5-1...

For the second straight year, our heroes are 5-1.

Last season, they started hot by beating an atrocious Tampa Bay team two games in a row (squeezing by with 2-1 wins in each while outshooting them 80-40 in those two games). That should've sent up red flares that they could only score on 1 out of 20 shots, but it didn't, because they kept winning. They beat Chicago in the home opener, then went into Philly and won and then beat the Devils at home.

Then the wheels fell off the bus. Buffalo found out how to defeat the Rangers, and just like that, they were beatable. They ended October 10-2-1 on the strength of 2 shootout victories. In fact, they had 10 shootout wins last year, and without them, making the playoffs would've been a lot tougher. (And you say Nik Zherdev contributed nothing to that team...)

A 10-2-1 start, 21 points in 13 games, and they still barely make the playoffs due to a lack of scoring and an over-reliance of Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival on the power play. The team would never really give up in games, but they couldn't finish when they needed to.

Take Game 7 in Washington. Oh, they tried very hard. Nik Antropov had a good game. Markus Naslund even played well. Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular. But a bad bounce off their own players tied the game 1-1, and no matter how hard they tried and how fast they scrambled, they couldn't put the puck in the net.

So, at 5-1 this year, I'm a little wary. Sure, it's a great record and 10 points so early in the season is very nice to have. And of course, a 4-goal 3rd period in the 2nd game of back-to-backs shouldn't be sneezed at. And it was a nice team-effort in shutting out Anaheim Sunday. And beating Washington and NJ in back-and-forth games was exciting.

But still, I'm wary. Although I must say, I have more faith in this team than last year. The rookies are playing great, Enver Lisin looks like Petr Prucha out there, Brandon Dubinsky looks better than he ever has, Chris Drury doesn't have pressure on him to score so he can play his game, and they can actually score when they need to.

It's early on though. Last year I mentioned words like "core" and "real deal" and "unstoppable" to describe their play in October, and look where it got them.

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Just a question for those of you who were at the game. Did Wade Redden get cheered when he was came out as 3rd star of the game? I had a wedding so all I could watch were parts of the replay and Rangers in 60.