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March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

DEPARTMENTS

Pronger’s big shot bolsters Oil attack

POWER PLAY It goes without saying Edmonton’s power play is better than in 2003-04. Almost anything is better than the 29thplace train wreck that kept them out of the playoffs that season. It’s decidedly better thanks to Chris Pronger’s quarterback work and booming point shot and Marc-Andre Bergeron (seven goals). Jarret Stoll (10 goals, 29 points on special teams), is the other option on the half-boards. The Oilers rank 11th on the road, but only 18th at home. PENALTY KILLING Edmonton’s penalty kill ranks second in the NHL (84.1 per cent) at home and 13th overall, up from 29th on the road and 27th overall in ’03-04. Pronger and Jason Smith do most of the work on defense, with Ethan Moreau up front. Edmonton loves to force turnovers and take it the other…

DEPARTMENTS

FAN SHOOTOUT

thehockeynews.com KIRK JOHNSTON, FROM NORTH PORTAL, SASK., ASKS Did playing for the Notre Dame (Sask.) Hounds help you make it to the NHL? “Definitely. I think it's a great school for when you leave home and you're 14 years old. I think you mature quicker and you get to play hockey everyday. There are some great coaches at Notre Dame so you definitely get better in life and on the ice as well.” GUILLAUME POIRER, FROM RIMOUSKI, QUE., ASKS Which NHL defenseman gives you the most trouble? “Zdeno Chara. He's just a big guy. He is 6-foot-9 so he is definitely hard to play against. He’s strong physically and he can skate and he can shoot. Chara can pretty much do anything.” KEVIN KELLEHER, FROM PHILADELPHIA, ASKS Who has impressed you the most this year? “(Alex)…

DEPARTMENTS

The family business

Like father, like son. Well, not the nose. Nick Foligno wants no part of that. Like father, like son. Well, not the nose. Nick Foligno wants no part of that. “I just made a joke to him the other day after some guy cracked me right across the nose and I told him ‘I’m done with hockey; I’m going to have a nose like you pretty soon’,” said Nick, breaking into laughter recounting a kitchen-table discussion with his father. There’s no mistaking Mike Foligno spent 15 years in the NHL — his nose is a testament to the way he played the game. And Nick, who’s scoring at more than a point-per-game clip to lead Sudbury, hopes he can emulate his dad’s career in some way. “It’s neat to have your father coach you, especially seeing…

DEPARTMENTS

Power play diversity brings added punch

POWER PLAY Rookie defenseman Dion Phaneuf has finally added another dimension to Calgary’s man advantage success beyond Jarome Iginla. Phaneuf’s booming point shot – he’s on pace to become the third 20-goal freshman blueliner in NHL history – gives Calgary an alternate attack. PENALTY KILLING Calgary’s penalty killing was a nightmare at the start of the season. It surrendered 13 power play goals in the first five games. Since the first quarter pole, though, the Flames are among the best penalty killers in the league, climbing into the top 10. A big reason is the play of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, whose game has rounded into form with everybody else. The work of unheralded shot-blocking forwards Stephane Yelle, Marcus Nilson and Darren McCarty, as well as defensemen Robyn Regehr, Rhett Warrener and Jordan Leopold,…