By: Casey Shea

The Penguins fought to erase a three-goal deficit in the third period Saturday night, but could not hang on for at least one point.

I don’t think it’s out of the question to think the Penguins could have won this game in a massive blowout.

The start to the game resembled what you would expect out of a team that had nearly a week off. I would have expected that kind of play on Friday against Dallas, but Pittsburgh came out flying in that game.

On Saturday, Carolina came out with all the jump and got on the board early. From there, it was the Cam Ward show.

Ward was nothing short of brilliant last night in turning away 37 of the Penguins’ 40 shots. Evgeni Malkin failed to score on two breakaways and several other solid chances that could have turned the game in Pittsburgh’s favor.

It wasn’t anything Malkin did or did not do. He had a staggering 12 shots on net in the game.

It was simply Ward standing on his head to make big saves and key moments in the game.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the game. The Canes capitalized on a couple defensive breakdowns and the Penguins just didn’t have enough to overcome that big of a hole in one period.

The were able to tie it, but Carolina responded with two goals of their own to secure the win.

The most disturbing sight in hockey last night took place in Toronto and had nothing to do with the game between the Maple Leafs and Senators.

During the pregame ceremonies, this year’s Hall of Fame inductees were honored. Past greats, including Gordie Howe, lined a red carpet to greet this year’s class.

Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour each took their turns being introduced and waving to an appreciative Toronto crowd.

All in all, it appeared to be a memorable occasion. Everyone put on their best suits and appeared to soak in what should be one of the best moments in their illustrious careers.

Except for Ed Belfour.

Belfour trotted out wearing jeans with a button-down shirt (which was not tucked in) with a leather jacket to complete the ensemble.

Really? I don’t like wearing a suit, but I know with absolute certainty that if I was going to be inducted into any hall of fame, I’d proudly put one on.

It’s the right thing to do – especially with the sheer amount of talent standing on that red carpet.

Legends who paved the way for you to be able to play the game. Guys you grew up watching, idolizing and perhaps even played with. Belfour even wore No. 20 as a tribute to Vladislav Tretiak, who just happened to be on the red carpet last night as well.

Yet, Belfour shows up looking like he rode a motorcycle to the arena and this great occasion was nothing more than an inconvenience.

I remember looking up to goaltenders such as Belfour and Patrick Roy as a kid. Like him or not, Belfour was a phenomenal goaltender. He was a competitor and had a bit of an edge to his game. However, that was what made him great.

His steely blue-eyed glare was the picture of focus and determination. You would think a man who had to prove so much to even get a shot in the NHL, would have more respect for one of the game’s greatest traditions.

You couldn’t ask for a better story. Belfour goes undrafted and ends up as a Hall of Famer. It’s something you would expect to see a movie about. (Don’t get too excited Emilio Estevez. This is merely a hypothetical suggestion.)

The fans in Toronto went nuts when his name was announced over the PA system and he came out waving to them in street clothes.

Honestly, I hope an airline lost his luggage and this was just the only outfit he had available to him yesterday.

If that’s the case, I apologize for being so critical.

Belfour was always a little quirky, but the Eagle seems to have flown the coop on this one.

Hopefully he’ll dress up for Monday’s ceremony, but based on last night we may have to settle for khakis and a polo shirt… maybe.

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