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Week In Review after the games played on Saturday, March 24th, 1990

PICKING UP THE PIECES

Probert Tries to Revive His NHL Career

Keith Gave

Bob Probert, a former National Hockey League heavyweight, who was KO’s by booze and cocaine, is on the verge of resuming his career with the Detroit Red Wings.  He’s missed a year that included months of rehabilitation, a 90-day federal prison sentence, and much reflection.

He’s a year older, a lot wiser and, for the first time in many years, seeing things clearly,

“My life was totally out of hand,” he said. “I’m lucky I didn’t hurt anybody, kill anybody driving or something…”

 

Bob Probert is trying to return to the form that earned him a spot in the 1988 All-Star Game.  But before that, he must get his personal life on track

 

Looking back with vision unimpaired by mind-altering substances, Probert, the once and perhaps future Red Wings star, recalled how he was relieved when authorities intercepted him along his path toward self-destruction.

On the morning of March 2, 1988, border officials arrested him on the U.S. side of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel for importing cocaine.  They found 14.3 grams of the illegal drug in his underwear.  The arrest came at about dawn, following an all-night binge after a Wings’ game.

“When I got arrested that night, I was relieved,” Probert said in his first in-depth interview since that night. “It was like I didn’t care, it was over.  When I look back, I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

“It seemed like just a matter of time before something worse would happen.  I was fortunate.”

Seldom has Probert felt more fortunate than the week ending March 11, which included three major steps toward his return to hockey.  On March 5, he began skating, by himself, at Joe Louis Arena.  On March 7, the Immigration and Naturalization Service issued him a 90-day work permit.  And on March 9, NHL President John Ziegler reinstated the Red Wings’ left winger.

Ziegler had expelled Probert from the league on March 4, 1989, two days after he was arrested at the border.  Probert subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge, resulting in his prison sentence.  Ziegler commuted Probert’s suspension- which was scheduled to end November 1, 1990- at the request of the Red Wings.

“Based on the information furnished to me (drug test results and probation reports), I am satisfied the conditions have been met,” Ziegler said.  “Mr. Probert has lost one year from his professional hockey career.  I believe he has learned from this unfortunate experience.”

Probert, a 24-year old Windsor native, has one remaining legal hurdle – and it is a big one – before he can resume a full-time pro career.  He has been ordered deported by U.S. immigration because of the drug conviction.  He has appealed, but until it has been processed, he will not travel to Canada.  If he leaves the U.S., he may not be able to return. 

Detroit’s final six road games were all in U.S. cities. They have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Wings, however, were guarded in discussing Probert’s eventual return, though coach Jacques Demers could hardly contain his enthusiasm. 

“There’s still ways to go,” Demers said after Probert’s third solitary workout.  “As a coach, Im taking it one day at a time.  There is a possibility he can come back and play this year, and if he comes back, I would like to start him on the road.”

“He looked great.  He was very alert.  He was totally different.  We’re very pleased with the way he’s working so hard.  His weight was good, 227 (12-15 pounds over his best playing weight).  He was skating and handling the puck well.  He even rode the bike for a half-hour and did some weights, and he never did that stuff in the past.”

Seeing his teammates for again for the first time in more than a year was an emotional experience for Probert.

Its been a little strange,” he said, “but Im feeling more and more comfortable with the guys.  Everybodys been very positive.  They’ve been very supportive.

“It was good to see them.  Its quite a change from the last time I skated with the team.  There were six or seven guys I didn’t know.” (Actually, there are 11 players that were not with the Wings when Probert was arrested).

Flanked by his attorney, Harold Fried, and Wings’ executive vice president Jim Lites, Probert spole at length and at ease about his life leading up to his arrest and since then.

Probert said he is looking forward to getting along better with everyone, including the media, with whom he has often clashed.

 

Probert has been working out and may be in the best shape of his career

 

“I have learned a lot in the places Ive been,” he said, “You don’t get anywhere butting heads with anybody.”

But there was little talk of the future.  Probert insisted on numerous occasions that he could only speak of today, for tomorrow presents a new battle in his fight with the demons that threatened his life and jeopardized his career.

Its been a long year,” he said, perspiring heavily after an hour-long skate and another hour in the weight-room. “But this is one of the brighter parts, now that I am getting a chance to get back on the ice, I never gave up, but there were times when I didn’t think that this was possible. After my arrest, I didn’t think there was a chance for me to come back.

“But through the treatment Ive been getting, Im turning that around.  Ive had a very low self-esteem in the past.  And from what Ive been taught, recovery equals change.”

“Sure, Ive been off substances for awhile now, but that’s not what recovery is all about.  There has to be a lot of changes, about the people Im with, the places I used to go.”

 

Probert was raised in nearby Windsor

 

One nice change will be getting back on the Wings’ payroll and again collecting a $200,00 (U.S.) per year salary.

“He obviously is not in a good financial situation” Fried said. “He would at some point like to be able to earn a living.  Contrary to what people think, Bob Probert doesn’t have hefty bank accounts or lots of cash.”

Probert is living in a Detroit-area halfway house.  But life behind bars in a Rochester, Minn., prison, Probert said, was a rich and sobering experience.

“Being in Minnesota for the three months really opened my eyes to a lot of things,” he said, “For myself, I think it was good that I did go there.  It opened my eyes to see what could have happened to me.  I realized how I was powerless.  I was there, and I couldn’t change it.  And now, Im going to work hard, because I don’t ever want to go back there.”

While in prison, he studied and wrote his general equivalency diploma exam in hopes of getting his high school credentials.

 Im waiting for my results,” he said, “Im interested to see the scores.  I dropped out of school at a young age (17).  Now Im thinking about college courses in the Summer.  Summer has always been hard for me, sort of unstructured.

Success, too, has been hard to handle.

“Every time Ive done well, it seemed like it was time for Bob to screw it up.”

One of his biggest problems was not listening to people who cared for him and wanted to help him.

“You cant help a person if that person doesn’t want to help themselves.” Probert said, “I wasn’t taking too many suggestions.  I was running.  That’s the alcoholic.  I was running away from the problem.

“My life was totally unmanageable.  And as a hockey player, I don’t believe I was playing up to my potential.”

Getting the privilege to untap that potential is what Probert hopes for each day.

“One day at a time,” he said, “I came back and I skated, and Im doing the best I can.  Ive worked harder the last four days than I have the last four years.”

As for being accepted by his teammates, that wont be a problem.

“When they heard of Probert’s possible return to the team, there were a lot of smithe on the players’ faces,” Demers said, “If the big man comes back, they know he can help this team win.  I think the players realize the man has paid a heavy price.”

Wings’ captain Steve Yzerman concurred.

“If and when he does (return), he will be welcomed warmly, Yzerman said. “You cant keep kicking a guy and knocking him down.  Hes done his time.  Hes proven he wants to come back.  And we’re in full support.”

 

 

Probert Returns to Red Wings Lineup

UPI

DETROIT -- Forward Bob Probert, who was reinstated by the NHL on March 9 after being expelled for more than a year, returned to the Detroit Red Wings' staring lineup Thursday night.

Probert, who began practicing with the team last Monday, was given an indefinite expulson from the NHL on March 4, 1989 after being arrested two days earlier for cocaine possession.

Probert spent 90 days in a federal prison in Minnesota after being convicted of the charges and was released last Feb. 4.

The decision to return Probert to the lineup was made at 5:30 p.m. Thursday after consultation with the player, his attorneys, probation officer Richard Loosvelt and Red Wings management.

He started the Red Wings' home game against the Minnesota North Stars Thursday night.

Probert's last game with Detroit was on March 1, 1989.

He played 26 games with the Red Wings in 1988-89, scoring four goals and picking up two assists.

Probert's best season with Detroit was 1987-88 when he had 29 goals and 33 assists and 398 penalty minutes.

Probert had a few scoring chances and piled up 14 penalty minutes in the 6-5 overtime loss to the North Stars

 

Millen At Home With Hawks

Blackhawks Clinch Playoff Spot

Alan Adams – Toronto (CP)

Greg Millen sounded as if he wanted an asterisk attached to his statistics for the 1989-1990 NHL season.

Millen was miffed that reporters kept dwelling that Chicago’s 5-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night was only his 4th win since December 11th for the veteran goalie.

Millen was 2-14-1 for the Quebec Nordiques who sent him to Chicago on March 6 along with Michel Goulet for three prospects.  With the Blackhawks, Millen started 1-3-0. 

Its not a fair evaluation because the Nordiques have won 16 games all season,” said Millen, who has made six stops in an NHL career that started with Pittsburgh in 1978-79.  “It is not fair at all.”.

Greg Millen has indicated he feels at home in Chicago

 

Millen refused to report to Quebec when St. Louis dealt him there in early December, but he eventually relented and joined the NHL’s weakest team.  He doesn’t hide the fact he’s glad to be back in the Norris Division heading to the playoffs. 

Last week, Chicago clinched a playoff berth and currently hold fourth place in the Norris Division.

“At this stage of my career, I am fortunate to be on a playoff team,” said Millen. “but Ill tell you this: no more packing.

“This is it.  That’s enough.”

In a battle with the Maple Leafs Monday night, Chicago lost 7-5.  They got a pair of goals from Denis Savard and a single from Steve Thomas.

Dave Hannan and Al Iafrate connected for the Leafs, who have pulled out of a late-season funk, and they have lost only once in their last 6 games at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Toronto coach Doug Carpenter continues to complain about goaltending, and despite the victory, Monday was Jeff Reese’s turn.

Reese allowed goals to get by him on the short side and between his legs – places which Carpenter feels should be points of no entry.

“You know how I feel about goals between goaltenders’ legs,” said Carpenter. “I expressed it before and I font want to beat a dead horse.

“I have my opinions on it and I think I am right in that department. Reese is a standup goaltender and one thing about standup goaltenders is, you don’t get beat on the short side and you don’t get beat between the legs.  I mean, that’s the philosophy of standup goaltenders.”

Savard said he knew where to put the puck when he drilled a slap shot between Reese’s legs at 15:04 of the second period.

Doug Carpenter remains critical of his Leafs’ goaltenders

 

 

NHL QUICK HITS

 

Canadian Press

Vancouver

March 20th

Linden Stays Home

Injured players Trevor Linden, Ron Stern, and Jim Agnew were sent home Monday by the Vancouver Canucks from their late season National Hockey League road trip with a playoff spot on the line. 

A club spokesman said they will be examined to determine whether any of them can play when the Canucks return home March 25th to play the Winnipeg Jets.

The Canucks called on veteran defenceman Larry Melnyk, left at home when the trip began last week, and winger Jay Mazur from the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League, for tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Linden suffered a partial shoulder separation Saturday during a 4-0 loss to the Washington when checked by defenceman Kevin Hatcher of the Capitals.

 

The Canucks will need to try to steal the playoff spot from the Oilers without Linden and others

 

Stern and Agnew were sidelined Sunday in New York during a 2-2 tie against the Rangers.

Agnew suffered knee ligament damage when he handed out a heavy check to winger Kris King of the Rangers in the first period.

Stern left in the second game with a dislocated shoulder after he got tangled up with Ranger winger John Ogrodnick.  Stern was apparently hurt when hurled to the ice by a linesman in the third period confrontation.  Stern received a double minor and 10-minute misconduct for his trouble.

Also remaining at home during the trip were defencemen Jim Benning and Robert Nordmark, plus injured wingers Stan Smyl and Darryl Stanley.

 

Canadian Press

Quebec

March 24th –

LaFleur’s Future Uncertain

Guy Lafleur says he’s happy despite a dismal, injury-marred season with the Quebec Nordiques, but he is not certain he will be back next fall.

“It is something that we will work out over the summer,” said LaFleur, 38, or the possibility of returning for a 17th National Hockey League season – the third season since he ended a four-year retirement in 1988.

“I have to sit down with management and discuss it.  It may be that I want to come back, but the Nordiques may be thinking differently.  They have the final decision.”

LaFleur is to return to action tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs after recovering from a broken cheekbone. He missed 42 games this season with injuries. 

“I talked to him a few days ago about coming back, but that’s a private matter”, said Nordiques coach Michel Bergeron.  “One thing is certain, if he comes back, he won’t play 20 minutes a game like he did when he was healthy this season.”

“His ice time will be seven or eight minutes a game, like we did last year in New York.  Guy understands and accepts that.  This year, he was our best right winger.  That’s why he played so much.”

Despite the injuries, LaFleur has 10 goals and 18 assists in 33 games.  With the recent trading of Michel Goulet and Peter Stastny, he moved up to fourth on the club in scoring behind Joe Sakic, with 88 points, Michel Petit with 38 points, and Tony Hrkac with 29 points.

Quebec’s 16-56-3 record, the club’s worst in its 11-year NHL history, and the injuries haven’t dampened LaFleur’s enthusiasm.

 

Let’s Hope we Haven’t Seen the Last of LaFleur

 

March 24th –

Familiarity Breeds Goals for Richer

Canadian Press

Montreal’s Stephane Richer may be more familiar with Mike Liut than some of the Washington Capitals’ goaltender’s new teammates are.

Richer, who faced Liut for several years before the veteran goaltender was dealt to Washington from Hartford earlier this month, used that familiarity, but to no avail as the Capitals topped the NHL leading Canadiens 5-2 Friday night.

“It was a big game” said Richer. “We wanted to get the win and get it on the road too, but Liut was tough”.

“It was a big challenge for us to get on track for the playoffs.  We have this week to straighten things out”.

Richer has 36 goals this season, leading the Habs.

Richer thought he had beaten Liut late in the second period when he got off the bench.

“I just got on the ice and they changed their defence” he said, “I got a nice pass from (Matt) Schneider to get the breakaway.  I was going to go for the top corner, but (Liut) opened his legs and I went for the five hole.  That closed up right away and he stopped me.”

Montreal still holds first in the NHL and Adams Division by 1 point with a week left to play.  Washington has first place in the Patrick Division wrapped up and is waiting to see if they will play host to the Devils or Flyers in the first round. 

Washington’s coach Terry Murray, despite the victory, was upset with his team’s turnovers.

“We gave the puck away and mistakes nearly cost us the game” Murray said, “Liut played lights out, I wish everyone would have played as well.”

The Capitals came out with a flurry, firing a dozen shots before Montreal finally got one on Patrick Roy with 7:19 left in the first period. 

“They play a defensive style and kind of closed us out in the second and third periods”, said Capitals’ captain Dale Hunter, who has 24 goals centering arguably the best forward line in the league.

 

Barrasso Back

Pittsburgh (AP)

Goaltender Tom Barrasso is back with the Pittsburgh Penguins ready to resume the most difficult hockey season of his life. 

Barrasso returned to practice Monday after spending the last six weeks in Los Angeles, where his 2 ½ year-old daughter, Ashley, has been undergoing treatment for cancer.

Barrasso held a news conference Monday to discuss for the first time the burden he and his wife, Megan have endured since Ashley’s condition was diagnosed July 1.  He requested the subject be placed off-limits after the briefing.

“I want to look ahead, be positive, and put the last six weeks behind us” Barrasso said. “Now that the immediate danger has passed, we’d like to get on with the rest of our lives.  Her condition is the best it’s been.  She has a 50 per cent chance for long-term survival.  When she was diagnosed, they gave us a 15 per cent chance.”

Ashley underwent chemotherapy treatments and a February 23 bone-marrow transplant at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.  She and her mother are expected to return to their Pittsburgh home Thursday and Ashley will start a long recuperative program.

Tom Barrasso is back, looking to return to routinely stopping pucks

 

 

Canadian Press

Toronto

March 24th, 1990

Murray Offer

Bryan Murray, former Washington Capitals coach, has agreed to coach Team Canada at the 1990 World Championship in Bern, Switzerland, it was announced Monday by Hockey Canada’s chief international negotiator Alan Eagleson.

The balance of the coaching staff for the Swiss tournament, April 16-May 2, will be announced prior to April 3.

Team Canada will consist of players from the NHL who do not make the playoffs.  The team will play exhibitions in West Germany and Czechoslavakia before the tournament.

 

 

Nieuwendyk Sings Sniper’s Song to Blues

Jim Morris

Calgary AP

Sure it was a strange goal, but Joe Nieuwendyk will definitely take it.

“It was definitely one of the stranger ones,” Nieuwendyk said about a third period goal by Gary Suter, which was originally credited to Nieuwendyk, that put the Flames in the lead, en-route to a 4-3 overtime win in an NHL game versus the St. Louis Blues Monday.

“When you get them like that it gives you new life.  I was gunning from that point on.”

The goal came when Nieuwendyk blasted a puck that hit the boards behind the net, bounced off a defenceman and fell at the feet of Blues’ goaltender Vincent Riendeau, who in a scramble kicked it in his own new. 

While Nieuwendyk laughed at his good fortune, Riendeau shook his head over his bad luck.

“I have no idea what happened,” said the goaltender who was outshot 32-25. “I just saw the puck going in.  I put it in myself.  Its just a bad-luck goal.”

Al MacInnis scored on a slapshot, Paul Ranheim scored his 25th, and Doug Gilmour won it in overtime to lift the Flames, who snapped a brief 2 hame losing streak.

Adam Oates, Gino Cavallini, and Jeff Brown scored for the Blues, who only lost for the second time in 12 games and have 89 points, best in the Norris Division.

 Despite being outshot, the Blues scored the only goal of the second period, as a scramble came out to Cavallini and he pumped the puck in to tie the game at 2.  St. Louis argued long and hard that they were robbed of another in the period’s dying seconds and television replays supported their case.

Referee Ron Hoggarth ruled the net was knocked loose before the puck went in, but replays indicated the puck was past Wamsley before the net was moved.

 

 

 

Transactions – NHL Trading Deadline has passed

 

 

Team Spotlight: Doug Carpenter’s Toronto Maple Leafs

 

NHL Standings

                 We enter the final week of the NHL season with little mystery on who will be in the playoffs, with a lot of mystery on who the match-ups will be.  No 1st round match up has been determined yet.

                The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins are slugging it out for 1st place in the NHL and Adams Division.  Montreal has become the first team to 100 points, and the Bruins are at 99.  They meet next Saturday in The Forum with the Presidents’ Trophy likely on the line.  Either way, their 1st round match-up will not be a walk in the park.  Buffalo and Hartford are duking it out for third place, with both teams playing well.  As of this writing, the Whalers hold a 4 point advantage, but the Sabres’ last 5 games in 8 days are all winnable (NJ, DET, PIT, MIN, and QUE).

                The Capitals have already clinched the Patrick Division, and the Islanders look like they have comfortably nestled into the second spot, to enjoy home ice in the first round of the playoffs.  We do have a dog-fight between the Flyers and Devils for the privilege of avoiding Washington in the first round.  The teams do not meet the rest of the way, but both have winnable games as well as challenges ahead.  New Jersey travels to Buffalo, then hosts Washington, Detroit, and the Rangers, before wrapping up the season at Boston.  Philadelphia plays both New York teams on the road and hosts Detroit and Washington.

                The Blues have established dominance over the Norris Division, sealing up first place.  Toronto has a comfortable buffer in 2nd place, but are reeling from a few injuries.  Al Iafrate has torn his ACL in their game tonight at Quebec.  Minnesota holds a 3 point edge over Chicago for 3rd place, which could be important.  A vulnerable, depleted Leafs team will be a much more favorable match-up than the well-rounded Blues with the NHL’s leading goal scorer (Brett Hull) and point-getter (Adam Oates).  Minnesota and Chicago wrap up the season head-to-head in the Chicago stadium next Sunday, in what will possibly be a defacto playoff game.

                The top of the Smythe Division is a race between the Flames and Jets, with the Kings hovering within striking distance, all teams sit within 3 points.  The Flames and Jets’ season series has been completed, but the Kings will host the Jets 2 straight games this week in the Great Western Forum, with the Smythe Division possibly on the line, while Calgary finishes up an Eastern road trip against the Capitals and Islanders.  The Kings finish up the season at Calgary and may hold their fate in their own hands.  The Oilers’ magic number is 2 points, with 3 games left to play for both Edmonton and Vancouver.  Vancouver has been hit by the injury bug and is 0-4-1 in their last 5, allowing 16 goals in their last 2 games.  The Canucks host the Oilers Tuesday night, but their playoff fate could be sealed tomorrow if they lose to the Jets.  Edmonton came close to clinching tonight, but blew a third period lead to the Islanders

               

 

 

Now on to the NHL’s league leaders through the NHL’s 22nd week of action into the final week

Adam Oates is all business, holding a 5 point lead over Steve Yzerman into the last week

POINTS LEADERS

 

GOALS LEADERS

Brett Hull was shut out this week.  Yzerman gained ground, both are in reach of 60 goals

 

ASSISTS LEADERS

 

POINTS PER GAME LEADERS

 

PLUS/MINUS LEADERS

Geoff Courtnall should receive Hart Trophy consideration

 

WORST PLUS/MINUS

 

PENALTY MINUTES LEADERS

Dave Manson has 368 PIM in 56 games.  Mike Keenan has said he needs Manson on the ice and not in the penalty box when the playoffs begin


TAKEAWAYS LEADERS

 

HITS LEADERS

Rob Ramage has been the most physical player in the NHL according to his hits total

 

FACEOFF PERCENTAGE LEADERS

Ken Priestlay was called up from Rochester earlier in the season and has centered one of the NHL’s best checking lines

112 Faceoff minimum

 

WORST FACEOFF PERCENTAGE

112 Faceoff minimum

 

POWERPLAY GOALS LEADERS

 

GAME-WINNING GOALS LEADERS

 

SHORT-HANDED GOALS LEADERS

Steve Yzerman forces opposing powerplays to never let down their guard

 

SHOTS ON GOAL

Steve Larmer leads all wingers in putting the puck on the net

 

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE

Minimum 85 shots on goal

 

GOALTENDING

Mike Liut has continued his stellar goaltending for the Capitals

 

SAVE PERCENTAGE LEADERS

Minimum 170 Shots Faced

 

GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE LEADERS

Minimum 850 Minutes Played

 

GOALIE RATING PERCENTAGE LEADERS

Sabres’ Goaltenders Darren Puppa and Clint Malarchuk are #1 and #2 in the NHL

Minimum 16 Games Played

 

GOALIE WINS

 

MINUTES PLAYED

Jon Casey will finish the season comfortably having the most ice time of any player, mainly due to necessity.  Minnesota will be searching for Casey’s understudy this offseason.

 

SHUTOUTS

 

 

Game of the Week:

Two of the NHL’s Top Teams Put On a Show

                The Calgary Flames welcomed the St. Louis Blues into the Olympic Saddledome.  The Blues have had the Norris Division wrapped up for awhile, while the Flames are engaged in a back and forth battle with the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Smythe Division, with the Los Angeles Kings stalking close behind.

                The teams came out with a tight checking first period that saw both teams trying to make the perfect play.  Al MacInnis was sprung on a breakaway just under 5 minutes into the game and he beat Vincent Riendeau for the early 1-0 lead.  In a pattern that would last the entire game, the NHL’s point-leader, Adam Oates tied the game up by beating Theo Fleury along the boards and skating in and slid the puck past Rick Wamsley.  Only 38 seconds later, Paul Ranheim re-claimed the lead by scoring his 25th of the season, on a nice set-up by Fleury, who was charged after being victimized on the Oates goal.

                In the second period, the Flames began to take over on some road-weary Blues legs.  However, almost halfway through the period, Gino Cavallini scored his 10th of the season on a wrist shot, avoiding a Gary Roberts check.  The 2-2 score held through the 2nd intermission.

                The third period was wide open and saw the Flames total 14 shots, peppering Riendeau.  Gary Suter jumped on the board just a minute in, as Nieuwendyk drew the defenders down low, and fed Suter at the point.  Suter joins the growing 20-goal club among NHL defensemen this season.  The lead would not last though.  7 Minutes later, Jeff Brown scored a goal of his own, set up by Brett Hull.  The game remained tied through the third period despite the Flames pressing through most of the period.

                Early in overtime, Sergio Momesso and Sergei Makarov got tangled up.  The referee tagged Momesso with the extra 2 minutes, gifting the hometown Flames an overtime powerplay.  Doug Gilmour only needed 32 seconds to capitalize which sent the crowd and the Flames into a frenzy.

                This game was back and forth, and is a very possible, if not likely Campbell Conference Final preview.  “We feel like any potential match up provides challenges” said Flames head coach Terry Crisp, “but the Blues bring possibly the strongest challenge that we can face in our conference.  It does our team a lot of good to gain the confidence by beating these guys down the stretch run like this, especially with them playing so well.”  The win brought Calgary to within 1 point of the first place Jets in the Smythe Division race.

 

 

MOLSON 3 STAR POINTS LEADERS

Steve Yzerman collected 5 3-star points this week to snag a late lead

 

Skaters

 

Goaltenders


Darren Puppa seems to have the 3 Star Points race in hand, unless Patrick Roy has a stellar final week

 

3 Stars of the Week:

Steve Yzerman is having an unprecedented hot streak

 

  1. Steve Yzerman – Detroit Red Wings
  2. John Cullen – Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Shayne Corson – Montreal Canadiens

Steve Yzerman had a torrid week.  In only 3 games, Yzerman had 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points.  He had 17 shots on goal, was a +7, and even got into a fight.  He also had a hit and a takeaway as the last place Red Wings seem energized by Bob Probert’s return, putting in a 2-1-0 week, scoring 18 goals in the process.  Yzerman now has an outside chance at stealing the NHL points and goal scoring lead.

Yzerman is the hottest player in sports right now, with 20 points in 6 games (9 goals and 11 assists).  That is a pace for 267 points over an entire season (and 96 goals).

 

John Cullen has been named the second star of the week.  Despite the Penguins dropping all 3 games this week, upping the total to 8 straight, the team looks better.  Cullen has finally gotten comfortable with centering Pittsburgh’s top line.  This week in 3 games, Cullen scored 5 goals and chipped in 3 assists for 8 points.  He was a +4 and had 11 shots.  He added 3 hits and was a force in the faceoff circle, winning over 61% of his faceoffs this week. 

 

Shayne Corson is this week’s 3rd star, in a 4-game week that is rocky by the Montreal Canadiens’ standards.  They went 2-2-0 this week, but have lost ground to the Bruins for the NHL’s top spot.  In those 4 games, Corson had 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points, and also had 14 penalty minutes, as he adds a physical force that the Canadiens seem to lack at times.

 

TEAM PP% RANKINGS

Having the NHL’s top goal scorer (Hull) and points getter (Oates) has produced the NHL’s best powerplay unit

 

 

TEAM SH RANKINGS

 

TEAM GOAL DIFFERENTIAL

 

 

TEAM PIMS

Quebec doesn’t have that many wins, but have entertained from a fight standpoint.

 

 

TEAM HITS

 

 

TEAM FACEOFF PERCENTAGE

 

 

SHOT DIFFERENTIAL

The Flames boast the NHL’s best goal differential, thanks in large part to them peppering opposing goaltenders with over 32 shots per game

 

 

TEAM GAA

 

 

TEAM GOALS FOR

Los Angeles is riding a 329 game streak without being shutout, an NHL record.  They were last shutout on March 15th, 1986

 

 

TEAM ATTENDANCE

The Whalers are hoping to do a better job packing the house during their upcoming Adams Division playoff series

 

 

REPLAY VS. ACTUAL POINTS

No team has matched their expected 1989-1990 success like the New Jersey Devils

 

 

This Week In the News

March 18th, 1990

32 Day MLB Lockout Ends

By ROSS NEWHAN

MARCH 20, 1990 12 AM

TIMES STAFF WRITER

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: THE LOCKOUT AFTERMATH : Vincent Offers a Plan to Play All 162 Games : Schedule: Playoffs would be delayed for postponed games. CBS indicates it will cooperate.

 

Commissioner Fay Vincent said Monday that he is “reasonably confident” that baseball will be able to scratch the asterisk that would always accompany a 158-game season.

“I think we’re going to be able to preserve a 162-game season,” Vincent said by phone from his New York office.

The season had been scheduled to begin April 2. But after Sunday night’s collective bargaining agreement, ending the owners’ 32-day spring training lockout, Vincent had announced that the season would not begin until April 9 and that the tentative plan was to play 158 games, with both the union and management still considering ways to play all 162.

The route settled on was to ask CBS, which holds television rights to the playoffs and World Series, if it would agree to a three- or four-day delay in the start of postseason play so that the four postponed games could be made up after the season is scheduled to end on Sept. 30.

A CBS spokeswoman said Monday that the network does not have a scheduling conflict in that period and is willing to cooperate with the commissioner’s office.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Greenberg said he thought a decision would be made today and was hopeful the season could be extended.

 

Otherwise, he said, it is unlikely the games can be made up, since each team is already using days off and doubleheaders to make up three of the first week’s postponed games.

“I don’t know that there’s room for doubleheaders and I don’t think anyone wants them because of the implication to pitching staffs and travel time,” Greenberg said, suggesting that the Major League Players Assn. would not approve a rescheduling in that fashion.

Greenberg clarified two other aspects of the four-year agreement that were not detailed when the deal was announced at a New York news conference that began Monday morning at 1:15 EST:

--Teams will be allowed to carry 27 players for the first three weeks. They must then cut to 24, but from 1991 through expansion, they can carry 25. It had been suggested the teams be allowed to carry 30 through the first month of the 1990 season, but that plan, Greenberg said, was tied to a two-week training camp. The union insisted on three weeks.

--The new agreement deals with expansion only to the extent of what was already known. The National League will announce an expansion timetable within 90 days of Monday, when the agreement was signed. Greenberg said reports that the agreement guaranteed the addition of six new teams by the end of the decade were inaccurate. Those reports stemmed from information supplied by management sources, but Greenberg said that expansion to 32 teams was never part of the proposal leading to Sunday’s settlement.

The agreement covers the 1990, ’91, ’92 and ’93 seasons, but each side can reopen negotiations on any key economic issue, such as free agency, arbitration and minimum salary after the 1992 season.

Greenberg laughed, however, as he reflected on the four months that were required to complete the new agreement.

“After what we’ve just gone through, I don’t think either side would reopen negotiations frivolously,” he said. “They would have to perceive a situation as being desperate or intolerable. And even then, why negotiate a procedure that would be in effect for only a year (1993) before it would have to be renegotiated?”

The right to reopen, Greenberg said, was included on the clubs’ insistence in case their most pessimistic reports regarding economic problems become reality in two or three years.

“This would then provide a way for the clubs to get out of that situation,” Greenberg said.

 

But a more important aspect, he added, is that the agreement creates a joint study commission on revenue sharing and the industry’s economics. Details of how that committee will be selected are still being worked on, Greenberg said, but it will be a blue-ribbon panel with no previous ties to baseball or the union.

“Theoretically, they will determine one of three things,” Greenberg said. “Everything is fantastic (with baseball’s economics), the doomsayers are right or, as I suspect, it’s somewhere in between. More importantly, it’s a legitimate chance for the union and clubs to work together, the basis for a better relationship.”

 

The negotiations of this winter seemed to do little toward building that relationship. At times, they were more bitter than better, but the tone Monday was conciliatory.

Gene Orza, the union’s associate general counsel, refused to claim that his side had won, as the evidence indicates. He said neither side is completely satisfied, an indication that the process worked. Now, he added, the sides must recognize the need to endure compatibly through the administration of the agreement, as they did in the negotiation of it.

“It’s like a marriage,” Orza said. “We have our arguments, but we wake up the next morning and we’re still living in the same house.”

The important thing, he said, is that the clubs have to realize that they can’t continually wage war over player control--unilaterally setting wages and attempting to control movement. “We can discuss scheduling, per diem and the pension, but player control is just not a legitimate issue, yet it leads to most of the problems,” Orza said.

 

It is generally agreed that Greenberg, a former player agent trusted by Don Fehr, the union’s executive director, has given management a new feel for union thinking and sensitivity, and that he played a significant role in the negotiations, a source of ideas and liaison to Fehr at the darkest moments.

“I think my relationship with Don did add something,” Greenberg said. “The ability of someone on our side to sit down with the head of the union in an atmosphere of mutual trust was invaluable and unprecedented.”

Although confronted by an ownership element that seemed to demand union blood and would not consider lifting of the lockout, Vincent also played a role, privately conferring with Fehr, keeping the parties at the table, providing a conciliatory atmosphere.

“We need time and distance to provide perspective, but I tried to be helpful and I think I was,” Vincent said, adding that, despite the limitations of his office, he is not concerned about the consequences of his actions. He drew praise for his handling of the earthquake-delayed World Series. The reaction to his role in the negotiations probably will be mixed.

“I’d like to think that I wouldn’t always be dealing with a crisis, but I’m not naive,” Vincent said. “I realize it comes with the territory. It’s a difficult job and I’ve tried to do my best and what’s best for baseball.”

 

Loyola Marymount With Historic Win

Loyola Marymount 149, Michigan 115

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Loyola Marymount overwhelmed defending national champion Michigan Sunday, receiving a record 11 three-pointers and 41 points from Jeff Fryer in a relentless performance that produced a 149-115 rout of the Wolverines in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

In advancing to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance, the Lions, 25-5, also scored the most points in tournament history and the most points ever scored against the Wolverines in 82 years.

Loyola, the nation's top scoring team and 11th seed in the West Region, will meet either Arizona or Alabama Friday night in the regional semifinals at Oakland, Calif.

Bo Kimble of the Lions, the No. 1 scorer in the nation, contributed 37 points.

Michigan, which became the 17th straight team since the 1973 UCLA Bruins to fail to repeat its NCAA championship, finished 23-8. The loss was Wolverines' Coach Steve Fisher's first in eight tournament games.

Loyola, playing its second game since the death of star Hank Gathers, topped the previous tournament record of 127 points set by Coach Paul Westhead's alma mater, St. Joseph's (Pa.), against Utah in 1961. That game went four overtimes.

The previous mark for points against Michigan was 119, by Utah in 1969.

Demetrius Calip's two foul shots had Michigan within 84-76 with 13:18 left, but Loyola -- once again fueled by its fullcourt press -- reeled off nine straight points.

Kimble dunked to start a three-point play -- drawing Mike Griffin's fifth foul -- and Per Stumer struck for a corner three-pointer following a five-second violation for a 95-76 bulge with 11:55 left.

When Fryer drove for a left-handed hook, the lead was 100-79 with 11 minutes left, and Michigan never recovered.

Fryer's binge of long-range baskets topped the record of 10 set by Freddie Banks of Nevada-Las Vegas in 1987 against Indiana. Loyola made 21 three-pointers in 40 tries, two more tournamnent records.

Terrell Lowery added 23 points while Stumer had 21. Fryer's outburst was a season-high and one shy of his career-best. Terry Mills and Rumeal Robinson scored 23 each for Michigan.

Fryer sank eight off 11 shots -- five of seven from three-point range -- en route to 21 points and Loyola's pressure defense helped force 12 turnovers as the West Coast Conference champions raced to a 65-58 halftime lead.

Mills kept the Wolverines close with 19 points on 9 of 13 shooting.

With the score 19-19, the Lions' fullcourt defense began to take a toll on Michigan. After Chris Knight drew a charge in the backcourt, Fryer nailed a three-pointer for a 33-24 lead.

Tom Peabody's steal and feed to Lowery for a scoop shot then completed a 25-11 burst and gave Loyola its largest lead of the half at 44-30 with 6:29 remaining.

Another three-pointer from Fryer had the Lions ahead 60-48. But with Tony Tolbert coming off the bench to deliver a spark, the Wolverines got to within seven points at halftime.

 

March 19th

On this date in 1990, women got the chance to play in their first, official, hockey tournament ever in Ottawa. This is a huge milestone for the sport itself.

 

On March 16, 1990, Andrew Wood of the rising rock band Mother Love Bone was found in a comatose state by his girlfriend, having overdosed on heroin. Wood was taken to Harborview Hospital and placed on life support. Despite being responsive, Wood had suffered a hemorrhage aneurysm, losing all brain function. On March 19 physicians suggested that Wood be removed from life support, and he was pronounced dead at 3:15PM that day. The official cause of death recorded on Wood's death certificate is hypoxic encephalopathy.  Wood’s former band members might go on to found other successful musical groups such as Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog.

 

March 20th

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers

Video of Retirement Ceremony

 

March 23rd

Loyola Marymount's Cinderella Story Continues, Beating Alabama to Elite 8

OAKLAND, MARCH 23 -- It was all so agonizing. The painstakingly slow pace, the eight-point deficit Loyola Marymount had to make up in the final eight minutes, the missed open layup by Alabama's Melvin Cheatum's with five seconds left the missed jump shot by Alabama's Robert Horry at the buzzer that hit the front rim and threatened to roll in.

When it was over, when Loyola Marymount had desperately, furiously fought off the Crimson Tide in an NCAA West Regional semifinal, the Lions thanked their lucky stars and said they had no way to explain this breathtaking 62-60 victory before 12,972 delirious fans at Oakland Coliseum.

Loyola Marymount (26-5), still caught in an emotional hurricane since the death of teammate Hank Gathers three weeks ago, became the first West Coast Conference team since Bill Russell's 1957 San Francisco Dons to advance to a regional final.

In Sunday's final, Loyola Marymount will face top-seeded Nevada-Las Vegas, which barely got past Ball State, 69-67. The Cardinals had a chance to tie or win the game in the final 12 seconds, but never got off a shot after losing several seconds by nearly committing a turnover.

An ugly incident followed, as UNLV's Moses Scurry taunted Ball State players as they left the court. Several officials and security men had to separate the teams as they filed into the locker room. Said Ball State's rookie coach, Dick Hunsaker: "Those guys are a bunch of thugs and you can quote me on that."

By then, most of the people in the sellout crowd were drained, their emotions spent on the Alabama-Loyola Marymount game that was short on talk, long on action.

Alabama, thrust unwillingly into a villain's role, nearly brought Loyola Marymount's wondrous story to an end. But guard Terrell Lowery's loose ball layup with 26.1 seconds to play put the Lions ahead for good and proved to be the final points.

"The ball had gotten knocked out of Bo Kimble's hands and it was just floating around out there at the free throw line," Lowery said. "I just tried to get it before an Alabama player did."

The Crimson Tide had two chances to tie the game or win it in the remaining seconds. But Cheatum, with five seconds left, missed a short, wide-open bank shot. When Lowery, an Oakland native, missed the front end of a bonus foul shooting set with 3.6 seconds left, Alabama called time out and set up the same kind of play that Connecticut used to devastate Clemson 24 hours earlier in the East Regional.

Cheatum's 80-foot pass deflected off several fingers and into the hands of Horry, who had a quick look at the basket before launching a 16-footer that bounced off the rim.

"We're a quality team," Lions guard Tom Peabody said. "We live by the fast break, but we showed we don't necessarily have to die by it."

The 62 points was Loyola Marymount's lowest total since 1987, and was less than half the team's 125-point-per-game average this season. Kimble, who led the Lions with 19 points, didn't play especially well. Neither did three-point shooting wizard Jeff Fryer. Combined, they missed 25 of 38 shots.

"It was a hard game for us to hang in on," Coach Paul Westhead said. "It was their game, their style and their pace. We were just along for the ride. Boy, was it a slow ride. It's unexplainable how we could win a slow game. What was the halftime score, 22-21? It was incredible. When the score is that low, I'm worried. Our shooters get jittery."

What made Loyola Marymount even more jittery was Alabama's inside players -- 6-foot-9 Horry and 6-8 Cheatum -- were scoring at will. Each had 21 points and combined to make 18 of 34 shots.

It was Cheatum's dunk with just more than eight minutes to play that put Alabama (26-9) ahead, 49-41. Alabama Coach Wimp Sanderson's game plan worked to perfection for about 35 minutes, which is why he was so angry at his postgame news conference.

"None of you may like the way we played, but you can bet your sweet dookey we were prepared," he said. "You can say all that bull about how we slowed it down, but we gave ourselves a chance to win and nearly did it. In 30 years at Alabama {the last 10 as head coach}, I never had a team play any closer to the way we wanted to play than we did tonight. Do you have any idea of how difficult it is for our team to play that kind of game?"

The Crimson Tide did not get caught up in the run-and-shoot game that eliminated New Mexico State and Michigan last weekend. After seeing Loyola Marymount average 130 points in those games, Sanderson had no trouble convincing his players the only chance they had to win was to slow it down.

But Alabama still committed 24 turnovers against Loyola Marymount's frantic, dizzying press. And even though the Lions were much smaller inside, they got 20 offensive rebounds, 14 after intermission.

That, more than anything, is an indicator that Loyola Marymount is playing with the same unbridled emotion that had them soaring through the first two rounds.

Down by 52-45, the cold-shooting Kimble hit a three. After a Cheatum basket, Kimble scored a layin, left-handed. After an Alabama turnover, Peabody scored a soaring layin, getting the Lions to 54-52.

After the game, Kimble, the spiritual leader of this team since Gathers's death, sought out sophomore teammate Chris Knight and thanked him. After Kimble had drawn a technical foul, Knight had grabbed Kimble and pointed to the No. 44 patch that appears on their uniforms. "This," Knight said, putting his finger on the patch, "is what we're here for."

No doubt the Lions will keep Gathers in mind when they have their rematch with UNLV. Las Vegas won by nine in a meeting earlier this season. And the Runnin' Rebels (32-5) probably are the most talented team left in this tournament.

But Ball State almost pulled off the tournament's biggest upset.

When UNLV's Greg Anthony missed a free throw with 19 seconds to play, Ball State rebounded, got it across half court and called time with 12.6 seconds left.

The Cardinals (26-7) never got a shot off. Paris McCurdy got trapped near the sideline by UNLV's Larry Johnson (20 points, 13 rebounds) and nearly lost the ball. Hunsaker called Johnson's defense in that sequence, "A play I think {Los Angeles Raiders owner} Al Davis would have been proud of."

Precious seconds elapsed before guard Mike Spicer picked up the loose ball about 24 feet from the basket. He darted to the foul line and, with an open shot staring at him, decided instead to float a lob pass to Chandler Thompson. UNLV's David Butler from Washington's Coolidge High made the easy interception.

 

 

 

Movies

 

 

March 23rd

 

Pretty Woman is released into theaters.  In its opening weekend, the film was at number one at the box office, grossing $11,280,591, topping The Hunt for Red October as the top film.

 

Music

Alannah Myles – “Black Velvet” takes over as the top song on the charts

"Black Velvet"