Martin Brodeur's win over the Hurricanes on Friday was big on two levels. His 447th career victory moved him into a tie with Terry Sawchuk for third on the all-time list, and his 81st career shutout matched Tiny Thompson and Alex Connell for fifth. While Marty is one of the greatest, any netminder would be helped by a flawless penalty kill (11 for 11). Now, if the Devils could get some offensive punch from Patrik Elias and Jamie Langebrunner, they'd be set.
Dominik Hasek on Saturday earned his first shutout since Jan. 26, when he played for the Senators. He wasn't exactly tested, facing only 13 shots from the Penguins, but he probably knew he needed to be air-tight considering the Wings' power-play woes (0 for 11 after two games). Even with the win, Hasek's record against the Pens (14-16-5) remains one of his worst against any opponent.
From champs to chumps? It may be a little early to jump to that conclusion, but things aren't right in Raleigh. Carolina lost its first two games at home. Last season the 'Canes won their first seven home games en route to a franchise-record 31, while dropping a mere eight. This season Carolina has played three games, and not one player has more than two points. In fact, four forwards have yet to notch one.
You want the good, the bad or the ugly first? The good: Alberta native Joffrey Lupul scored his first goal as an Oiler. The bad: Rival Calgary is 7-0-1 at home against Edmonton since its last regulation loss to the Oilers, back on March 11, 2003. Just think where the Oil would be without that 16-for-16 PK. The ugly: Ethan Moreau has yet to register a point. It's safe to say management would like to see him appear on the score sheet -- they just gave him a four-year extension.
If you're a Flyers fan, you don't want to hear about your superstar begging out of a shootout. "I didn't have any sticks left," Peter Forsberg told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "They were either broken and all bad, I swear to God. There were a couple other guys who had better shots than me." In his first two games, Forsberg has one goal, two points and only four SOG. Is the 33-year-old already downshifting?
They have a new jersey, but the hex remains. The Canucks were knocked off by the Avs 3-2 on Sunday. But that wasn't exactly earth-shattering news for Roberto Luongo, who is 0-5 against Colorado, with four of the losses coming while he was with Florida. If you think I'm picking on the guy, you're right. After all, he was stellar in an opening-night win over the Red Wings, stonewalling 27 of 28 shots.
It's quite simple: You can't win if you don't shoot. And that's exactly what Atlanta didn't do in Thursday's loss to Tampa Bay. The Thrashers' 11 shots tied the team record for fewest in a game, set on Feb. 21, 2002, against the Blues. It was the lowest shot total at home in club history. Coach Bob Hartley must have gotten his point across, as the Thrashers took 34 two nights later in a 6-0 win over the Panthers.
Yet more happenings from the Stastny family. In his second season, 24-year-old Yan Stastny got into a fight with the Panthers' 6-foot-4 Bryan Allen. Bad idea. Stastny still has the shiner to prove it. "You have to protect yourself," he told the Boston Herald. "Obviously, it doesn't show right now." With five PIMs, Stastny is in good position to shatter his career high of 10.
Who needs the preseason? Nikolai Zherdev obviously doesn't. The 21-year-old, who missed all of camp and the club's first two games, arrived in Columbus on Sunday and went out Monday night to score two goals, helping the Jackets rout the Coyotes 5-1. With David Vyborny, Rick Nash, Fredrik Modin, Anson Carter and Zherdev, the Jackets have plenty in the offensive cupboard. The question is whether Pascal Leclaire can be a true No. 1.
As if preparing for a shootout attempt against Toronto in front of a raucous crowd at Air Canada Centre wasn't enough pressure, Michael Ryder had even more on his plate. "I knew my parents were watching Hockey Night in Canada, so to do it on national TV is pretty special," he said. Ryder's score gave a 3-2 win to the Habs, who are clicking on the PP at a 27.3 percent clip -- second best in the East.