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April 24, 1987

April 24, 1987

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.

NHL

Zezel’s Return Gives Flyers Needed Boost At Center Ice

PHILADELPHIA—When the Flyers opened their first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers, center Peter Zezel watched from the press box. While the Flyers were being shut out 3-0 by Ranger goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, Zezel was looking on from above. Every time Vanbiesbrouck made a save, he’d cringe. Having been fitted with a knee brace just the day before, Zezel was not supposed to be in the lineup for another week. However, one night later, Zezel was in the lineup for the second game of the series, and the Flyers’ fortunes changed. With Zezel and Lindsay Carson playing strong games at center, the Flyers won 8-3. Then they moved to Madison Square Garden where Zezel scored a shorthanded goal, all the Flyers really needed in a 3-0 victory, thanks to rookie Ron Hextall’s shutout. By…

IN THIS ISSUE

Ironic Twist Cruel To The Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—It happened in game four, a moment after Mike Gartner scored the goal that gave the Washington Capitals a 4-1 second-period lead and told the New York Islanders they weren’t going to win either of their games at Nassau Coliseum. Gartner had completed a beautiful four-man passing play, a goal that epitomized the difference between the two teams. Denis Potvin and Ken Leiter, the retreating defensemen, were helpless. So was goalie Kelly Hrudey. After Gartner took Larry Murphy’s pinpoint pass and swept the puck behind Hrudey from 12 feet away, Leiter lost his cool. He fished the puck out of the cage, cradled it on his stick, and in frustration fired it back towards the goal. But Leiter missed the net. How cruel can irony be? Leiter missed the net, just like the Islanders…

NHL

Hockeymania: Low Blows And High Sticks

“When I was with Toronto, we had some series with Detroit where you could tell the teams didn’t like each other. With the Rangers and Flyers, though, it’s more than that. There is real hatred out there. “ —Ranger winger Jeff Jackson NEW YORK—Hulk Hogan, move over. Hockeymania is back and, even if it’s ugly sport, those who survive it seem to be having a jolly old time. In between the high sticking and the brawling, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers postured and gestured and threatened their way to a 2-2 tie after the first four games of their almost annual reunion. “It gets a little sickening sometimes,” Ranger left winger Don Maloney said after his team had hung on for a 6-3 victory to even the series, “but it happens every…

NHL

New Jersey’s Defense Needs Time, Experience

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Although they bowed out with an overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, the 1986-87 season ended on a positive note for the New Jersey Devils. Because of Vancouver’s season ending, two-game winning streak, the Devils will have the No. 2 overall pick in June’s entry draft. If all goes as expected, that pick will be Brendan Shanahan of the London Knights, or perhaps even Pierre Turgeon of the Granby Bisons. Both would offer Doug Carpenter’s team instant help. But if the Devils are going to take the final step into the playoffs next season there is something they need even more than Shanahan or Turgeon: An improvement and maturation on defense. “We must learn to play good defense as a team or we’re not going to be able to become a winning…