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NHL

Slapshots

By Daily fishing report
Published February 22, 2004

Drawing the lines

Will we see a bloodbath or will cooler heads prevail March 3 when the Canucks play the Avalanche in Colorado?

It's a valid question after Avalanche rookie Steve Moore demolished Vancouver's Markus Naslund Monday with a center-ice hit considered so cheap by some, Canucks forward Brad May told the Vancouver Province there is a bounty on Moore's head.

Naslund, who took 13 stitches across his forehead and nose and who could be out another week, said he didn't think the hit was dirty. Moore said he was not trying to hurt Naslund and is "sorry."

The hit occurred when Naslund stretched in an attempt to gather a puck. The question is whether Moore led with his elbow.

"He took advantage of me in a vulnerable position, and he looked to hit me," Naslund said.

"I'm not looking to hurt anybody," Moore said. "It was a clean body check with a shoulder."

Canucks coach Marc Crawford could not believe no penalty was called. "That was a cheap shot by a young kid on a captain, the leading scorer in the league, and we get no call. That is ridiculous. How does it happen?" he said. "Why is there no respect from the refs for the leading scorer in the league? I do not understand that for the life of me."

"I really don't know what's going to happen when we play Colorado again," Naslund said. "I guess some guys are going to talk to him."

Trying out the rules

At the NHL's request (and no doubt the goal-starved league will be watching), the American Hockey League likely will tweak its rules next season to include a shootout to break ties after overtime.

The league also might use a 3-2-1 points system that awards three points for a win, two for an overtime or shootout win and one for a tie or overtime/shootout loss.

"We are more than willing to put in place any changes which we think and the NHL thinks will improve the game," AHL president Dave Andrews told the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y. "I think it gives coaches incentive to open up their offense."

Five questions with Blues center Ryan Johnson:

Q: What is one thing you miss about Tampa?

A: The guys. I have some good friends there. I loved the city and loved the people, but most of all the guys in the dressing room.

Q: What is one complaint?

A: To see where they are now, it would have been fun to be part of it.

Q: Are you still writing screenplays?

A: I still write, but I'm more into music and into movies. I mess around, play the guitar and be creative away from the rink.

Q: What movies have you enjoyed?

A: Seabiscuit. I'm a big horse racing fan.

Q: As a future moviemaker, what did you enjoy more, the story or the production?

A: It's neat to see how they could get in tight with the horses and see how they do it. Movies like that, when you see the half-hour special The Making of . . . it's almost as good. You see how they pull it off.

Around the league

The Islanders are 0-5 against the Rangers this season and 0-7-2 in their past nine. And how cool is a rivalry when Islanders tough guy Eric Cairns calls Rangers tough guy Dale Purinton "a gutless puke" for sucker-punching him? ... The Wild this season has converted four of its five penalty shots (80 percent). Through Thursday, the league had converted 34.9 percent (15 of 43). ... Stars G Marty Turco has been playing with a broken left foot since Jan. 19, when he was hurt at a morning skate by a slap shot. Turco was 7-3-2 with two shutouts in his next 12. ... The Panthers are lowering ticket prices about 12 percent next season. That after an auditor's report that raises "substantial doubt about the team's ability to continue." COO Michael Yormark said: "It's not really a red flag" and "we've gotten a lot of momentum this year." ... Rangers forward Eric Lindros, ice fishing in Ontario while nursing his eighth concussion, intends to play again this season. ... Thrashers G Jani Hurme is in Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Medical Center for tests to figure out what caused a mass near his spinal cord.

Quotable

"The best team would have 20 Dallas Drakes."

- Blues wing Keith Tkachuk on his teammate who had three assists in his 800th NHL game Thursday against the Lightning.

- Compiled by Damian Cristodero from interviews and information from other news organizations.

[Last modified February 22, 2004, 01:45:26]


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