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May 5, 2000

May 5, 2000

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

Ace prospect delivers super performances

When the New York Islanders returned Roberto Luongo to the minors in late February, they simply wanted the elite goaltending prospect to experience successes the parent club could not provide him in his rookie NHL season. So far, so good. Luongo, the 21-year-old netminder named the NHL’s top prospect by The Hockey News each of the last two years, was voted the No. 1 star in each game of the Lowell Lock Monsters’ three-game sweep of the Saint John Flames in the first round of the American League playoffs. “Once he gains more experience, I think he’ll be a very successful goaltender in the NIL,” said Lowell coach Bruce Boudreau. “Since the beginning of the year, when he was with us, he has made huge strides and he will continue to get better. “When…

NHL TEAMS

Coach speculation ends, Burns back behind bench

The Bruins ended speculation swirling around coach Pat Burns and announced he would return for the fourth and final year of his contract. There were rumors running rampant about Burns’ future after the Bruins missed the playoffs for the second time in four years. After two long meetings with GM-president Harry Sinden and assistant GM Mike O’Connell, the air was cleared and all parties said they were ready to move forward and leave this dismal campaign behind. Sinden said his confidence was high that next year will be much better. “We just feel that we have to change some things and Pat agrees,” said Sinden. “He thinks we have to change some things and we agree.” Sinden said he did have to be convinced through the meetings that there wouldn’t be a repeat of…

NHL TEAMS

Barrasso teammates only concerned about goalie’s ability to stop pucks

Tom Barrasso has never been known as a media darling, but he’s winning over his Ottawa Senators’ teammates in the playoffs. While the move to Ottawa from the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t alter Barrasso’s ice cold relationship with the media, the goaltender emerged as a force in the club’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After losing the first two games of the series in Toronto, Barrasso stopped 66 of 68 shots in Games 3 and 4 at the Corel Centre to send the Senators into the fifth game at the Air Canada Centre tied 2-2. “(Barrasso) has helped us more than Ron (Tugnutt) did,” said Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. “He’s more poised and he’s more confident. Especially after Game 2. Other goalies might be mad because we left him hanging and…

NHL TEAMS

No choking for freshman Gagne; teammates help with adjustment

Although there’s an asterisk next to Simon Gagne’s name indicating he’s officially still an NHL rookie, the Philadelphia Flyers’ first-year player is acting like anything but. Gagne, 20, was fourth in rookie scoring with 20 goals and 48 points this season, and finished the playoff series against Buffalo with five points in five games. The left winger is looked upon as a veteran, holding down a spot on the second line with Rick Tocchet and Daymond Langkow. “When you play 82 games in the NHL, you start to know a little bit about the game,” said Gagne after he scored a third period goal to break open Game 5 in the Flyers’ 5-2 clincher April 20. “The intensity level is higher in the playoffs, but those 82 games in the regular season helped…