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December 3, 1999

December 3, 1999

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

Battaglia answers question with goal-scoring magic

The question about Bates Battaglia entering the season was whether the left winger could provide enough offense to justify his role among the top nine forwards. Eighteen games into the season, Battaglia had answered emphatically. Battaglia’s goal Nov. 17 in a 2-1 win over Ottawa was his seventh and matched his output for 1998-99, when he played 60 games “I didn’t envision myself doing this,” said Battaglia, 23. “But I learned a lot my first two years.” Battaglia has done a great job reading Ron Francis’ moves and anticipating passes, something most of Francis’ linemates struggled with last season. “I almost don’t want to say this, but he’s the strongest guy I’ve seen with the puck since a young Jaromir Jagr,” said Francis, who won two Stanley Cups with Jagr in 1991 and 1992. “I don’t…

FEATURES

Sedins Swedish delight

The Sedins are not the players they used to be. They’re better. “We are definitely more relaxed this season,” said Daniel, a goal-scoring left winger for MoDo of the Swedish Elite League. “Last year, we were a little anxious about losing our regular spots. This year we feel more comfortable holding onto the puck.” As usual, twin brother Henrik agrees, but puts it in slightly different words. “One year ago we were going on pure enthusiasm,” said Henrik, a playmaking center. “This season we have shown much more maturity.” The Vancouver Canucks’ top junior-aged prospects, the Sedins are scoring at a higher rate than last season. Daniel led MoDo with eight goals and 20 points in 19 games, while Henrik was third in team scoring with six goals and 17 points. Projected over a…

DEPARTMENTS

Montgomery awakens Moose

The Manitoba Moose had already improved their talent this season, but something was still missing in early November as their five-game losing streak will attest. Center Jim Montgomery appears to have been a quick fix for both Moose chemistry and skill. In his first five games with the Moose after being loaned from the Philadelphia Flyers, the 30-year-old Montreal native scored four goals and nine points and the team had bounced back with a four-game winning streak. Montgomery also brought linemates Lonny Bohonos and Patrice Tardif to life. In their first five games as a trio, Montgomery, Bohonos and Tardif combined for 28 points, including 11 by Bohonos. “We do have experience, but I think it’s a good mix,” Montgomery said. “Tardif is a strong, physical player who creates opportunities with speed and…

NHL TEAMS

Slow start worries Waddell, but there’s no sense of panic

Even though the Atlanta Thrashers had only four wins through the first seven weeks of the season, and half of them came against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Don Waddell wasn’t panicking. “This is where your patience is tried,” the GM said after his team was swept on a four-game road trip. “You have to be careful and not let your emotions get carried away with this. The last few nights, don’t you think I’ve been tossing and turning? You can’t let a few losses dictate what you’re going to do.” Waddell said he had no immediate plans to swing a significant trade, despite an offense that produced only six goals during the four-game trip. If only the Thrashers could play the Lightning every night. The Thrashers had a record of 2-0-1 against the…