A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ronnie's number goes up, Canes win again.

Saturday night was an amazing night. Ron Francis' sweater went to the rafters, there was a nice tribute, and the Canes won the game. Even with the way the Canes have been playing this season, there hasn't been that kind of excitement and electricity in the RBC Center since the 2002 Stanley Cup run.

During the pregame skate, all the players wore the #10 FRANCIS sweater. They had their real name and number on a small patch on the right breast. These sweaters will later be auctioned for charity. During the game, the players wore special sweaters featuring a patch commemorating the night. These will also be auctioned.

It didn't take long for Carolina to get off and running. Viva finished a wrap around chance at 3:58 with a helper from Nic "Secret Weapon" Wallin. Wallin's shot had been blocked, and Williams just stuffed it in for his 18th goal of the season.

At 9:21 of the first, Erik Cole tipped a rocket of a Frantisek Kaberle shot from the left faceoff dot. Colesy was right out front with good traffic, and barely got a piece of it before it clanged off the right post and in. Just seconds before the goal, Kevyn Adams had been denied after doing some really nice work to create a point blank scoring chance.

At 7:49 of the second, Anton "Yentl" Babchuk scored his first goal in a Canes sweater. Brindy was trying to make something happen on the power play from the front porch, but he kicked it back out to Babs at the top of the left circle. From there, he wristed it past Lehtonen. Ray Whitney got the secondary assist.

Marc Savard erased all hopes of a shutout when he got a power play goal of his own at 00:19 of the third. Gerber gave up a fat rebound of a Marian Hossa shot, and Savard was there at the bottom of the right circle to put it in. Jaro Modry got the other assist.

Late in the game, when it felt like things were about to get chippy, Hartley pulled Lehtonen for the extra skater. At 19:09, Kevyn Adams scored into an empty net with assists from Brind'Amour and Viva

It was a nice end to a wonderful night. The ceremony was very nice, and at the same time, low key. Throughout the game, all the typical jumbotron entertainment was replaced with video messages to Ron from many current and former players.

During the second intermission, I ran in to Aaron Ward. According to his account, he'll be back on the ice in "seven to ten days". It'll be awesome to have him back, but once he comes back, it means that we won't have room for Babchuk. It'll be a little sad because I've really liked what I've seen from that guy.

While the Canes were winning their game, so were the Lightning. We were unable, then, to stretch our lead to 20 points. However, the Canes were able to stretch their Eastern Conference lead over Ottawa to four points. However, it must be taken into consideration that Ottawa has three games in hand on Carolina.

Up next: Tuesday night at Montréal.


The Aussie Caniac said...

G'day man, you got some killer pics of Ron Francis Night, you must have been in section 112 or 113? I was in section 118 Row C and I could just barely make myself out in your pic on the bottom for the pre-game skate. What a game! and what a player we had in Francis!

d-lee said...

Yeah. I'm in 112, row J. Good call on that. Which one are you?

The Aussie Caniac said...

I was in a black center Ice jersey in 118 row C and right beneath the net in the middle of the shot. you can see my wife clearly in a white jersey... I was next to her on the right


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