scoreboard schedule message board history video gallery NHL on

Thursday, June 13
Updated: June 14, 12:37 AM ET
Hurricanes deal with aftermath

By Bill Clement
Special to

ESPN's Bill Clement breaks down Detroit's 3-1 win over Carolina in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals:

The series was closer than the final count of games won and lost would indicate, but the Detroit Red Wings were just too much for the Carolina Hurricanes.

We knew going in to the finals that the Hurricanes were big, they could skate and they could hit, but the big question was: did they have the skill to survive against the Red Wings? The answer ultimately was no.

The Red Wings played their game. They were good defensively, and Dominik Hasek made some good saves when he had too. They’ve got four lines that can hurt you offensively. They are just a great all-around team.

The thing that I thought would get them over the hump was Brendan Shanahan. After he scored in Game 4, I thought that for Carolina to win Game 5, it would have to control the line of Shanahan, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov. But the Hurricanes didn’t do it in the way they needed to win.

On the positive side, the 'Canes will draw a lot of fans for three more years because of this postseason. After the loss wears off, a lot of the younger players may feel good about their accomplishment, but they’ll find out that the taste is very bitter -- going to the Stanley Cup finals and not winning. I think it will make some of the younger players even hungrier, guys like Erik Cole, Josef Vasicek and Jaroslav Svoboda.

There might not be much to draw from for the older guys who have been there before. Rod Brind’Amour has been there twice but ever won. Ron Francis has been there three times and has won twice. This also might be the last chance of their careers. So there is that sadness, when they all say to the young guys, “this is how hard it is to get there,” and then they wonder if they’ll ever get back.

Bill Clement is a hockey analyst for ESPN. He played 11 seasons in the NHL as a center and won two Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers.


Wire-to-wire: All-star Wings win Stanley Cup

Bowman announces retirement after Cup victory

Hradek: Scotty takes bow

Frozen Moment: Isn't it ironic?

Adelson: Most Valuable Pick

Engblom: The end of the Bowman era

Francis set to return for another season

Bill Clement Archive

 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story home