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December 6, 2002

December 6, 2002

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 TEAM REPORTS

Capitals’ scoring woes attributed to chemistry

About the last thing the Washington Capitals thought they would go through this season was a prolonged scoring drought. Yet after 20 games, they were near the bottom of the bunch in goals scored. Injuries were not the problem; key people had not missed a game. Chemistry was a problem; little seems to work for more than a game. Marksmanship was definitely a concern; Washington had enough opportunities to win most games, but pucks had come off sticks as if fired by a scattergun. The Capitals scored against San Jose Nov. 19 to break a string of nearly 130 scoreless minutes. In the same game the Caps finally scored on the power play, making them 1-for-17 over a five-game stretch. It could be worse. Either Jaromir Jagr and Peter Bondra have scored at…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Gilbert’s job In limbo as offense lacks fire

Things were getting to the critical stage in Calgary, where the Flames had lost seven consecutive games through Nov. 21, four by shutout, three others in which they’d scored only a single goal. How bad was it? Early in November, during a six-day span, the Flames established a franchise record by going 192 minutes and 42 seconds without scoring a goal. Three days later, they began a second scoreless drought that reached 186 minutes and 39 seconds, second longest in team history. With his team’s losing ways dragging on, it looked as if coach Greg Gilbert’s job was increasingly in jeopardy. “It’s not fun,” Gilbert said. “You start to question yourself and hesitate. You’re really tense. You’re more focused on bad things happening than just going out and playing and taking control of…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Woolley accepts cut In pay for chance to fly with Wings

From Slava Fetisov to Bob Rouse, Jamie Macoun, Larry Murphy, Todd Gill and Steve Duchesne, the Detroit Red Wings have had a strong track record of getting good hockey out of veteran defensemen at important times. They hope that will continue with Jason Woolley, whom they acquired from Buffalo for a conditional draft pick, especially with Jiri Fischer out up to six months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Woolley’s skills should fit the Wings’ puck-possession system well, and he appears to be hungry: after clearing waivers, he accepted a $145,000 pay cut to go from the league’s worst team to the defending Stanley Cup champions (although attainable incentives could boost his pay back up). “It’s very exciting,” said Woolley, who was plus-3 in his Wings debut, a 5-0 rout at Calgary. “It…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Report of locker room unrest ‘full of nonsense,’ Peca says

Islanders captain Michael Peca categorized a recent sourced report that rifts have emerged in his locker room - and that his teammates are on the verge of mutiny against coach Peter Laviolette - as being “full of nonsense and untruths.” “It’s disappointing, but we’re using it as a rallying point,” said Peca, whose first three, full games back in the lineup following May knee and shoulder surgeries resulted in a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1). “The information didn’t come from a player. It came from an agent. (Who) it is, nobody knows and nobody cares. The only thing we care about is what the truth is. And the truth is Peter’s got everybody’s respect. “If you look at the article it looks like it’s one person that said something. I learned from…