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April 24, 1998

April 24, 1998

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 TEAMS

Desperately seeking goals

The question is simple: Where were all the goals? Of course, the goal of the Colorado Avalanche is still the same as it has been all year-to win a second Stanley Cup in the past three years. But to do so the Avs had to start scoring again. Heading into the final week of the 1997-98 season, goals were nowhere in sight. Granted, Peter Forsberg being out for seven straight games didn’t help matters. But a total of four goals in five straight games heading into the final week-all losses-had Avs’ fans worried. “We’ve got to get our game going, myself included,” said right winger Keith Jones, one of many players in scoring slumps during the team’s longest losing streak since moving to Denver. During the five-game losing streak, they scored only one even strength…

LEAGUES

Michigan madness

BOSTON-Michigan’s ninth NCAA hockey championship had a wedding flavor to it. The Wolverines’ 3-2 overtime victory over hometown favorite Boston College before a record crowd of 18,276 at the FleetCenter in Boston April 4 had all the elements of a traditional marriage ceremony. It had something sort of old, something sort of new and something sort of borrowed. Blue? Well, more than 18,000 fans and a couple dozen Boston College players certainly went home blue. The something old-with all due respect to the seniors-was the remarkable play of senior goalie and tournament MVP Marty Turco. The 22-year-old prospect for the Dallas Stars had Thief of Baghdad hands and moves, making 28 saves in the title game after blanking New Hampshire 4-0 in the semifinal April 2. Other exceptional oldtimers were senior captain and Washington…

NHL TEAMS

No question about deal for Sillinger

Question some of the Philadelphia Flyer transactions if you will, but stay away from the Mike Sillinger deal. Sillinger, acquired just before the Winter Olympics from the Vancouver Canucks for a conditional sixth round draft pick, has been the Flyers’ best player since Nagano. In 22 games with Philadelphia, the center recorded 11 goals and 21 points. That gave him 21 goals for the year, easily eclipsing his career-high 17. He also had 40 points, erasing his old standard of 38. Shooting accuracy? Sillinger led the league at 22.7 per cent. Shorthanded goals? Four, putting him among the NHL’s top five. What more could you ask from a guy whose career was at a dead end with the Canucks? “I guess this is my best year,” said the 26-year-old Regina, Sask., native. “I didn’t think…

NHL TEAMS

Finding coach on Murray’s mind

The Florida Panthers’ next coach could be one of five names GM Bryan Murray has jotted down on a piece of paper, but he said the list of names will grow as the number of available coaches becomes clearer. Although hiring someone to replace himself behind the bench remained Murray’s No. 1 priority, the process was still in the preliminary stages as he had yet to talk with a single candidate. He did confirm two of the names to come across his desk are Montreal Canadiens’ assistant coach Dave King and Bill Stewart, coach of the Calgary Flames’ American League affiliate in Saint John, N.B., although he would not say if they were leading candidates. “Bill’s a guy whose name has been brought to my attention,” Murray said. “He’s a first-year pro coach…