Tales from the road: With a three-day break, the Lightning normally would charter a flight home before heading back out. Instead, they plan to take a bus to Atlantic City this week. "We always look for a time in the schedule to just get out on the road together," said coach John Tortorella. "No wives, no girlfriends, no kids." What happens in AC stays in AC.
The 'Canes scored more goals in the second and third periods of last week's 7-2 win over Washington than they had in any game since November 2002. That scoring included three power-play goals, ending an 0-for-17 skid to open the season. And Carolina's six goals Saturday against New Jersey were more than they had scored in four previous games against the Devils in 2003-04.
The Flames gave up two power-play goals to Dallas in the second period, as the league's worst penalty kill unit continued its unimpressive start to the season. Calgary has given up 13 power-play scores this season after being short-handed 31 times. The Stars had scored just twice in 22 PP chances before facing the Flames.
First, it was Paul Kariya who burned his former team. Next, it was Marc Chouinard, who had three assists in the Wild's 4-1 victory Sunday. And if not for the play of second-year winger Joffrey Lupul and rookie Corey Perry, the Ducks would already be in a deep hole.
If you check back next week, the Avs could have a new No. 1 goalie. With the recent play of current No. 2 Peter Budaj and the struggles of David Aebischer, the netminder situation is "wide open," says coach Joel Quenneville. One thing that isn't up for grabs is Joe Sakic's scoring touch, as he potted his 544th goal, tying him with Maurice Richard for 21st all time.
After starting the season with three wins, the Oilers dropped three straight. The recent struggles could stem from two-thirds of the top line (Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff) being out with injuries. Who will fill the void?
After five games, two-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur has a 3.60 GAA. Except for a four-game stint in 1991-92, Brodeur's average has never been higher than 2.45. It has gotten so bad for the veteran netminder, he was actually pulled from a regular-season game Saturday for the first time since March 2003.
The Leafs' 9-1 victory at Philips Arena was the Thrashers' second-worst loss in franchise history. The lopsided score turned the game into Friday Night Fights. "It was a bloody disgrace," said Leafs coach Pat Quinn, who accused the Thrashers of "headhunting" and called their actions "cowardly." Until Atlanta gets its regular goalies back from injuries, every game will be a "bloody" struggle.
The biggest problem for the Caps early in the season has been third-period collapses. But one never materialized Sunday against the Lightning. Despite being outshot 10-4 in the third and 40-14 for the game, the Capitals beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in a shootout. Washington has given up a league-worst 14 goals in the third frame.
In last week's 5-3 win over the Caps, the Isles scored three goals on their first five shots. The offense has been spotty and the goaltending is also an issue. Both Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow are sporting a GAA above 3.00 -- DiPietro 3.17, Snow 3.96. Combine that with New York scoring on just 11.4 percent of its power-play chances and you have a recipe for disaster.
Coach Trent Yawney hasn't been shy about throwing his young players into pressure situations. That explain why in OT Friday against Colorado, Yawney had 18-year-old rookie Cam Baker on the ice in his NHL debut during a power play. But don't expect Nikolai Khabibulin to blame his poor start on the team playing two or three rookies on defense.
Several Blues players addressed the club in a lengthy meeting after Saturday's game. They talked about losing the puck, keeping their confidence and stopping the bleeding that has happened during a 1-4 start. Why don't they just hit up Oprah for Dr. Phil's number?
Before Sunday, the Pens had allowed 16 five-on-five goals -- most in the league. They are also giving up 4.33 goals per game, second-highest. Pittsburgh has been short-handed 42 times and given up six goals. It's ugly, but at least the Penguins have Sid the Kid.
Is there a logjam at goalie? Coach Wayne Gretzky has been impressed with the play of David LeNeveu, who was called up when regulars Brian Boucher and Curtis Joseph went down with injuries, so much so that LeNeveu may have earned himself a regular spot on the roster. Seeing how they've started the season, no wonder Brett Hull retired.
The Jackets ended a four-game road trip with a third consecutive loss, potting just five goals in those games. And if you're looking for some impending relief, think again. Rick Nash will probably be out another two weeks, Gilbert Brule will be lost for six weeks and Dan Fritsche recently went down with an injured ankle.
Biggest Rise: Minnesota (27 to 15) Biggest Fall: Calgary (6 to 18)