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.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Great Start

When I said I liked the match up, even I didn't like it(6-0) that much. The Canes did exactly what they had to. They played their best game defensively in the playoffs and also showed that relentless pursuit of the puck that made them so successful during the regular season. They also shut down NJ's PP and obviously were very successful on their PP. They also did a great job of getting traffic in front of Brodeur. Having said all that, I would expect a different NJ team on Monday. Today the bounces went the Canes way, and NJ looked like a team that had a week off. NJ did not have the usual loose puck battle mentality that you would expect at this time of year. I expect that to change next game. The Canes on the other hand don't have to change, but rather maintain the same grit and determination they displayed in today's game. This was clearly their best game so far and I'm not saying that because of the score, but because of the way they played. The challenge for the Canes is similar to it was early in the first round when they were down 0-2, not letting themselves get down to low and stay focused on the game at hand. Now, they must do the same thing, not let themselves get to high after that win and be ready to do it all over again Monday. Keeping your emotions in check are a huge part of the playoffs.


  • At 5/06/2006 5:52 PM, Anonymous HurricanesAngel said…

    Absolutely AMAZING! Need I say more?

  • At 5/06/2006 6:37 PM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    *does her best Ben Stein* Wow.

    While I was expecting the Canes to do good, I certainly wasn't expecting 6-0 good either. o_O

    But I'm definitely not complaining (apart from Devils fans, who on Earth would?) looks like the Canes of the first two thirds of the season are FINALLY back. Except, I'd go as far as saying that these Canes are EVEN BETTER than the first two third season Canes...that power play today wasn't just smoking, it was an inferno. And speaking of being hot, Cam Ward...nuff said.

    In addition to the Canes playing absolutely fantastic hockey, I'm sure another thing that helped was the Devils being a bit rusty due to their having just about an entire week off. That said, you know the Devs don't play like that two games in a row. AND, I am quite willing to bet that Monday night's game will be a little more interesting on the scoreboard. But hey, if the Canes keep up what happened today, I will be much more than happy to be wrong... :D

  • At 5/06/2006 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Could you imagine what that drubbing woulda looked like if we had a healthy Erik Cole????

  • At 5/06/2006 7:44 PM, Anonymous apex fan said…

    Ron, it looked like there was a little bit of head-hunting going on out there on the part of NJ, but it didn't get them anywhere.

    Is it a correct assessment to say that head-hunting doesn't work anymore because the refs will actually call interference or roughing whereas they didn't do that in years past?

  • At 5/06/2006 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great game Canes. NJ won't be rusty
    come Monday night. It will be a closer came. Will Brodeur be in net?

  • At 5/06/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    Very exciting! It'll be interesting to see how Brodeur comes back on Monday. He appeared to be very frustrated.

  • At 5/06/2006 9:27 PM, Blogger Rick said…

    Will Brodeur be in net? Hello. Will the sun rise in the east tomorrow? New Jersey had a off game, no doubt. Brodeur didn't play a bad game but had some awful breaks from his perspective. He did get beat a couple times-I loved the Brind d'Amour goal! But asking if Brodeur will be in net is a rhetorical question. IMHO.

  • At 5/06/2006 9:29 PM, Blogger iBm said…

    Ron (we) weren't expecting a shut out either and thought the game would be a tighter match; however the Canes did an outstanding job today and we were thrilled!

    The Canes did a nice job of killing back to back penalties and I have to say this must have been something for young Cam Ward. Having a shut out against a goalie who he has so long admired (and) rightly so, Brodeur is outstanding. As I've said before the best of the best can have an off night. But with 21 saves - my hats off to him. "Nice Job".

    But as Cam reminded us in his interview - it wasn't all about him - it was a REAL team effort and I hope the Canes continue to show the drive on Monday as they did today. They were great.

    Way to go Canes!!! You Rocked the House!

  • At 5/06/2006 9:47 PM, Blogger Mikeyusmc said…

    What an impressive showing by the whole team. Ray Whitney was incredible as was Staal. The person that I am most pleased for is Cam Ward though. Imagine looking down the ice and seeing your childhood hero and then going on to having your first career playoff shutout. It looked like Brodeur was the rookie and Ward was the seasoned veteran. I agree with the rest though, the Devild will come out much better in game 2. All we can hope is our canes play with as much jump and skill as they did today. Go Canes!!!!

  • At 5/06/2006 11:06 PM, Blogger canesguy said…

    The REAL Canes showed up today and it was a thing of beauty to watch. Of course it won't be so easy in Game 2 (not that we would complain if it were) but now we truly know that we can do it. The Devils will be saying the same thing, but deep down inside they are wondering just a little.

  • At 5/06/2006 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ron, it did appear that Brindy did give up a 'mercy non-goal' on was there if he wanted it, but chose to let a soft pass for another forward to bang home.(Save, Marty)

    Thanks for the Blog...

  • At 5/07/2006 4:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank goodness for AFN (armed forces network). I wanted to shout after every goal but had to settle for just pumping my arms (I didn't want to wake my neighbors since it was almost midnight here).

    I found it interesting how NBC and ESPN both made excuses for the score, fluke goals, rusty players, etc., etc, anything but the Canes played their kind of hockey. Reminds me so much of 2002 where no one believed the Canes were any good. Let them keep thinking that, as long as the Canes don't let up the rest of the series we should be on our way to the conferance finals.

    Mr. Francis, what's going on in the locker room? How do the guys get this game out of their heads and prepare for Monday?

    SFC Ken

  • At 5/07/2006 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm happy to see I wasn't the only one out there who thought the NBC guys were one sided. I soooo missed Ray Whitney during Tripps bench interview! Can't say I missed Tripp, but definetely John Forslund. Keep going Canes! However, you know the Devils are going to come out ready in the 2nd game. Just keep up the teamwork!

  • At 5/07/2006 10:29 AM, Anonymous Puck Bard said…

    Southern Hospitality

    The Canes they did a tap dance, on the Devil's game,
    New Jersey came to Caroline, they'll leave the state in shame.
    They call us Southern crackers, we're inbred yokel goofs,
    Can rednecks play the frozen game? 6-0 is the proof.
    Ric Flair is our spokesman, we like it just that way,
    Wrastlin' and the Nascar are other sports we play.
    Good old boys and moonshine, Tarheel barbecue,
    Hockey can't be played down here? Son, the joke's on you.
    A hurricane can clear a path of misery and dread
    Now Carolina's found a place, deep in Brodeur's head.

  • At 5/07/2006 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Canes played at the top of their game - you can't ask for much more than that. They seemed to have stepped up a gear which they need to do. The Devils will come back without a doubt. Brodeur is a great goalie and will not let that many goals in again. Luckily I was at the game and missed the inane comments from the NBC/OLN team. Have they learnt the names of the Canes players yet? :)

  • At 5/07/2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was out of town, but watched the game on TV and I got really tired of hearing how great Brodeur was. I know he's a great goalie, but when he's getting waxed 6-0, let's give it a rest, okay? I agree with the previous post that the Canes never get credit for playing well. They played their game and they played it well. You can't make basic clean shots on Brodeur becuase he WILL stop them. You have to have a lot of traffic, maybe a power play, and people waiting for rebounds. That's what the Canes did, and it was GOOD!!

  • At 5/07/2006 10:54 PM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    Talk about taking the wind out of a guy's sails ! Marty probably didn't have enough wind left in him to blow out his candles !I know I'm too mature to gloat to my son,the Devils fan --no ,I'm not !!
    You know ,it's kinda fun being the only Canes fan surrounded by Montreal fans (putting it mildly)brothers - in -law and nephews ! Man, they're sore !! Keep the traffic in front of Brodeur ! What a great game ! Good night from the Canadian connection !

  • At 5/08/2006 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Ronnie! I thought the Canes played exceptionally well. They didn't slow down their pace when they were ahead by 2. NJ is going to come back with a vengeance and if our guys have the same energy as they did in game 1, it should be a very good hockey game. The way Brodeur lashed out at Justin Williams really showed his frustration. He'll be ready for us tonight. I expect NJ is going to do their best to rattle Cam's cage, it should be interesting to see how he handles that...if it happens :) He wasn't really tested the other night except for those last few plays. Cudos to our defense and our entire team.

  • At 5/08/2006 12:02 PM, Anonymous linda said…

    hey ron, i'm a new fan of hockey,coming from the south,but i absolutely love it and the hurricanes are the best. that was an awesome game on sat. and i was glad to see the team come together like they did. my 16 yr. old grandson was with me and he was thrilled to see the canes come out as they did. i hope they can go all the way.i'd really like to see them with the cup, as people think the south is all about food and hospitality. we have a really good canes team.

  • At 5/08/2006 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If I remember correctly the Hurricanes were down 2 games in the first round...hmmm...could it be that the Canes are celebrating a bit too soon? Go Devils! And please, you Hurricanes fans have just got to get over the hit on Francis by Stevens...get over it will you! Can anyone say "hockey"?!Can't wait to see the great NJ Devils give these over-sensitive Canes fans a run...Perhaps another cup for MVP Brodeur?


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