Week In Review after the games played on Saturday, March 10th, 1990


MARCH 4, 1990

Steve Springer – Times Staff Writer – Winnipeg, Canada

On the Defensive : Larry Robinson Almost Afraid to Touch the Puck

WINNIPEG, Canada — Larry Robinson has heard the taunts more than once this season.

"Hey, ya bum," a fan will bellow from the safety of his seat, "why don't you retire?"

It hurts as much the recent rash of costly turnovers Robinson has committed.

It hurts as much as the collapse of his Kings into third place in the Smythe Division.

It hurts as much as the aches and pains he sometimes feels in a body that has been subjected to the rigors of playing defenseman in professional hockey for 20 years.

Indeed, the fan's question is a reasonable one.

Why, after 19 years in the Montreal Canadiens' organization and a career filled with Stanley Cups, awards and adulation as one of the game's great defensemen, didn't he retire last summer instead of starting all over again in Los Angeles at age 38?


"Because the thing that scares me," Robinson said, "is to have told people that's it and then to have realized I should have played one more year. People who have gone through it tell me I should play as long as I can, because once you're out, it's too late."

Of course, it didn't hurt that Robinson, having become a free agent, had a three-year, $1.65-million contract waved in front of him by King owner Bruce McNall last summer. The deal, for two seasons with an option year, pays Robinson $550,000 this season.


But when he signed, Robinson didn't exactly feel elated. Afraid is a better word.

"I was scared," he said. "Here's a man, Bruce McNall, who had enough confidence in me to make me an offer like that. I was afraid I would not live up to his expectations."

It's a fear Robinson lives with every day.


Larry Robinson didn't start as a defenseman. And if the weather in Ottawa had been a little bit better, he might never have become one.

Robinson was a center when he played junior hockey while living on his parents' Ottawa farm.

Because of a bad snowstorm, Robinson missed one game. He wound up, instead, sitting with Dan Dexter, who had another junior team. Dexter, down to three defensemen, figured Robinson, then a strapping 17-year-old, might be just what he needed.

Robinson was interested. The result: junior hockey lost a center and the NHL gained one of its all-time defensemen.


The transition was difficult at first.


"Everyone likes to be part of the glory," Robinson said. "But I got to the point where I get more satisfaction out of setting up a pass."

There was still plenty of glory for him, as well.

After starting his professional career with Kitchener of the old Ottawa Hockey Assn. in 1970, Robinson joined the Canadiens in the 1972-73 season.

In all, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder played on six Stanley Cup champions, was twice named winner of the James Norris Trophy, awarded to the league's best defenseman; and, in 1978, won the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the playoff MVP.

In 60 games this season, he has 49 points, giving him a lifetime total of 932, second best in NHL history among defensemen, behind only Denis Potvin.

By the end of last season, however, Robinson knew it was time to move on.

"They were going with a lot of young kids," he said of the Canadiens. "I didn't want to stick around as a baby-sitter. I hate watching. I'm not a good fan."


He knew it would be different with the Kings, but he hadn't realized how much.

"Over there," Robinson said, speaking of the Adams Division, "it was more of a one-on-one game. Dump and chase. You go bang in the corner and whoever comes up with the puck gets going. Here, it's much quicker, more controlled. There are guys coming at you from all directions."

Too many for Robinson, lately.


He's been on a bad streak, giving up the puck for six opposing goals in his last four games. It has been a nightmare for Robinson, one that has kept him tossing and turning well into the night, replaying the crucial moments over and over again in the VCR of his mind.

He has changed sticks. He has even changed suits, trying to change his luck.

But, as the turnovers keep coming, Robinson has thoughts he never would have dreamed of in his prime. He finds himself hoping he doesn't even get the puck.

"I can't wait to get off the ice," he admitted, "so I don't get scored on. I have started to doubt my abilities. I squeeze my stick harder. It sometimes seems like we don't have any other black shirts out there other than mine--like the other side has 15 guys.

"I think maybe it's because I'm not in shape, so I work out. I think my shot is off, so I pound the puck in practice until my arms are sore."

Could he be simply too old? Has he lost a step? Or reaction time?

"I can't always do things I once did," Robinson said. "But I think I can still keep up. If I couldn't, I'd quit.






Capitals Get Goalie Liut From Whalers in Trade

The Washington Capitals, seeking goaltending help for their playoff drive, acquired Mike Liut from the Hartford Whalers in exchange for journeyman left wing Yvon Corriveau on Monday, one day before the NHL trading deadline.  The move shakes up the Wales Conference and has brought out ire from Hartford Whalers fans who are hoping to see a playoff run this Spring.


Liut, 34, has a 2.43 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, both the best in the NHL, Corriveau, 23, has five goals and three assists through 50 games this season.


In other trades, the Buffalo Sabres sent winger Kevin Maguire to Philadelphia for former King defenseman Jay Wells; and the Quebec Nordiques, already eliminated from the playoffs, traded veteran left wing Michel Goulet and goaltender Greg Millen to the Blackhawks for forwards Everett Sanipass and Daniel Vincelette and prospect Mario Doyon.



Liut, At Top of Game, Hopes to Transfer Pace

By Dave Sell March 8, 1990

Rick Dudley has known Mike Liut for more than a dozen years. Once upon a time, he helped talk a team out of trading the tall goaltender with a mind as sharp as a skate blade.

But Dudley now coaches the Buffalo Sabres and when he heard Monday that the Sabres' Adams Division foe, the Hartford Whalers, had traded his former roommate to the Washington Capitals, he was pleased.


"I was surprised by it, actually," said Dudley, who was the captain of the Cincinnati Stingers of the now-defunct World Hockey Association, which had a young goalie named Liut for two years in the late 1970s.



"He's played extremely well this year against us. He's been one of the top goalies in the NHL since he first came in. That's pride coming out. He's a proud athlete and he works extra hard. I'm glad to have him out of the division."


Capitals Coach Terry Murray met Liut at National Airport yesterday morning and took him to his first Capitals practice. It's uncertain when he will make his debut. Murray was pleased with the play of Don Beaupre in Tuesday's 3-1 victory against Buffalo and doesn't like to make change for change's sake, but he said Liut would play either Friday against Quebec at Capital Centre or Saturday in Philadelphia.


The 34-year-old Liut, who was acquired for forward Yvon Corriveau, had been in Hartford just over five years and was disappointed by the trade.


"If you're not disappointed, what does that say about where you were?" Liut asked rhetorically. "I liked Hartford and liked the organization, and in that situation you give yourself to the team. It's tough when you wake up the next day and you're not teammates any more."


Liut has been a pro -- "a consummate pro," Dudley said -- for 13 seasons (two in the WHA) and his next game will the 600th of his NHL career, so he understands the business.


"It's disappointing from a family standpoint, but it's not unlike a regular businessman who is transferred," said Liut, who is married (Mary Anne) with three young children (Jenna Michele, Justin, Blake).


"We live in a somewhat transient neighborhood in Hartford and two very good friends were transferred in the time we've been there. But it's part of life and I think the kids will become more well-rounded in their developing years. I don't think it's great to shuffle them around too much, but Washington is certainly an educational area and not a bad place for kids to spend some time."



The Capitals want Liut for the playoff drive and in the next couple of seasons while the young players develop. His goals-against average (2.43) and save percentage (.918) are the best in the NHL. "Statistically, this is as good a year as I've had in hockey," said Liut, who pointed out that Boston's 35-year-old Reggie Lemelin (2.86 GAA) has had his best years after turning 31.



So why did Hartford trade him? Whalers General Manager Eddie Johnston's team has made the playoffs, but is behind two of the best teams in the league and may have decided that by time the rest of the squad can challenge for the Stanley Cup, Liut will be too old. Johnston has a fine prospect in Kay Whitmore he wants to try.  And unloading Liut's contract, which pays him $455,000 a year, was certainly a consideration.


Some in the Hartford organization thought Liut was headed out of the league after last season. While posting a record of 13-19-1, he appeared in the fewest games (35) and had the highest goals-against average (4.25) of his NHL career. There also were disagreements with then-coach Larry Pleau.


"He'll stand up for himself," Johnston said of Liut. "If he thinks he's right, he'll say so. Unfortunately, it got out of hand last season with him and Pleau. But Mike's a quality guy."


Liut said he "can't put a finger" on why 1988-89 was a problem.


"Last year was certainly a motivating factor for this year, but every year is new, with new challenges," said Liut, who also isn't sure why the success has returned.


Unlike most NHL players, who began their careers in junior hockey, Liut went the college route.


"I wanted to go to college and my parents were involved, but involved as parents should be," Liut said of his parents, Tony and Gloria, who live in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge. "I grew up looking at junior hockey as the steppingstone to the NHL, but school had become an alternative. {Ken} Dryden, {Tony} Esposito, Red Berenson, were great players that had come out of college."


Liut left Bowling Green University with a degree in business and a 53-27-1 regular season record.


"He was an outstanding ambassador for the program, along with his father, Tony," said Ron Mason, who coached at Bowling Green before moving to Michigan State.



Liut has this season and then an option year on his contract. He said he would like to sign an extension that would keep him here for several more years while he explores business and television options for his nonhockey future.


"I've been traded here and this is now home," Liut said. "At 34, you'd like to think this the last time you're going to have to move."


Capitals Notes: Murray said defenseman Scott Stevens would begin his league-imposed, three-game suspension Tuesday against St. Louis. That way, Stevens will not miss any games against Patrick Division foes. . . . Rod Langway had a slight "twinge" in his groin muscle and was given the day off from practice



Devils acquire Stastny for Wolanin


Stastny leaves Quebec for New Jersey

By LISA HARRIS UPI Sports Writer

NEW YORK -- When they traded Peter Stastny to the New Jersey Devils, the Quebec Nordiques completed the breakup of the nucleus of one of the most explosive NHL teams of the mid-1980s.


The Nordiques traded 33-year-old Stastny for 22-year-old defenseman Craig Wolanin Tuesday night, one day after sending Michel Goulet to Chicago.


The End of an era in Quebec


Although Stastny says he looks forward to helping the Devils in their playoff run, he took time to reflect on the past.


'I just talked to my wife (Barina),' Stastny said by telephone from Winnipeg, hours after the deal. 'She didn't say much, she wants me to be happy but she was crying.'


Five seasons after the Nordiques went to the Stanley Cup semifinals, the team that back then featured so much pizazz and little depth had broken into pieces of trade bait.

Stastny said he hadn't talked with Goulet since Tuesday's trade.

'Maybe you wouldn't say we are close friends but close as teammates,' Stastny said. 'He is someone I always had a lot of respect for, we spent a lot of time together. He is someone I played with for a long time, a big part of my life. To see him go is something discouraging for me too because if we were winning, probably neither of us would have left.


'This is the end (of an era),' Stastny said. 'I just talked to my coach (Quebec's Michel Bergeron). He said now there's only one player left from when he left Quebec three years ago -- Paul Gillis and that's not even 10 years ago, like me and Michel. That's from 25 guys that were here three years ago.'


Quebec never reached the Stanley Cup finals, but won the Adams Division in 1986 when the team scored over 300 goals for the fifth straight year.


The Nordiques fell on hard times in recent years, however. They finished last in the Adams in 1988 after Bergeron left for the New York Rangers, and the Nordiques had the NHL's worst record with 61 points last season. Bergeron returned to Quebec this season, but the Nordiques' 33 points are 13 below the second-worst NHL club.


In New Jersey, Stastny will rejoin former Nordique Tommy Albelin. He has played All-Star games with captain Kirk Muller and world championships against the Devils' Soviets Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexi Kasatonov.

'Peter Stastny can make the difference in us making the playoffs,' Albelin said.

Stastny, a center, is expected to play Thursday night against the New York Islanders.

Stastny has 377 goals and 654 assists for 1,031 points in 737 games over 10 NHL seasons. This season, he scored 21 goals with 24 assists for the pitiful Nordiques.


He joins a team in the middle of a tight division race. The six Patrick Division teams are separated by 33 points, and the Devils are fourth with 69 points. They trail the first-place Washington Capitals by 15 and lead last-place Pittsburgh by 18.


Stastny said he knew Hartford and Buffalo were interested in him as well as New Jersey and 'another Patrick Division team -- I wasn't so curious to find out but when I did, I was happy to go to this team.'


Bergeron called it 'a sad day for the Nordiques, trading Peter Stastny and Michel Goulet.


'They never complained, they came to play every night and were great hockey players,' Bergeron said. 'We are in a rejuvenation process and we had to trade our older players for younger ones. It's time to start from scratch and start all over for the Nordiques.'


Defenseman Bryan Fogarty, a first-round pick in 1987, will finish the season with Quebec after shuttling between the Nordiques and the minors. Other Nordiques former first-round picks playing are forwards Joe Sakic and Ken McRae and defenseman Curtis Leschystyn.


Wolanin, who had been in the minors with the Devils, will play for the Nordiques.


'When I coached in New York, I saw (Wolanon) a lot,' Bergeron said. 'I always liked him and I do believe what they say in the NHL, that you have to give young defensemen more time to learn their position.


Rangers Trade Dahlen To Minnesota for Gartner


Published: March 7, 1990


The Rangers, who have gone from good to bad to worst in the course of the season, yesterday chose to pretty much go for broke. With the playoffs fading, the Rangers traded for a player they think might at last help them turn the corner in their half-a-century pursuit of the Stanley Cup.


The Rangers, in their second dramatic deal of 1990, acquired the 30-year-old right wing Mike Gartner from the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Ulf Dahlen, a promising 23-year-old wing, a fourth-round draft choice and future considerations.


''You trade for a 30-year-old player, and you can't say you are trading to improve long term,'' Neil Smith, the general manager of the Rangers, said. ''But as long as you envision the player playing for you for four years, that's a commitment to the future.''


'Added Speed'

Implicit in Smith's logic, however, is the suspicion that the future may be right now. The Rangers, who trail the Devils for the last playoff spot by 16 points in the Patrick Division, which is stocked with hurting or stumbling teams, anyone could at this stage be considered the favorite to reach the Wales Conference final.



''Gartner gives us added speed and an offensive explosiveness that we've lacked,'' Smith said. ''It'll give the fans an exciting team.''

And, no doubt, a fair share of grist for long and heated arguments. Although Gartner's immediate ability appears undeniable, his ability to function at his current level is uncertain and Dahlen's potential for haunting the Rangers is scary. Dahlen scored 29 goals in a limited role as a rookie in 1987-88. He then scored 24 in only 56 games last season. And he is the third talented player 25 years old or younger that Smith has traded in the last couple of months. Tomas Sandstrom and Tony Granato were given up for Bernie Nicholls.


''I thought he was the best player in the draft the year he was taken,'' Jack Ferreira, the general manager of the North Stars, said of Dahlen, who was the seventh choice overall in the 1985 draft. ''In his two and a half years with the Rangers, he had four coaches. You fit in with some systems; with others you don't. I know what his skill level is.''


Only 15 Goals

On the other side of the argument, the Rangers stack both Dahlen's reduced numbers and average skating skills and Gartner's incredibly consistent statistics and nearly unparalleled skating ability. Dahlen, Smith pointed out, has scored only 15 goals in 63 games, recording only eight at even strength. He went 26 consecutive games without a goal and produced only 1 in 36 games during that 63-game stretch.

Also, Dahlen's play in his own zone hardly earned him Coach Roger Neilson's loyalty. The Ranger coach was said to have had a significant role in persuading Smith to make the deal.



''We just didn't feel he was a player who, long term, was going to improve enough,'' Smith said. ''It was our decision that we could sacrifice him.''

The Rangers would seem to gain a lot in Gartner, the longtime captain of the Washington Capitals who was traded to the North Stars at last season's trading deadline. He is one of only four players in National Hockey League history to score 30 or more goals in 11 seasons in a row. This season, he has scored 24 goals and 29 assists in 67 games.

''It'll give us more speed, more offense, more balance,'' said Neilson, who added that he would immediately install Gartner as the right wing with Nicholls. ''He's certainly not slowing down, and him playing four more years seems like a fair assessment.''

One of the reasons Gartner was dealt was that his contract was running out. Gartner is earning $400,000 in the option year of a four-year pact. Unless the Rangers sign him, he will become a free agent with compensation at the end of the season.

''I don't think we'll have any problem working out a package for Mike,'' said Smith, who added that he'd wait until after the playoffs to negotiate.



Sutter Gets a Sutter

ST. LOUIS, March 6 (AP) - Six Sutter brothers have played in the National Hockey League, so the odds were with St. Louis Blues' coach, Brian Sutter, that he'd eventually get one for his team. ''He's a player who can help our hockey team, that's all,'' Sutter said today after the Blues acquired the right wing Rich Sutter, one of four of the coach's brothers still playing in the league, and the veteran defenseman Harold Snepsts from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a minor-league prospect and two high draft picks.

The Norris Division-leading Blues gave the Canucks the defenseman Adrien Plavsic, their first-round choice in the 1990 entry draft and their second-round pick in the 1991 entry draft.

Rich Sutter joins the Blues


Transactions – NHL Trading Deadline


March 5, 1990


Hartford Whalers acquire Yvon Corriveau                          

Washington Capitals acquire Mike Liut


Quebec Nordiques acquire Mario Doyon, Everett Sanipass, Dan Vincelette                       

Chicago Blackhawks acquire Michel Goulet, Greg Millen, 1991 6th Round Pick


Buffalo Sabres acquire Jay Wells, 1991 4th round pick   

Philadelphia Flyers acquire Kevin Maguire, 1990 2nd round pick (#40-Mikael Renberg)               



March 6, 1990


Minnesota North Stars acquire Ulf Dahlen, 1990 4th round pick, future considerations (1991 4th round pick (#81-Alexei Zhitnik))

New York Rangers acquire Mike Gartner


New Jersey Devils acquire Peter Stastny

Quebec Nordiques acquire Craig Wolanin, future considerations (Randy Velischek)


Montreal Canadiens acquire 1991 2nd round pick (#43-Craig Darby)

Vancouver Canucks acquire Jyrki Lumme


Vancouver Canucks acquire Adrien Plavsic, 1990 1st round pick (#18-Shawn Antoski), 1991 2nd round pick (traded to Montreal for Lumme)

St. Louis Blues acquire Harold Snepsts, Rich Sutter, 1990 2nd round pick (#33-Craig Johnson)    


New Jersey Devils acquire 1990 5th round pick

Calgary flames acquire Jim Korn


Vancouver Canucks acquireJack Capuano

New York Islanders acquire Jeff Rohlicek


New Jersey Devils acquire Jeff Sharples

Edmonton Oilers acquire Reijo Ruotsalainen


Chicago Blackhawks acquire future considerations

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Alain Chevrier


Edmonton Oilers acquire future considerations

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Brian Wilks


Hartford Whalers acquire Cam Brauer  

Edmonton Oilers acquire Marc Laforge



Team Spotlight: The Philadelphia Flyers – Playoff Usurpers


NHL Standings

                The playoff picture continues to come into focus as the NHL rolls into its final 3 weeks of regular season.  This week, we saw the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs clinch their playoff spots.  Saturday night, with a wild 5-5 tie against the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers clinched their spot to the delight of a sold out Spectrum.  Picked by most preseason prognosticators to miss the playoffs and have a top-3 pick in the draft, the Flyers have surprised everyone, playing 12 points ahead of their actual 1989-1990 performance and moving into a second place tie with the New York Islanders. 

                The Adams Division remains the same, with a 2-team track meet at the top of the NHL between Montreal and Boston.  The Sabres have closed the gap with 3rd place, Mike Liut-less Hartford to only 1 point.  Either way the two teams will face Boston or Montreal and start out on the road in Round 1.  Buffalo has the 2nd best goal differential in the NHL at +49.

                The Patrick Division is becoming nearly as clear as the Adams, with the Capitals running away with the top spot, and the Rangers’ and Penguins’ hopes on life support.  The Islanders, Flyers, and Devils will continue to jockey for 2nd – 4th place and the rights to avoid Washington in the first round, and a claim of home-ice in round 1 to the team who finishes 2nd.

                The Norris Division, similar to the Smythe has a clear-cut 1st place team, as the St. Louis Blues have a 16 point lead and may clinch 1st place this week.  The Maple Leafs clinched a playoff spot last week, soon to be followed by Minnesota and Chicago as the Red Wings’ season can only withstand 1 blemish.  The Maple Leafs are the front-runner to finish the season in 2nd place.  St. Louis would host the Blackhawks and the 2 teams meet tomorrow in a possible playoff preview.

                Calgary holds a 1-point lead over Winnipeg in the Smythe Division heading into a giant home-and-home series this week.  The Kings are playing great hockey and sit only 3 points out of first.  At the bottom of the Division, we have Edmonton holding onto the last playoff spot over Vancouver.  There is one more head-to-head meeting between the two teams. 

                Realistically, by the end of this week, we could see all but one playoff spot clinched, as well as two regular season division winners crowned. 




Now on to the NHL’s league leaders through the NHL’s 21st week of action.

Adam Oates continues to lead the NHL in points, but Wayne Gretzky’s 10-point week has narrowed the margin to 1.




Brett Hull leads the NHL in goals with 54.  Can he get 6 in the last 10 games for 60?







Mike Lalor and Paul Cavallini were a +4 pairing this week jumping up to share the top of the NHL plus-minus race



Leschyshyn was a -9 this week



Joey Kocur will be joining Dave Manson and Gary Roberts in the 300 penalty minutes club




Paul Cavallini leads the NHL in hits as he brings a punishing style to the rest of the Norris Division



110 Faceoff minimum



Most players on this list get saddled with taking the tough faceoffs in short-handed situations

110 Faceoff minimum





Cam Neely has 13 game-winning goals including one this week







Ilkka Sinisalo has a midas touch this season, scoring on nearly a quarter of his shots

Minimum 70 shots on goal



Mike Liut made his Capitals debut this week with a victory against Quebec



Minimum 140 Shots Faced



Minimum 680 Minutes Played



Minimum 11 Games Played



Patrick Roy’s Competitive Spirit fuels many wins






Game of the Week:

The Flyers Clinch at Home in a Thriller

                                The Flyers knew there was much at stake coming into Saturday night’s clash with the first place Capitals.  Philadelphia only needed one point to clinch a spot in the Patrick Division playoffs over the Penguins and Rangers.  This Flyers team has defied all odds and despite being predicted to finish in the basement of the Patrick Division, they sit in third place, comfortably ahead of the ailing Rangers and Penguins.

                A sold out Spectrum crowd of 17,423 was electric and the Flyers fed off the energy.  Stephen Leach and Murray Craven got tangled up 9 seconds into the game, and Leach took the extra minor to give a very early powerplay to Philadelphia.  Rick Tocchet conevrted for his 25th.  37 seconds later, Ron Sutter scored on a slapper from Tocchet to make it 2-0 1:50 into the game, whipping the biased crowd into a frenzy.  The Capitals gained control over the course of the first period and the game was played evenly, with a 2-0 Flyer advantage after 20 minutes.

                The second period saw a mirror image.  Leach redeemed himself, scoring from the slot, beating Wregget through the legs 3 mintes in.  Murray Baron took a lazy penalty in the offensive zone that resulted in a Kevin Hatcher goal soon after, tying the game at 2.  Again, the play evened out and the teams skated into the second intermission tied at 2 with the Flyers holding a 21-19 advantage in shots.

                Things got crazy in the third period.  This time, Sutter was in the box, and Hatcher scored his second powerp play marker in a row to put the Capitals ahead for the first time.  At the 6:14 mark, Mike Bullard scored his 41st goal to tie the game.  Bullard is an unlikely 40 goal scorer this season and much of the Flyers’ unexpected success mirrors what comes off his stick.  The teams combined for 4 goals in 2:23 of time, capped by Geoff Courtnall’s 39th of the season to again put Washington on top, this time 5-4. 

                Later in the third period, as time was running out on a Flyer powerplay, Ilkka Sinisalo took a long shot from the perimeter after gaining the Capitals’ blue line.  Gord Murphy who had jumped up into the play outraced the tired Caps and flicked the rebound past Beaupre to tie the game at 5, and complete a 6-goal third period.

                Overtime, one would expect the Flyers to sit back and try to get the playoff clinching tie.  That was not the case, as the Flyers pressed a road weary Capitals team.  They out-shot Washington 4-0 in overtime including a goalie rating draw.  The Spectrum crowd was on their feet for a rousing ovation for the last 20 seconds as time ran out, clinching the postseason.  “We don’t want to get into any bad habits” said Philadelphia coach Paul Holmgren”.  I told the guys before overtime that we wanted to win the game.  There are no ties in the playoffs and we have 17,000 people behind us.  I thought the team responded wonderfully”. 

                If the season were to end today, the Flyers would face the Islanders in the first round.


The Flyers and Capitals battled every shift



The Great One briefly grabbed a share of the NHL points lead this week, but is now behind Adam Oates by 1 point.  He does have the most 3-Star Points in the league





The Oilers’ most valuable player is Bill Ranford and if they are going to make the playoffs, they will need him to be 100% in the final 9 games


3 Stars of the Week:

Gretzky and the Kings show flashes of dominance this week


  1. Wayne Gretzky – Los Angeles Kings
  2. Paul Coffey – Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Brett Hull – St. Louis Blues

Wayne Gretzky led the surging Kings to a perfect 4-0-0 week that featured 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points for The Great One.  Gretzky had 15 shots on goal, was a +4, and was 64% in the faceoff circle.  He was also pesky in his own zone, getting 5 takeaways.  Gretzky now has 108 points, second only to Adam Oates’ 109.


Paul Coffey is named the second star of the week.  While the Penguins did not find the team success the Kings did (2-2-0), they did pile up the goals without their superstar center Mario Lemieux.  Coffey had much to do with this.  The Penguins scored 20 goals in their 4 games, which included 4 goals and 6 assists from Paul Coffey, who was a +5, had 3 takeaways, and 2 hits.  Pittsburgh is nearly eliminated from the playoffs, but don’t tell the star blueliner.


Brett Hull was the third star of the week, scoring 5 goals in 3 games, 2 of them being game-winners.  In quick fashion, Hull has seized the goal scoring lead with 54 goals, passing 2nd place Cam Neely who has 50.  Hull also went into the history books as Bobby and Brett Hull became the first father and son duo to have 50-goal seasons.






Bourque, Lemelin, Moog, Wesley, Carter, Carpenter, and company make the Bruins the NHL’s top penalty killers










While we do not see a positive correlation between hits and win/loss record, the Hartford Whalers have harnessed their physical play




The Devils need to improve on their faceoff skill if they want to make noise in the playoffs










Troy Mallette and the Rangers need to find ways to score goals




Bruins fans are buckled in for a playoff run






This Week In the News


Hank Gathers Collapses and Dies on the Court

ESPN Sportcenter Coverage of Hank Gathers


The Hank Gathers Tragedy -- Death Of A Dream -- Death Puts Game In Perspective


The death of Hank Gathers, respected for his work ethic and intensity, put basketball in perspective for all who knew him as a friend or opponent.

``When everything is said and done, Hank Gathers epitomizes so much what life is all about,'' Temple Coach John Chaney said last night after his team defeated Duquesne 61-50 in Philadelphia, advancing to the semifinals in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.


``This basketball game meant nothing. To hear that news just devastates me,'' he said, tears streaming down his face.

Gathers, 23, one of the top college players in the country, died after collapsing during Loyola Marymount's West Coast Conference tournament game against Portland in Los Angeles.

The news devastated his high-school coach, his school and his buddies from his high-school days in Philadelphia.

Two of his closest friends - Lionel Simmons and Doug Overton, both veterans of Philadelphia high-school ball - learned of the death as their team, LaSalle, defeated Siena to advance to tonight's final of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Overton and Simmons broke down and wept on the LaSalle bench, and Simmons left the court with his mother.

``We'll play, but Lionel may not play; Doug may not play, and Randy (Woods) and Bobby (Johnson) may not play, and I can't blame them if they don't want to play,'' LaSalle Coach Speedy Morris said.

``We're going back to the hotel and we're going to talk about it. They're having a cry right now. Their feelings and emotions are pouring out. It's very difficult to talk to them right now.''

Morris took the same view expressed by Chaney.

``It just puts basketball in its proper perspective. What happened is meaningless when you lose the life of a kid,'' he said, referring to LaSalle's victory.

``These kids were 3,000 miles apart, but they were very, very close. When the semester ended the last couple of years, Hank would be at LaSalle playing basketball with Lionel and Doug. They were just like brothers. They're taking it very, very badly.''

Paul Westhead, Loyola coach, called the death ``the hardest thing I've experienced . . . to be so close to a player and see him fall and for it to be over. I feel a deep hurt for his family.''

Brian Quinn, Loyola Marymount athletic director called Gathers' death ``a tremendous loss for our university.''


``He was an outstanding young man and athlete as well as a human being,'' Quinn said. ``We're going to miss him. He's done so many good things for all of us and we're all grateful to have been a friend of his.''


Gathers' intensity and will to win earned him respect throughout the country.

``This makes me sick,'' said Coach Jerry Tarkanian of Nevada-Las Vegas. ``It's just devastating. What everybody respected about him was how hard he played. He was a 100-percenter.''

Gathers' high-school coach, Rich Yankowitz, said he had not seen a more intense, dedicated basketball player.

``His work ethic was outstanding,'' Yankowitz said. ``He always strived to do better.

``If there can be any good in this, at least he died doing the thing he loved best.''

A 6-foot-7, 210-pound center, Gathers was forecast as a first-round selection in this year's NBA draft. He passed up the draft after his junior season.


Yankowitz, who coaches at Dobbins Technical High School, said he talked with Gathers only three weeks ago, and the player said he felt good and looked forward to the rest of the season.

``He was pleased with the way everything was going,'' Yankowitz said. ``He seemed really happy, again focused properly on what was important to him.''

Yankowitz said he talked about Gathers' condition with Westhead and the player's doctors after Gathers had feinted in an earlier game. Yankowitz was left with the impression the player would remain on medication until the end of the season, when more tests would be conducted.

``The coaches and Hank told me everything would be fine,'' Yankowitz said. ``That's what makes it so alarming; he was playing with the doctor's blessing.''

``He was that type of kid who was really intense,'' Yankowitz said. ``He wanted to win at all costs - I'm talking in a positive way. If he had to go out and run 20 miles, he would. He was focused to win and to excel.''


March 8th, 1990

Philadelphia Train Derails, Killing, 3, Injuring 168

The last three cars of a six-car subway train derailed and crashed into steel pillars in a downtown tunnel during the morning rush hour today, killing three people and injuring about 150 others. At least six of the injured were in critical condition, including those crushed when the steel pillars pierced their car.


Some passengers were trapped for as long as four hours before they could be freed. Emergency medical workers amputated the legs of one woman caught in the wreckage. But she later died of medical complications.


Above ground, traffic was disrupted for hours as scores of emergency vehicles blocked off major roads.


Charles A. Zimmerman, a senior at Drexel University who was riding in one of the first three undamaged cars, said the train ''was going along, I'd guess, at 25 miles an hour when I felt a jerking, like the train does every now and then, and then the train stopped.''


He said he did not realize the seriousness of the accident until he and other unharmed passengers were escorted out of their car about 10 minutes later




March 9th

Joe Versus the Volcano and House Party open up in movie theaters



“Escapade” by Janet Jackson continues holding the #1 spot in the Billboard 100 for the second week in a row