC CENTER THURS. NIGHT,THEY CAN WIN THIS PLAYOFF. I TOO HATE TO SEE THOSE OBNOXIOUS SABRE FANS COME IN ,CAUSE IT TAKES ALOT AWAY FROM OUR ENJOYMENT OF THE GAME. I OVERHEARD ONE GUY AT THE LAST GAME ,WHO WAS PULLING FOR THE SABRE'S SAY HE LIVED IN NC, BUT WAS A SABRE FAN. I THINK HE NEEDS TO MOVE BACK TO BUFFALO IF HE'S SO PROUD OF THE SABRE'S. I HAVEN'T BEEN IMPRESSED BY THEIR COACH'S REMARKS OR THEIR FANS. I THINK THEY ARE REAL COCKY. I BELIEVE IN THE CANES AND I HOPE WITH THEIR FANS THERE CHEERING THEM ON,THEY CAN TAKE THIS BUFFALO TEAM. LET'S GO GUYS,LET'S SHOW THEM WHAT CAROLINA IS ALL ABOUT!!! I THINK ALL THE FANS SHOULD GIVE OUR BOYS THE KUDO'S THEY DESERVE. KEEP THEY SABRE FANS OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOUR TO A WHISPER ABOVE THE CANES FANS SHOUTING FOR THEIR TEAM. LET'S GO CANES!! WIN THIS ONE FOR ERIK!!!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a local (Cary) Sabres fan, I'm just glad that we have a team after we came so close to going bankrupt; and to be in the Eastern Conf. finals against an equally talented Canes team, with game 7 on the horizon, is really fantastic, for both cities. Canes and Sabres fans - we are enjoying a classic 7-game series, with the new rules, and new emphasis on skill and speed. And unbelievable play from two young goalies. True, the refs won't always get it right, but it balances out in the end. Hockey just doesn't get any better than this! Go 'Canes, and Go Sabres!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This has been a great series - and I don't know how the finals can comete with this!

    However, the series has been marred by the showmanship of Lindy Ruff. If I were The Sporting News, I would revoke his Coach of the Year award and give him whiner of the year award. His team is even guiltier of diving (read Doug Weight's comments on the penalty) - yet it is only the Canes. I am hoping that the Sabres can find a pool next week to use while the Canes are in the Cup finals - so they can keep their diving sharp!

    I will be there - hopefully more Canes fans will be there - after all - this is the Final Four!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The 2nd and 3rd periods were pretty equal. The first period was definitely Buffalo, but to state that they "outplayed" Carolina the whole game is completely FALSE. Give a team all the powerplays in the 2nd period and it will appear that they "outplayed" the opposition, but they didn't (look at the shots on goal).

    2nd period SOG: Car 9, Buf 10
    3rd period SOG: Car 12, Buf 6

    Yeah, keep telling yourself Buffalo outplayed them, but the stats don't lie. Either that or Buffalo can't shoot on net...

    In the 2nd period, if Stall didn't completely miss an open corner of the net or Williams buried that crossing pass into the empty net, maybe a DIFFERENT OUTCOME!

    I thought the 2nd and 3rd periods were very close and great hockey. Period 1 was a complete disaster for the Canes, thank God for Ward!

    I will say it again, to believe the Sabres played penalty-free hockey for over 2 periods is completely outrageous!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger brindyfan said…

    Thanks Rof for your blog! I always look forward to reading your thoughts because you have "been there done that" and know the game so well!! I am also so excited about tomorrow night game and seeing Brindamour on the ice! Hopefully not for the last time this season also! He is too good looking to go away so soon! LOL Thanks again for your posts!!! You Rock!!!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    I think the Canes can come out a huge winner in this game, the fans love them and really rally behind them. I will be glued to my tv tomorrow night watching them. The only thing I miss about them is watching Ron Francis play.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger brindyfan said…

    Thank you Ron for your comments! I always look forward to reading your thoughts on the game! Especially since you know the game so well and you have "been there and done that" in the past so you have room to praise and/or be critical! (unlike some of the news papers and other people do some times).. LOL
    Looking forward to a great game 7 and seeing the ever so Good Looking Rod Brindamour on the ice again! Hopefully not for the last time this season also!! He is so yummy!! :-)

    Thank you again!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe the sloppy ice played into Buffalo's favor and against the Canes. The RBC crowd and solid ice tilt the odds in favor of Carolina in Game 7.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger Justin K said…

    It was a tough loss, and I am not surprised to see that the media has totally shifted in favor of the Sabres, but in my heart I believe that the best is yet to come. Hurricane season begins tomorrow, and it is time for the east coast to brace for the storm. It may not have made landfall last night, but as a city, we will need to work together to get things rocking and rolling for our fellas.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks Ron! After reading your blog after I woke up this AM, I decided it was my duty as a Canes fan to head out to the RBC Center and get tickets for tomorrow night. Sure it wasn't cheap, but it's the least I can do to take 2 tickets away from a Buffalo fan and add 2 more screaming voices for our team. Either way, it will be the best of all games to attend - the final game of a terrific season or the Eastern Conference Championship win and send-off to the finals. No matter what happens, I am proud of this team and what they have accomplished this year...and I am proud to be a Caniac!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ron, I really enjoy your blog, and your perspective on this series, as a player, is fair and balanced, and respected. Game 7 in this series is going to be an event. I think both teams are going to leave everything on the ice tomorrow night, win or lose. I'm a born Sabres fan, but support the Canes too because I live here. My playoff dream came true! I hope it's a clean, hard-hitting game on good ice that everyone in the RBC Center will remember for a long time. The Oilers are going to run into a Hurricane or a Stampede, and lose.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 4:10 PM, Blogger lak said…

    I didn't think it would take Sabres fans long to come out of the woodwork and start talking smack! With the exception of the fan from Cary. He actually talks like he has some smarts about him. But, to Mr. Broughton from Buffalo I don't know what game you were watching last night, but the calls were completely one sided for the better part of the game. It's over now and it doesn't really matter. We have to move past that and play game 7. I know without a doubt the better team will prevail, so get ready. I don't think it is just a coinsidence that Buffalo has to play us on the first day of Hurricane season. Be afraid Buffalo! Be very afraid because the EYE of the storm is upon us! Caniacs have faith in their team. If I were Lindy Ruff, I would be a little worried.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger hoopla said…

    We really shouldn't be all that nervous about a Game 7. The NCAA Basketball tourney is a series of game 7's. Given that we've sent a team to 23 of the last 35 Final Fours, we all will be excited, but shouldn't treat it like something of unexperienced weight.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Michiganhockey said…

    I was so hoping that they'd win game 6. But I guess they just want to win in front of the home town crowd, can't really blame them there.
    I have seen a few years where the golf clubs come out instead of the final round of play off's.
    Hope to be watching the Hurricanes battle it out with the Oilers.

     
  • At 5/31/2006 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i agree

     
  • At 5/31/2006 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hurricane season starts Thursday... enough said? GO CANES!! Next stop... Edmonton!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay "lak" (a.k.a. "la-c-k" of hockey know-how) -- I don't know "what game YOU were watching", but the officiating was no more "one-sided" than any other team losing wants to believe. Hockey hits are hockey hits. The penalties were not one-sided in this game! Honestly, were you watching the GAME??!!
    At any rate, Buffalo has to come out strong if they want to beat the 'Canes. And, Carolina has to play hard and fast all 60 minutes of this next game to make it a not-decided-by-power-plays-or-lucky shots" game winner.
    And, what's with all of the stats that FANS (not analysts, mind you) are "re-living"?? This isn't Baseball people!!!
    The point is, this is one heck of a series match-up -- this is good 'ol-fashioned hockey, people! Love it! Live it! Don't (constantly) make excuses for it/the 'Canes ----
    Can't you Carolina fans love and admire an INCREDIBLE hockey match-up (series) wihtout taking EVERYTHING as a "challenge" madia-wise??
    Buffalo has an incredible fast, young, never-say-die team --- AND, Carolina has a solid team base that can win hockey games without self-pity.

    I'm happy about a Game 7 -- this is HOCKEY you know!
    May the best Team win!!!!!

     
  • At 5/31/2006 11:11 PM, Blogger lak said…

    Whatever! Anonymous who posted at 10:17 pm. Maybe I don't know a lot about the rules of hockey that's true, (not yet atleast) but I do know a one sided game when I see one. To tell you the truth I don't think Buffalo deserves anything after the way they have acted during this series. So, you tell me how could I love and admire that?? I would be ashamed if they were representing my home state. I don't have to worry about that though. We couldn't ask for better team to represent the great state of NC than the Carolina Hurricanes! They are all upstanding guys. That has a lot to do with those who lead them. Like their coach and their capitan. They are first class. Maybe Lindy Ruff could take some lessons. I may "lack" knowledge about hockey (as you put it) but I do not lack the good sense to know a winning hockey team when I see one! Call it luck if you want to, but us Caniacs know that it is way more than luck that has gotten us this far. Atleast we haven't had to resort to taking cheap shots to win a game. (Hence the bad call on Weight). Could the Sabres be anymore dramatic? Fasten your seat belts you could be in for a very rough ride. GO CANES!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 5:22 AM, Anonymous KEEPERP said…

    Game 7 is the only game in focus and nothing in the past matters. The canes must play hard, smart and enjoy playing a game 7 conference final. Go for the win!! GO CANES!!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tonight's game will be a defining moment for the Canes. The entire season comes down to this one game. Unlike Game 6, they will need to play 60 minutes of hockey and not "skip" the first period. The Sabres are tough, fast, and relentless and tonight the Canes' will need to "take it to the next level" in the words of Justin Williams in his interview on AM 850 yesterday. They are certainly capable of this especially at home, a friendly enviroment, and a deafening crowd. Although the officiating has been questionable at best it certainly did not lose the game for the Canes in game 6. Cam Ward played tremendously and the score could have been 4-0 at the end of the first if it wasn't for his performance. All I can say is I will be there tonight cheering the boys' to victory and the Stanley Cup. I only ask one thing-- Please score early, score first, don't lose the lead and win in regulation--My heart just can't take anymore of this!!!!

    Great Job guys!!
    All the best!!
    GO CANES!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 11:11 AM, Blogger rmmeli said…

    Let's all forget about all the stupid comments (including those from Lindy Ruff) and concentrate on the game. If the Canes do not come out with a lot of jump in the first period then they do not deserve to win it. Whoever wins, these are two very good hockey clubs and they should go on and win the Stanley Cup. Oh and let's just remember...it is only a game of hockey!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Today is the official start of hurricane season! Good omen.

     
  • At 6/01/2006 1:20 PM, Blogger HurricanesAngel said…

    Can anyone tell me why the Sabres are such poor sportsman? I mean my goodness they get all the breaks and the Hurricanes have to work for everything they get and then some. You don't see the Hurricanes crying every time they lose a game. They suck it up and come back with a vengence. I'm extremely proud and admire every single player on the Hurricanes team. They are true competors and win or lose tonight... they are already WINNERS in my book. Go Canes'!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I (Cary Sabre fan) think the game tonight will be won by the team that has the most composure, and plays smart. That playing style will reduce penalties, and frustrate the other team into making mistakes. And, I think special teams will be huge - the penalty killing unit of the Sabres vs the powerplay unit of the Canes is especially big. Last ingredient is experience. The Canes have the edge there, no argument. I hate to say it, but the Canes are a little deeper, more experienced, and just as fast as the Sabres. If the refs call a balanced game, I see the Canes winning convincingly with special teams. If the Sabres frustrate the Canes with a relentless attack and younger legs, and maybe a quick goal, I see the Sabres winning. In any event one of my two favorite hockey teams is going to the Stanley Cup, so I'm happy!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 2:13 PM, Anonymous hockeyfan said…

    I'm a hockey fan and I think that fans from both teams are capable of showing poor sportsmanship. It's sad to see such ugliness with this exciting match up in the playoffs. Honestly, I think maybe the Canes fans are taking everything personally and forgetting that this is a professional playoff. Not college basketball or football. I'm not a Sabres fan or a Hurricanes fan, but I am a fan of this great game (besides, my team is hitting the links by now). I have to think that maybe the Canes fans have forgotten that they're somewhat new to the club, so just let the Sabres fans go on and do whatever they do in the name of their beloved team. You all do the same for your Carolina team. Ignore the Sabres fans if they get to you. But remember, this is what competition is all about. Not everyone down here is a Carolina fan so you're going to get the bantering. Perhaps all of the Carolina fans talk about this being 'YOUR HOUSE' and 'HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS TODAY' may just be fueling the fire. Enjoy this series and just calm down. No one is necessarily picking on or picking a fight with the Hurricanes fans. It may just be defending some harsh Southern words ('cause what comes around goes around). Tonight's game is going to be exciting. Enjoy it and stop getting yourselves upset and bashing the opponents fans before the RBC is even filled.
    And remember,
    **It's not personal, it's hockey.**

     
  • At 6/01/2006 3:52 PM, Blogger canesguy said…

    I was so depressed all day yesterday (Wed.). To lose was terrible but to lose after a cheap, cheap, cheap penalty on Doug Weight followed by a no-call on a hook that was clear even to the OLN announcer - all that was too much to bear.
    BUT this is another day and the Canes are back in Raleigh and will make Caniac nation proud and joyous tonight. I truly and honestly believe that the Canes are the better team and tonight they will prove it. All Canes fans lucky enough to be there need to be the loudest we have ever been to drown out the slobs (for the most part) from Buffalo and give our guys as much energy as possible.
    For anyone who thinks the home crowd doesn't make a difference, I would like to share two quotes from the New York Times after the glorious Game 5 victory over the Devils. I have not seen these particular quotes elsewhere. The reporter, Jason Diamos (who writes excellent, unbiased coverage by the way), quoted Scott Gomez: "People don't realize how loud that arena is. We've always had trouble there." And from Martin Brodeur himself: "It's a tough building to play in and it looks like they feed off the energy of the fans."
    So, fellow Caniacs, we CAN make a difference. Let's energize the guys into a complete 60 minute performance. After all, this is June 1 - Hurricane season begins today. GO CANES!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hurricane Season begins today!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 6:52 PM, Anonymous ERice said…

    I hope that as the Hurricanes mentally prepare for tonight's game - and nowhere like in sports does the phrase, "You get what you concentrate on" ring more true. If the 'canes approach the game with the attitude that "...we're gonna WIN and beat them 5-0, they'll WIN! But if it's, "Oh poop I hope I'm not the one to be the goat that screws up our chances for the cup", they'll lose.

    There's a huge difference between the PLAYING TO WIN vs the playing not to lose approach. They have to go all out for it - they have to take it with the skating effort we all know and have seen before. And probably most importantly they have to visualize and put the feeling of winning behind that vision - of them winning Game-7 over Buffalo and each one of them hoisting the Cup over their victorious heads after the finals!

    If I was playing I'd be saying, "I'm going to be the hero of tonights game with at least a goal and an assist!" 'Canes, who's gonna be the HERO tonight!

    Good Luck - Create your own luck!
    ERice@Forestworks.com

     
  • At 6/01/2006 10:38 PM, Anonymous gobocarp said…

    I really enjoyed captain Rod Brindamours unsportsmanlike comments during his interview after the game. It was a huge surprise coming from a guy like him, bitching about his opponents coach. I wonder if he was referring to anything like his own coaches winefest during the pregame on friday night when the main topic was what occurs after the whistle. Do you think they might have been lamenting the 2 hand slash on Ryan Miller, the shot on Miller a good 5 seconds after a whistle, possibly Williams punching Pomminville in the face after a whistle in game 6, oh, no, it must be Niclas Wallin, "the secret weapon", taking down Daniel Brierre by the head from behind well after a whistle. Brierre was clearly a threat by the way he was skating in the other direction and clearly deserved such spotsmanlike treatment. I congratulate both Buffalo and Carolina for a superb series. I always abhor poor officiating and after what Buffalo was dealy during the Ottowa series any call was hard to take. They say it will balance over time but I'm to tired of it to wait. Immagine how good it would feel to be moving on to the finals had the Hurricanes beaten Buffalo at even strength and against the starters. I guess they really mean it when they say willing to do anything!

     
  • At 6/01/2006 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    zThe Canes are lucky! There passing tonight did them no good. They looked nervous. Buffalo passed and had many more set opportunities than the Canes. But luck and drive kept them in it. I am and always will be proud to be a Canes fan. It's going to be a tough series for the cup. Canes will need to be as fast as possible in order to stay in the hunt.

     

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