Here are some news and views from the weekend as well as a look ahead to the next seven days in the NHL.
Road weary - The Carolina Hurricanes sure looked pooped in their 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Canes, who played in an exhibition game in Russia before opening the regular season with two matches in Helsinki, don't play their first game at home until Oct. 27 against the Washington Capitals.
They will travel through 11 time zones and more than 24,000 kilometres before they finish their current trip that makes stops in Ottawa, Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Rookie excitement - Anaheim's Cam Fowler, who scored his first NHL goal on Sunday, has likely been the most impressive rookie game in, game out so far. But I can't stop watching Montreal's P.K. Subban. He's an adventure every time he has the puck, good and bad.
Thinking out loud - The Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leaf are the league's only 4-0 teams. There are two connections between the conference leaders worth noting. Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke hired current Dallas coach Mark Crawford to guide the Canucks 12 years ago.
Also, Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk worked briefly Burke in Toronto and helped the Maple Leafs land U.S. college free-agent centre Tyler Bozak.
Just wondering if Nieuwendyk can't sign centre Brad Richards, eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, to an extension before the trade deadline if he deals the playmaker to Toronto.
No fireworks in Chicago - The Buffalo Sabres cleanly knocked around Chicago Blackhawks Niklas Hjalmarsson a couple of times, but because of the poor start by the Sabres they couldn't afford to go bonkers and try to get revenge on the Hawks defenceman for his hit that concussed Buffalo forward Jason Pominville a week ago.
The Sabres deserved a better fate. Despite out-shooting Chicago 41-21 they dropped a 4-3 decision because of their lack of finish around Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco.
Big news for Big Joe - The San Jose Sharks locked up captain Joe Thornton to a three-year, $21-million US contract extension. They also have key players Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski signed through the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately for the Sharks, they then went out and blew a 2-0 lead and lost 4-2 to the Atlanta Thrashers.
Upon further review -- The NHL informed Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang that his major penalty for an illegal hit to the head on New York Islanders forward Blake Comeau was rescinded. The replay showed that it was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit.
Welcome back - Ducks defenceman Toni Lydman. After sitting out most of training camp and his team's first four games with a case of double vision, Lydman has scored in back-to-back games.
Odds and ends - Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault will coach his 600th NHL game in Minnesota on Tuesday ... Calgary Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester has the longest active consecutive game streak at 428. Next is Canucks captain Henrik Sedin at 421.
Games I won't miss this week -
1. The Canucks stop by the United Center on Wednesday to play the team that has eliminated them from the playoffs the past two years, the Blackhawks.
2. Ottawa Senators defenceman Sergei Gonchar visits his old team for the first time, the Penguins, on Monday.
3. It's always special when New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur plays in Montreal against the Canadiens. Meeting No. 60 will take place at the Bell Centre on Thursday. He has a 38-16-5 career record against his hometown team with a 1.78 goals against average and eight shutouts.
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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