On Thursday, the Canes continued their shockingly good play, beating the Leafs 4-3. We are now 9-2-1, including 6-0 at home.
Another trend that continued was that the visiting team got on the board first and the Canes came out flat. I'm not sure what's going on, but they've been doing this and getting away with it. Once they get it together and come out of the gates strongly, we'll be unstoppable. We did not, however, continue the trend of falling behind by two goals. That was fun, but I'm glad we didn't do that again tonight.
Somehow, some way, Eric Staal continued his blistering pace. He had a goal early in the second on a breakaway, then a helper on Ray Whitney's goal later in the second, and another goal late in the third to tie it at three. Three more stats points, bringing him to 25 (11/14) on the season. For the record, Eric Staal only had 11 goals in 81 games in 03-04.
The game-winner came from Erik Cole, who also had a helper on Staal's first goal. Cole was named the game's third star, but he was pretty busy hanging out in the penalty box also. Two times, he was called for diving, including one that negated what would have been Staal's third goal, an empty netter, with under a minute to play. Cole has always had a tendency to embellish or even dive. Kerry Fraser was officiating tonight, and he loves to make sure those diving penalties get called.
This makes the second home game in a row in which Eric Staal "sort of" had a hat trick. Against the Flyers, he had three goals, but one of them wasn't credited to him until after the game was over. No hats on the ice. Tonight, he had three goals, but Fraser's love of penalizing Cole negated it. Hats on the ice, but the goal was wiped off. In that case, there should have been matching penalties and the goal allowed to stand. I am certain that Cole embellished, but I am also certain that he was hooked. He had a step, and we were breaking away on an empty net, so the hook should definitely have been called. It didn't effect the outcome of the game, but it did deny one fan a brand new lawn tractor.
I, and the woman who sits next to me had a good time giving Jeff O'Neill the business. He had absolutely no impact on the game, only getting one shot on net. We also had a good time giving it to Ed Belfour, asking him to "show us the money", and letting him know that he sucks. Truthfully, he played really well( especially in the third), making some brilliant saves, managing to keep it close. Aside from his solid play, the Leafs didn't have a chance.
4 years ago