This just might be the year of the Buffalo. Making his first appearance since April 18, Martin Biron turned away 34 shots Saturday to help the Sabres knock off the high-octane Senators and get off to a 3-0 start for the first time since the strike-shortened 1994-95 season. Looks like the only thing this team needs is a magic potion that will keep everyone healthy for the duration of the postseason, but there's plenty of time to cook one up before April.
No, that wasn't another 6.5 earthquake you felt. It's hockey fever hitting the O.C. Thanks to last season's deep playoff run and high expectations, the Ducks have sold more than 11,000 season tickets, their highest total since the 1998-99 campaign. Some fans may be going to watch the antics of mascot Wild Wing, but it's always an easy sell when you feature the best one-two punch on the blue line -- Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger.
It's only Week 2 of our Power Rankings, but I'm going out on an early limb: If the Ducks don't represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals, the Sharks will. They're that good. With a 2-0 win over the lowly Islanders on Saturday, San Jose opened the season with back-to-back victories for only the second time in franchise history. With offense to spare, two solid netminders and an aggressive pack of blueliners, the Sharks are built for the new NHL.
The power has been turned off in Ottawa. In their first three games the Sens are 1 for 19 on the power play. Hard to believe? It should be, considering this is the same team that had three players (Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza) who scored 90 or more points last season. In fact, the trio combined for 46 goals and 132 points on the power play. What's equally puzzling is the defense, which has surrendered 14 goals in the first three games.
Things are definitely going well on Broadway. It was a three-headed attack as captain Jaromir Jagr scored 29 seconds in, Brendan Shanahan potted his 600th career goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves for the Rangers, who won a season opener at home for the first time since 1985. They've only played two games, but the Blueshirts already have seven players with two or more points.
The Stars named Brenden Morrow captain this season, a move that relegated the A's to Mike Modano and Sergei Zubov. Modano, who has been the face of the franchise since it drafted him No. 1 in 1988, had worn the C since 2003. The 36-year-old pivot said he had a lot of different emotions about the switch. Maybe this will light a fire in Modano the way Tampa Bay hopes to do with Vincent Lecavalier, as my SI.com colleague Brian Cazeneuve wrote.
There are definitely some early-season issues in Nashville. Not only have the Preds allowed a franchise-record 14 goals in their first two games, but they're also dead last in penalty kill (30 percent) and far behind the next squad (Boston, 66.7). Compare that with last season, when Nashville posted an 84.6 PK clip. The front office went out this offseason and snagged offense (Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and Josef Vasicek), but they should've opened the wallet to upgrade the back line.
I'm going to say it again: The Wild will make the playoffs this season. They're definitely one sleeper team to watch closely. Not only do they have more than enough octane with the addition of Pavol Demitra, but Manny Fernandez should be fairly solid all season. And they're already proving to be a tough team to keep down, rallying from a two-goal deficit Saturday to knock off the Predators.
Paul Stastny became the fourth member of his family to notch a point for the franchise. His father, Peter, and uncles Anton and Marian starred for the Quebec Nordiques in the 1980s. And it's only a matter of time before his brother, Yan, registers a point with the Bruins. Stastny news aside, Sunday's game at the Pepsi Center was a sellout, the Avs' 486th in a row.
A new season means new incentive. Instead of a hard hat, the Flames are handing out an oversized red tie to their unsung hero. Jeff Friesen was the first to expand his wardrobe. The big question is whether the "winner" has to wear the tie on the team plane. Ties aside, Calgary has to be concerned with its anemic power play, which has yet to find the back of the net (0 for 16).