'Canes and Wings ... oh, my

Some observations from Saturday night …

If Eric Staal is starting to heat up, the Carolina Hurricanes could be hard to stop in the Eastern Confernce.

Staal tied franchise records with four goals and six points in the ‘Canes’ 9-3 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. That pushed the Hurricanes from 10th to seventh in the East.

Linemate Tuomo Ruutu had two goals and three assists for a career-high five points, and Erik Cole - back with Carolina after being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers last week in a three-team swap - had four assists.

With the win, Carolina put quite an exclamation point on the franchise’s first season series-sweep of Tampa Bay since the Hartford Whalers turned the trick 12 seasons ago.

Don’t look now, but things are turning sour for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

For the second straight Saturday, Detroit was lit up for eight goals. This week, they lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-2 as Rick Nash posted his second hat trick of the season against the Red Wings.

From the ‘you might wanna get a body on him’ department: All three of Nash’s goals were unassisted.

On Feb. 28, the Red Wings were crushed 8-0 by the Nashville Predators as Jason Arnott had a three-goal game.

The goaltending in the Motor City has been a question all season in spite the Wings’ 43-15-8 record.

Yes, they’re going to win the Central Division for the eighth straight season. Yes, they’ll eclipse 100 points for the ninth consecutive campaign – though all that means is your team can dominate a regular-season slate.

Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood to get those last 16 wins before lifting another Cup? Don’t think so.

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