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September 18, 1998

September 18, 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

Dafoe enters season as No. 1 in net

Five years, three years, even one year ago, Byron Dafoe would have probably considered the situation disastrous. He’d have been starting training camp, knowing he’d have to fight for every minute of playing time, but unable to do so at the outset because he was coming off shoulder surgery. With one exception, that is the situation faced by the Boston Bruins goalie this time. But missing some of the training-camp competition shouldn’t hurt Dafoe this time because he’s coming off the best year of his career and he also seems to have recovered from June 18 shoulder surgery faster than expected. “After I had the surgery and they set Oct. 18 as a target date for playing, I said, ’That’s not right; I’ve got to get back before that,’” Dafoe said. “It gave…

DEPARTMENTS

Riddle me this, Statman: What is adjusted points per game?

Question: When does 1.05 equal 0.97 equal 0.88? Answer: When you are adjusting points-per-game figures to reflect the downward trend in goal scoring in the NHL over the past two seasons. There were 6,701 goals and 17,829 points scored league-wide during the 1995-96 season. In 1996-97 those totals fell to 6,216 goals and 16,511 points, a decrease of 7.4% in points. In 1997-98, scoring dropped to 5,625 goals and 14,973 points, a decrease of 16.1%.from 1995-96. In order to analyze a player’s scoring trend over the past two seasons you need to compare apples with apples, and make adjustments to reflect changes in overall scoring. The mathematics involved in adjusting PPG totals to reflect a decrease in scoring is as follows: The 17,829 points scored in 1995-96, our base year, equals 100%. The 16,511…

NHL TEAMS

Simpson set to start over

The lost year of Todd Simpson began with a knee injury in training camp that required minor surgery and cost him 10 games off the start of the season. Just as he was starting to feel good, the Calgary Flames’ captain popped his shoulder out in a fight with Georges Laraque of the Edmonton Oilers and played with pain for the duration. His season ended a month premature after Simpson suffered a concussion during practice in a collision with teammate Cory Stillman. Apart from being named team captain, it was a thoroughly forgettable season-for Simpson and for the Flames. The good news: Things could hardly get worse. “I played six or seven years and never missed one game because of injury,” Simpson said. “So I guess I was due for that. Hopefully, now…

DEPARTMENTS

Kyle glad to take step back as main man behind bench

As an assistant coach the past two seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Walt Kyle never knew what he would see when he’d go to the rink, but he was pretty sure there could be something marvelous. Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne have a tendency to awe onlookers, even in practice. ’To watch them on a daily basis was a great thrill,” Kyle said. “Paul’s focus is just phenomenal and you’ll never meet a better person than Teemu, plus he was a great player.” This year, Kyle’s only chance to watch the Ducks’ superstar tandem will be on television. But that’s all right because he’ll be back doing what he truly wants to be doing-running his own bench. Kyle returns to the American League to coach the Hamilton Bulldogs, jumping to the Edmonton…