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March 16, 2004

March 16, 2004

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.


Dogs days of season have Avalanche taking satisfaction in small steps

For Colorado, things had gone so bad in early March that a game in which the Avs blew three two-goal leads and had to settle for a tie was considered a “step in the right direction” by captain Joe Sakic. Colorado’s 5-5 tie with rival Vancouver March 3 was a step in the right direction offensively, with the team scoring one more goal in the game than it had in the previous 430 minutes on home ice. But the result also kept the Avs winless for the eighth straight home game and did nothing to appease its increasingly irritated fan base. “We’re struggling to win games right now, there’s no question,” said left winger Alex Tanguay, who scored a career-high five points in the tie. “But we’ve got time to turn things…


Underachieving Kozlov dealt for prospects

After experiencing the underachieving ways of Viktor Kozlov, a big Russian forward who never reached his tremendous “upside,” the Panthers dealt Kozlov to New Jersey for a scrappy Swede-and a big Russian, defenseman with tremendous “upside.” Neither left winger Christian Berglund nor defenseman Victor Uchevatov will be wearing a Panthers uniform that soon. Berglund is still recovering from a sports hernia operation and doesn’t know when he will be back. Uchevatov, a second round pick (60th overall) of New Jersey in 2001, is still a ways away from contributing at the NHL level. He is exactly the kind of big, stilldeveloping player Panthers GM Rick Dudley likes to draft and/or trade for witness defensemen Mathieu Biron and Branislav Mezei with the Panthers or right winger Nikita Alexeev in his days with Tampa…


Healthy Naslund gets ideal payback: three points and a strip of Moore

After being concussed by Colorado Avalanche fourth-liner Steve Moore in mid-February, Vancouver Canuck captain Markus Naslund talked of only one kind or revenge when the teams next met again in early March. Naslund wanted the two points rather than a bounty on Moore. He received half his wish. Naslund, who missed just three games with his first career concussion, collected three points and set up the tying goal as the Canucks and Avalanche tied 5-5. There was no retribution administered to Moore, just as Naslund had wanted. In fact, Naslund stripped Moore of the puck in the Colorado zone at one point to set up Vancouver’s second goal. Moore appreciated the manner in which Naslund handled the situation and calmed the waters. “I think he has shown throughout this whole thing what kind of classy…



Huntsville goalie Matt Carmichael is the clear frontrunner for SEHL MVP. “He’s a competitor and likes to win,” said Channel Cats coach John Gibson after Huntsville secured the regular season championship with its 34th win. Carmichael leads the league in wins (26), goals-against average (2.76), minutes (2,176), saves (1,188), saves percentage (.922) and shutouts (three). Teammates James Patterson and Allan Carr are also in the MVP running. Patterson is on pace for a 100-plus point season, while rookie Carr is a goal-a-game sniper.…