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.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Welcome Back Martin

Now that is what I was talking about when I said they were still okay. Other than the chances the Canes gave up early, (Gerber was huge early), I thought the Canes settled in nicely to their game. They did a good job defensively in all areas of the game. Their PK was much better tonight and their PP scored an important goal at a crucial point, both real good signs. The Canes did a good job of working a depleted Buffalo defense that actually played better than I thought they would. A defense though, that once it was behind, had a tough time igniting the Sabre transition game and as a result had to take more chances which led to opening themselves up more than they would have liked to. Martin Gerber did a nice job returning to the net tonight. He made some big saves early and that seemed to give him the confidence he showed all year long. As well as he played tonight, I don't think he won the game for the Canes. I don't say that to sound mean, but rather just like I didn't think he was the reason the Canes lost the first 2 playoff games, I think the team that played in front of him tonight was more like the team that played in front of him all season. The team that played in front of him the first 2 playoff games was not! So all in all the Canes did what they had to do, regain home ice and in a convincing fashion. I fully expect a loud RBC Center on Sun. and that will lead to a huge start for the Canes. If Buffalo is to win this series, it will be imperitive they survive the first period of that game. If not, there will be no looking back for the Canes.


  • At 5/26/2006 11:09 PM, Blogger iBm said…

    In my previous response I had stated it was important to have to great goalie's - I had a feeling Gerber would be back in the net tonight and he made some huge saves with a shut out to boot - How grand is that?! Total team work so far. Gerber got us there with (I believe) 40 wins.... Cam came in and did outstanding while he was sick and made a nice spot in history AND even though he's been out a month - Gerber had a true showing for tonights game.

    NOT to take away from the Canes because they were outstanding. Good job on the "D" - less penalties, good speed. We have the talent that's for sure.

    You're right the RBC will be louder than ever - I am sure it'll reach 140dB. Cane fans..... we are "Hockey Central" lol.....

  • At 5/26/2006 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good Game Tonight. Solid effort, and tight on discipline which is what the Canes lacked in Game 3.
    Cole's not coming back. Time to suit up Ronnie!

  • At 5/26/2006 11:12 PM, Blogger nchurricane1 said…

    I couldn't agree with you more was a complete team win tonight. Gerber was outstanding though and saves in the 1st period were key. Stahl continues to impress and congrats to Andrew Ladd for his 1st NHL goal. I'm sure it will be even more special that it was during a playoff game. I wish you could replay the post game show on OLN... They kept talking about the clinic the Canes put on tonight.. Can't wait til Sunday night...only wish I could afford 5 tickets to take the entire family!!

  • At 5/26/2006 11:55 PM, Blogger canesguy said…

    Glorious, glorious, glorious! What a game - what a team effort. You are right of course, Ron, that Marty didn't win the game for us but I do think it is safe to say he gave us the chance to win with those magnificent 1st period saves before we scored. If Buffalo had gone up 1, much less 2, which could have easily happened, the rest of the game might have gone very differently. Marty definitely deserves his 1st star! But the whole team deserves stars for such an effort in every aspect of the game - a true clinic.
    What momentum to ride into the RBC Center on Sunday for Game 5. I truly expect the roof to come off when the Canes take the ice and I look forward to another 3 periods of Hurricane style hockey.
    I am one high flying Caniac - off to the airport now to greet the conquering heros. Canes in 6! GO CANES!

  • At 5/27/2006 12:04 AM, Anonymous janet rudderham said…

    That's the way ,uh huh,uh huh ,I like it !uh huh , uh huh ! What a luxury -to have 2 #1 goalies ! I missed the first period ,and just sat back and enjoyed the last 2 .When they click ,the Canes are a thing of beauty to watch !And all the Canadian sports channels can't say enough good things about our guys ,their coach -even the GM -Mr.Rutherford must be blushing !
    But Lindy Ruff wasn't smiling -oh yeah -why would he ? I was smiling enough for both of us !! Keep it going ,guys -The view from up here is lookin' good -real good !Til Sunday !! the Cdn Con.

  • At 5/27/2006 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What an awesome game!! Gerber did a great job in net and his key saves in the first really got the momentum we needed. It was really great to see the guys play like the team we all know they are! I think we really took a lot away from the Sabres tonight. I CAN'T wait to get inside the arena Sunday because as it has already been said it will be a loud, proud place to be! I agree with you Ron that if we take this next one, there will be no looking back!

    Let's Go Canes!!!!!! It's Stanley Cup Fever in Raleigh!

    Congrats to Ladd on his first playoff goal and a huge Thank You to Wardo for helping bring the Canes to the point they are at now! We are very fortunate to have not one, but two awesome netminders! And we can't forget Eric! The best move the Canes ever made was to draft him! Great Job to all of the guys on tonight's game! We always love the big SO!!

  • At 5/27/2006 12:44 AM, Blogger Stormbringer said…

    I wholeheartedly much, that all I'll say for now is this, especially after a few (ridiculous) articles I've read lately:

    The Buffalo and national media, Lindy Ruff, AND the nuts getting hot-headed about the jerseys on the statues around the Raleigh Capitol building...they just don't know what the jazz is all about.

    Anyway, those Canes sure are funky, funky, funky man!! 8D Here's to them staying that way Sunday...

    (Not that it would ever happen...but that would be too awesome if Canesvision somehow got permission to alter that linked site into the game intro for one season...or even playoffs. :D)

  • At 5/27/2006 1:01 AM, Anonymous Joe said…

    I love how our two amazing goalies are able to switch out to give each other a break, and we not have to worry "oh no our 'backup' goalie is in tonight". We have no backup goalie! Tonight I was at the Cool Bars event in Durham. There I noticed a thing that brought back a few memories, first was OLNs coverage of Messier's Jersey being retired. Second, a fan wearing a Ron Francis jersey. We miss you Ronnie!!! Oh Captain, OUR CAPTAIN! Nonetheless, I hope you, and all the other Caniacs out there are as proud of our team this year as I have been, staying in the top 5 (liberally swelled) in the NHL all season, and now, what a great showing in the playoffs! They're playing like they love the sport, and the fans are behind them because we love the sport as well. Keep Rockin' Canes!

  • At 5/27/2006 1:36 AM, Blogger SFC Ken said…

    Not much else to say. We all know when the Canes play their game for 60 minutes, they are hard to beat. We weren't the S.E. Division Champs by 20 points for nothing.

    It was nice to see so many of the guys be involved with the goals tonight.

    Mr. Francis, I hope you'll pass along to Erik Cole that we are sad that he's not going to be able to play at all this post season. But, we know it's for his own good. He can rest knowing his 30 goals this year were intsrumental in the Canes getting to the play-offs in the 1st palce.

    Unfortunately, because of a mission over here, I'm not going to be able to see the game Sunday, or even be able follow it on-line, but know, that I'm there in spirit and will be cheering the Canes on over here.

    Make sure you all write good blogs so I can find out how it went....Thanks

    GO CANES!!!!!!

    Thanks for the blogs

  • At 5/27/2006 4:48 AM, Blogger HurricanesAngel said…

    It was great to see Gerber back, although I was sad Cam wasn't in his usual spot on the ice. It's a good feeling to know we have "2" remarkable goalies and it's only going to get better. I can't say enough about Eric Staahl. He's AWESOME! Great job Canes and Congrats to Ladd on his first playoff goal.

  • At 5/27/2006 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now THAT'S the Hurricanes team we need to see every night. It seems like the Canes need to be in "do or die" situations before they wake up. This time I hope they STAY awake and keep pounding the Sabres.

    Great to see Ladd set up AND score that nice goal. I think his injuries this year kept him from getting into any kind of rhythm, but he's looking better and more confident each game. He will be a great addition to this team, and he's not afraid to hit!

    And there's nothing we can say about Staal except WOW. What talent. I wish we could draft his brother in June, but we'll be ranked too high to get an early pick!

    I hope this great momentum stays with the Canes for Sunday. Let's go!!!!!!!!!

  • At 5/27/2006 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's still the small things that wins playoff games. As usual, it comes down to approximately 10 plays. My wife and I noticed the following: 1. Gerber's stunning save on Drury. 2. Jillson's 3 miscues behind the net. 3. Staal's wicked slot shot. 4. Penalty Kill box integrity. 5. Ineffectiveness of Sabres' first line. 6. Backchecking! 7. Grier's physical presence drawing 2 penalties and starting 3 slot shots. 8. Only 1 shot during Sabres' 2 PP and that was by K. Adams! 9. Crash the net young Ladd! 10. Don Cherry wearing a Mike Commodore robe! Go CANES Go!

  • At 5/27/2006 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last night was a perfect, perfect game. Way to go Canes!

    It was a team win and congrats to everyone, but especially to Staal on continuing the point streak, Ladd on your first playoff goal (hope you got the puck afterward) and to Gerber for the shutout win. What a class act for Stillman to fetch and hand over the final puck.

    I totally agree that the first period tomorrow night will be critical, and it's good to have home ice for that. Let's score first and shut down those rowdy Buffalo fans this time!! <g> (sitting in the nosebleeds at game 1 was a miserable experience....)

    The series isn't over and I'm not quite celebrating yet, but I'm definitely holding my breath now. March Madness can't hold a candle to this (May Mayhem? June Joy?)

  • At 5/27/2006 9:52 AM, Blogger rmmeli said…

    Great win but there is still a lot to do. The series can still swing back to the Sabres if they win on Sunday. Hopefuly the Canes will produce like they did on Monday and we wiil take the series lead.

  • At 5/27/2006 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We're back in it good now. Sunday looms large and I'm confident we'll take that one. You guys at RBC please make enough noise to lift the roof off, OK? I'm priced out of the game so be there for me and others like our man over in Iraq who writes in to this blog.

    A win on Sunday and hopefully the Governor will get those awesome Canes sweaters back up on our Capital Square statues by faceoff on Tuesday. Please, Guv Easley, make it so!

  • At 5/27/2006 12:54 PM, Blogger linda schlachter said…

    great to see gerber back and the whole team looked real good last night. that got done what needed doing and tied the games up. i feel sure that on sun. night the fans will be out in full force. there have been alot of negative feed back that people in buffalo think carolina fans don't support their team. let's show them they are dead wrong and be there for the canes on sun. i believe in them snd i know they can win this playoff. go canes!!!

  • At 5/27/2006 1:34 PM, Blogger lucky2bchucky said…

    Ron, you hit right on the head. Goal tending has not been the problem during these playoffs. Every game Carolina lost was a result of of the Hurricanes not playing their best 'D' in front of the net. Both Ward and Gerber are great goalies, but the Canes' defense relies more on closing the shooting lanes, blocking shots, avoiding penalties, and killing off the powerplay. When the Canes are playing their best defense the other team is forced to make hard shots. The win last night was Crucial for the Hurricanes. Not only did they manange to get a win on Buffalo ice and keep the Sabres from getting lead in the series, the Hurricanes were the better team. However, the Hurricanes have no time to get cocky. On Sunday, the Canes need to go out on home ice and play just as hard as they did last night. The only thing that can be the Hurricanes are the Hurricanes themselves. Go Canes!

  • At 5/29/2006 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what can we do as fans to improve the broadcast media's bias when announcing the games on OLN? with the Sabres down 2 to 0 we heard what a great team they were and how wonderful they were playing.....aren't we entitled to non-biased media?

  • At 5/29/2006 11:41 PM, Blogger Kara P said…


    Please just do us all one favor. When we win the POW trophy, please tell Rod to leave it alone, get the obligatory photo with the trophy, but don't touch it, hoist it or anything. I am superstitious as an athlete and a fan. (Don't ask.)


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