I'll take the over on bad puns appearing in newspaper headlines tomorrow. The most common will be:
Hurricanes blow Leafs away
Everything went right for the Hurricanes. Almost everything. Aside from Erik Cole missing an empty net.
Cory Stillman, who played his first game of the season, and Justin Viva Williams led the way with a goal and two assists each.
Eric Staal had a goal and an assist.
Scott Walker had a goal and an assist.
Erik Cole had an assist.
Rod Brind'Amour had two assists.
Matt Cullen had a goal and
Ray Whitney had a goal and an assist.
Jeff Hamilton had a goal.
Dennis Seidenberg had an assist.
Four goals came on the powerplay, and the only goal against was during a shorthanded sequence.
The "official" three stars went to Ray Whitney (third), Justin Williams (second) and Matt Cullen (first), but I'll give mine this way:
THIRD STARJustin "Viva" Williams, CAR --- 1 goal, 2 assists
SECOND STARCam Ward, CAR --- 27 saves
FIRST STAR Cory Stillman, CAR --- GWG, 2 assists
I won't bore all two of my readers with a rundown of the scoring. For that, refer to the official scoresheet.
This was Cory Stillman's first game this season after playing one-man demolition derby in the RBC parking lot on October 2. He played an amazing game. Maybe he should wreck his car more often.
I kid because I care. And because nobody got seriously hurt.
This game was characterized by the Canes playing aggressively. Going all the way back to the "Chairman Mo" years, the Hurricanes have been too passive on the power play. Tonight, they were very aggressive, using five forwards during some of the sequences. This is, allegedly, an innovation suggested by Ron Francis.
The game was also characterized by a lazy and listless Maple Leafs team. They were forced to take a lot of penalties because they were unable to keep up with the speedy Canes forwards. Erik Cole created a few power plays by drawing penalties to the Leafs defense.
Ray Whitney's goal, which made it 4-1, epitomized the Leafs play. They had turned aside a Canes scoring chance, and the puck was going the other way. A neutral zone turnover later, the Leafs players were all still going the other way and Whitney was allowed to waltz in unmolested. As the crappy Versus commentators said, it looked like they were out for a Sunday skate. Meanwhile, Whitney didn't miss his mark. That was 17:23 of the second. After that, the Leafs were done. They simply folded. Aside from a pathetic attempt by Darcy Tucker to start a fight at the expiration of the second, the Leafs showed no energy at all after that.
Curiously, Chariman Mo decided to "dance with the one who brung him", leaving Vessa Toskala between the pipes the entire game.
Speaking of Mo, let's not forget that he promised the Leafs would make the playoffs, and slighted the Hurricanes of yore by saying "This will be the most talented hockey team I've ever coached".
The Hurricanes six game road trip continues through Canada. They'll be in Ottawa on Thursday and Montréal on Saturday.