The happiest guys in Raleigh yesterday were a couple of Maple Leafs, defencemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White, both of whom dressed for yesterday's game after spending most of their time during games recently in the press box. Colaiacovo had been a healthy scratch in six straight games prior to last night's contest, while White, who saw action in 81 games for the Leafs last season, hadn't played at all this season.
White, normally a defenceman, played right wing yesterday alongside centre Dominic Moore and Jamal Mayers. He scored in the first period. He played forward three times in the pre-season. By the second period, though, White had been dropped back to defence after Colaiacovo hurt himself blocking a shot.
Sitting out were defenceman Anton Stralman and Jonas Frogren, for the fourth time in the past five games.
Ryan Hollweg was a healthy scratch, allowing White a spot at forward.
Also starting yesterday was backup goalie Curtis Joseph.
BLOCKING THE RUBBER
The Leafs are third in blocked shots with 177 after 11 games, trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins (207 in 12 games) and the Montreal Canadiens (182 in 10 games). After 11 games, defenceman Pavel Kubina leads the team with 24 blocked shots while Luke Schenn, who turned 19 yesterday, leads all NHL rookies and is tied for second on the Leafs with 19 blocks ... Following 11 games, the Leafs were third in the NHL in the least penalty minutes with 132, averaging just 12.0 minutes per game.
SHOOTING THE RUBBER
The Leafs are third in the NHL in average shots per game (34.2, heading into last night's contest), trailing only the Detroit Red Wings (38.2) and the San Jose Sharks (36.9). Toronto has outshot their opponents in seven consecutive games and have at least 35 shots in each of their last six.
Neither the public address announcer, nor the press box announcer, could pronounce Colaiacovo's name. Or get even close. Both pronounced it something like (Cola-CA-Covo). One Carolina fan could be heard shouting in the first period: "Get that Colacola!"