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April 12, 2001

April 12, 2001

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.

IN THIS ISSUE

UNITED LEAGUE

The Flint Generals became the first United League defending champion to miss the playoffs, after being eliminated from contention by the Muskegon Fury March 24. Last season, Flint tied a UHL record with 111 points and became the first team in history to sweep the Colonial Cup final. But the club has been hampered by injuries, losing more than 400 man-games to the bug. The result was a record of 27-33-10 entering the final week of the regular season, assuring the Generals of the UHL’s worst turnaround mark.…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Team ‘built for playoffs’ providing Oilers with new confidence to win

A few weeks ago, the Edmonton Oilers were locked in a life-and-death struggle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now, with the finish line clearly in sight, they’ve raised their expectations considerably. Buoyed by a franchise record nine-game winning streak and strong showings in acid test games against a pair of Stanley Cup favorites - New Jersey and Colorado - the Oilers are talking fifth place and a first round upset. “We’ve played excellent hockey the last six to eight weeks,” said left winger Ryan Smyth. “We want to continue that right to the playoffs. We want to move up as much as we can - and we’re in control of our own destiny.” On March 28, with the visiting Avalanche on a five-game winning streak, Edmonton romped…

IN THIS ISSUE

2001 NHL PLAYOFFS TELEVISION SCHEDULE

Tentative playoff dates…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Hurricanes relying on defensive play

The stretch drive has been full of potholes for the Carolina Hurricanes. Many of the disappointments came against teams they expected to defeat. A loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting and two home defeats at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens were most notable. When they did manage to avoid such trouble spots, the Hurricanes were keeping it simple on defense. “We’ve done a much better job of playing low-scoring games against a team we’re supposed to beat,” said coach Paul Maurice. The Carolina offense stalled through parts of March, so the team’s attention returned to defense. “We’ve been working harder on defense,” Maurice said. “The defensemen have definitely been trying to play more physical.” ANALYSIS The Canes became the NHL’s second-best penaltykilling team (87.2 percent efficiency) following a strong first part of March. It was…