THE HAT TRICK FOR WEEK OF 10-12-2009

Matt SitkoffCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - OCTOBER 5: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the net during the game against the Colorado Avalanche at General Motors Place on October 5, 2009 in Vancouver, Canada.   (Photo by Nick Didlick/Getty Images)

In 1492 Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue and in 2009 nine games were played in the NHL.  So a big start to a big week in the NHL let’s look at the Hat Trick or top three things I am looking for this Holiday week.

1.)    Will the real Roberto Luongo please stand up?  Bobby Lou has looked more like former Canuck goalie Dan Cloutier than the normal dominating goalie he has been in the past.  Now with the injury news of a broken foot to Daniel Sedin, the pressure heats up for the captain to improve on his mediocre early numbers. 

With three straight division games this week it will be important for the defending northwest champions and yes my preseason pick to win the West that they have right to ship and it all starts with the last line of defense.

2.)    Which suprising team at the top of the Northeast Standing will come back to earth?  The Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres were both thought to be fighting for lottery spots but currently are fighting for the top of the Northeast Division. 

Yes I know it is very early, but both of these teams could realistically fight for a playoff spot.  The Senators are following the Denver Broncos model of success, ship out our franchise player and win despite him with a great team effort. 

While Heatley is scoring a ton in San Jose the Senators are riding a more balanced effort this season with eight players already chipping in a goal. The Sabres could have been a playoff team last season if Ryan Miller had stayed healthy, well he is healthy now and posting a miniscule 0.98 GAA in Buffalo’s 2-0-1 start. 

This week they have a test facing the Red Wings but end their weekend schedule with back-to-back games facing the Islanders and Thrashers, a 2-1 or dare I say 3-0 record could put the division on notice that the Sabres are here to stay.

3.)    Game of the Week:  Thursday this week the Sharks kick off their east coast swing with a heavy weight matchup against the Capitals.  Goals will be on display, for coming into the week these two teams are tied atop the league with 20 goals in five games apiece. 

Ovechkin and Heatly, each with five goals, not surprisingly are setting the pace for these offensive clubs.  It will be interesting to see how the coaches match up their lines, considering these two top lines are what I consider the best in the league. Boy I hope they go strength verses strength, that would get viewers as excited as when they found out Llyod Lee was finally an Asian, I mean agent.

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