The Canes took another step to getting higher in the standings last night. It was a nice game, after a bit of a slow start. The Leafs began by out-shooting Carolina at one point, 9-1, but Cam Ward was sharp and only allowed a single goal from a blast by Bryan McCabe which gave Toronto a 1-0 lead. A couple of penalties by the Leafs helped the Canes get their legs, even if they didn't score in the 1st period. During the 2nd period, it was all Hurricanes. Scott Walker opened the scoring by knocking the puck right out of mid-air into the net past Raycroft. The goal was reviewed, but it was determined Walker's stick wasn't so high to disqualify the goal. The next 2 goals were on powerplays, one by Belanger as he redirected a shot from Brindy, and the other was a blast by Staal, just like the good old days! Staal had more zip in his skating tonight, which was good to see. He was trying to create more and it seems he has his confidence back. In the 3rd period the Canes seemed satisfied to play defense and just concentrate on clearing the puck to center ice rather than try to take it and finish. The score remained 3-1 until the empty net specialist, Justin Williams took a nice feed from Cory Stillman and buried it, putting the Leafs out of their misery, 4-1.
Those of you who missed the game probably wonder how Seidenberg looked. Considering this was his first game with the team without the benefit of practice with them, he looked okay. Lavi played him 20 minutes and he finished +1, so I don't think anyone has any complaints. I don't recall any great plays by him, but don't recall any really bad ones either, so it's all good.
The Hurricanes spent Monday attending a presentation at the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto and watched a video about the history of the Cup which included their Stanley Cup win. Afterwards there was an autograph session for fans. Just another "day off" for the Stanley Cup Champions! I don't think anyone minded though. For more information, the Hockey Hall of Fame website has an article here.
It's always great to beat Toronto, next up for the Canes is Florida at home on Thursday night. The Thrashers lost last night, so we gained 2 points. Keep it up boys!