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Member Since 21 Sep 2002
Offline Last Active Nov 16 2002 01:39 PM

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Tonights Game? Fsny?

19 October 2002 - 05:46 PM


Devils Game Tonight...fsny? Msg?

18 October 2002 - 04:53 PM

is the devils game gonna be on FSNY????

Spotlight Heat Isn't Reserved For Stars

08 October 2002 - 09:31 PM

By Damien Cox
Special to ESPN.com

While Cujo and Eddie the Eagle will have oodles of expectations in their new cities, there are a host of other NHL characters with something to prove as the 2002-2003 begins.

That includes:

Compared to life as a Duck, Petr Sykora had it easy as a Devil.

Petr Sykora, RW, Anaheim: With 110 goals the past four seasons, Sykora has demonstrated he can score. But can he do it without buddy Patrik Elias and without the strong supporting cast he had in the Meadowlands? If he can, he should complement Paul Kariya in the way Teemu Selanne once did.Compared to life as a Duck, Petr Sykora had it easy as a Devil.

Ilya Kovalchuk, RW, Atlanta: Flash and dash and 29 goals when nobody's watching is one thing. But the Thrashers have added some veteran talent and expectations are high this could be a playoff season. The rules suggest Kovalchuk might have more room, but NHL checking tendencies suggest he's more likely to have more shadows.

Joe Thornton, C, Boston: Suspensions and injuries held Thornton back last season. But with Bill Guerin off to Dallas, increased production from the former Soo junior is one way the Bruins can stave off a decrease in points. To do that, Thornton's got to get control of his temper and stop whacking guys over the head who bother him.

Gary Bettman, temporary owner, Buffalo Sabres: The task is seemingly straightforward -- unload this sucker ASAP. But the huge debt owned to bankrupt Adelphia is a problem, lagging ticket sales are another and it won't be simple to find significant ownership committed to a city that has major financial problems. For reference, see Bud Selig's ownership of the Montreal Expos.

Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary: We're not suggesting for one second Iginla is the second coming of Blaine Stoughton, a surprise 50-goal man who, to no one's surprise, soon stopped netting 50 goals. But last year he was motivated early by a dream of playing on the Canadian Olympic team and benefited by that country's September training session. This year, he's got the largest contract in team history to carry around.

Erik Cole, RW, Carolina: There were times in the playoffs this fellow looked like Bob Gainey with a few more moves. But when it came down to the Eastern Conference final against Toronto and the Stanley Cup final against Detroit, Cole and his BBC linemates went cold. The size and speed suggests a keeper, but it's got to happen for more than three months.

Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit: All fingers are pointing at Sergei Fedorov to carry the load until Steve Yzerman gets back. But Datsyuk flourished in a supporting role on Detroit's "Two Kids and A Goat" line with Boyd Devereaux and Brett Hull last season, and his sometimes astonishing offensive stylings have created a taste for increased production this season. It'll be interesting to see how much ice he gets from new coach Dave Lewis, a man under the gun himself.

Jiri Dopita, C, Edmonton: After just one season, the much-heralded Czech vet was sent packing by the Flyers after looking less like Bobby Holik and more like a taller version of Robert Reichel last season. How much does this guy want it? In Alberta, he'll get to play in a more free flowing system rather than the grind-it-up approach the Flyers have traditionally embraced.

Marian Gaborik, RW, Minnesota: At some point, the hockey world is going to start paying attention to this young Slovak's wondrous skills, and at some point the Wild are going to be fighting for a playoff spot. When those things happen, and they might this season, Gaborik will need to prove he's more than a big fish in a small pond. The betting is he'll do just that.

David Legwand, C, Nashville: Another year like last year and the second overall pick of the 1998 draft might have a new address. Already, Scott Hartnell and Scottie Upshall are looking like Predator prospects with more fire and more upside. If Legwand can find more holes in NHL defenses, the Preds might actually top the 200-goal mark for the first time in team history.

Pat Burns, head coach, New Jersey: After watching from the sidelines for almost two seasons, Burns dives into a Devils situation in which GM Lou Lamoriello has made three changes in three seasons and has a quick trigger finger when he believes the match between coach and players isn't right. Burns likes the grinding, hardnosed game, but he'll have to do it with a Devils team that is quicker but also smaller than in recent years.

Adrian Aucoin, D, New York Islanders: The Isles' marathon man likely isn't going to see his onerous workload reduced now that Mattias Timander has been brought in. Aucoin averaged 28:53 in ice time last year, but on several occasions played more than 40 minutes in Doug Harvey-like style. Kenny Jonsson's ongoing battles with concussions and the lack of depth on the Long Island blue line suggest Aucoin better be prepared for a triathalon this season.

Only Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky have more career points than Mark Messier.

Mark Messier, C, New York Rangers: Maybe it would have be nicer all around if The Moose had packed it in. But he's back all stitched up and repaired and trying to prove he's not so rickety that he actually skated on a line with Rocket Richard. If Messier can accept a revised role behind Eric Lindros and Holik, something he's never wanted to accept, he could be a force for the Rangers in the same way Igor Larionov excelled in third line duty last year for Detroit.

Andy Van Hellemond, NHL officiating chief: Nice to come off a summer and have everyone tell you they don't believe a word you say. Van Hellemond is the point man on the league's obstruction crackdown and if it doesn't stand, he'll be the one treated like the guy in the elevator who didn't wear deodorant. Van Hellemond desperately needs his veteran zebras -- Terry Gregson, Kerry Fraser, Bill McCreary -- to lead the way and bring the younger refs along.

Roman Cechmanek, G, Philadelphia: Pulling the chute in a playoff game doesn't endear one to one's teammates. Ditto for being so hyper-sensitive about internal competition that a popular teammate has to be peddled to Arizona. So far in his NHL career, this guy has been as dependable as Anna Kournikova's backhand when it comes to games that truly matter, and Ken Hitchcock will need all of the psychological techniques he gathered in Dallas working with Ed Belfour to guide Cechmanek.

Doug Weight, C, St. Louis: The slick pivot looked better in the preseason finale Saturday against Dallas after being held back for 10 days with recurring pelvic pain, but there's a great deal of uncertainty about his ability to absorb hits and physical abuse. Without Chris Pronger for several months, the Blues will need Weight to return to form and make sure the club's powerplay remains among the league's best.

Patrick Marleau, C, San Jose: With 16 points in his final 10 regular-season games and a team-high 11 points in 12 playoff games, the inconsistent Marleau has the opportunity at hand to establish himself as the club's top center. How interesting that he and Thornton, drafted 1-2 in the '97 draft, should be such focal points for their teams at the same time.

Todd Bertuzzi, RW, Vancouver: The brawny winger was in the scoring race late last season despite missing a chunk of games to suspension, and the natural inclination is to suggest bigger and better things like ahead if he plays a full schedule. On the other hand, he won't have the clever playmaking of the departed Andrew Cassels to ease the way, and like Iginla he'll have the weight of increased expectations sitting on his shoulder pads the entire season.

Olaf Kolzig, G, Washington: With all the focus on Jaromir Jagr's first season in D.C., few noticed that Godzilla had shrunk into a harmless salamander by year's end. An enormous workload with little backup support has worn on Kolzig, who won the Vezina in 2000 but has played 73, 72 and 71 games the past three seasons. Robert Lang may have got the money over the summer, but Kolzig's got the heat on him to produce upgraded netminding.

Damien Cox, a columnist for the Toronto Star, is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.

Why no Tverdovsky?

If I Made A Yahoo League Would Anyone Join?

07 October 2002 - 10:29 PM

im gonna make one, but im not if nobody will join....so...would you if i made one?

Anyone Know If The Game Will Be On Tv Or Internet?

05 October 2002 - 11:39 AM

MSG? FSNY? Islander's website?