The Hat Trick: Will We See NHL History This Week?

Matt SitkoffCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 17: Goalie Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils makes a save in the third period of his shutout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the Prudential Center on October 17, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 2-0.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

I know it is very early but the standings already have some surprises near the top. 

The goal-starved Rangers lead the league in goals and the home-starved Coyotes lead the league in goals against. 

At the same time, there's no surprise atop the league leaders in goals and points as Alex Ovechkin continues his onslaught on goalies with nine goals and 16 points. That gives him 228 goals in 332 games played in his career. 

Now let’s delve into the weekly Hat Trick, or the top three things I am watching for this week.

Brodeur Chasing Sawchuck:   After a 26-shot blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, Martin Brodeur recorded his 102nd career regular season shutout. 

This drew the goalie—who already holds 17 different goalie records—one shutout away from tying the great Terry Sawchuk.  Brodeur has two games on the road this week against the Rangers and Penguins. He has 73 career wins and 11 career shutouts combined versus these division rivals. 

I will be watching these important Atlantic Division games not only for the potential record but also to see how the great Brodeur does against these high-powered offenses.           

Who Will Win First?: It has become an interesting but sad race between the Islanders and Maple Leafs to see who will be the first to record their first win this season. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Maple Leafs embark on a difficult five-game road trip as Metallica and Jay-Z occupy the Air Canada Center. They'll play games against the Canucks, Ducks, Stars, Sabres, and Canadiensin that stretch.  Do you see a win in there? 

The guys on Long Island have come close to getting a "W" with three OT losses this season.

They have a busy week this week with games against the Hurricanes and Canadiens on consecutive nights. With young scorers Matt Moulson (4 goals, 3 assists), Kyle Okposo (1 goal, 5 assists), and John Tavares (3 goals, 4 assists) flying around the rink, I see the Islanders getting off the snide first.   

Game of the WeekBruins vs Flyers:  A preview of the Winter Classic to be held in Fenway Park this year also pits two preseason Eastern Conference heavyweights against each other. 

The Flyers came out of the gate strong (3-0-0) only to stumble in their next three games (0-2-1), including a bad loss to the Panthers.

The Bruins have started the season against mostly Western Conference teams with only a 3-0 win over the Stars to show in the positive column (1-3). 

This matchup will allow one team to re-establish their place back as a team to beat while also setting a tone for the Winter Classic that will be showcased in Fenway Park on New Years Day.