Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Schedule spawns tight races
By TOM JONES
Published April 2, 2006
Win two games and you're in the playoff pack. Lose one and you're in 10th place. Win three in a row and you lead the division. Lose two games in shootouts and you're back on the outside looking in.
The NHL's unbalanced schedule seemed like an awful idea at the start of the season. For example, it seems a joke that the Lightning did not play the Flames this season in a rematch of the 2004 Stanley Cup final. And it seems ridiculous that fans out west could go three season's without seeing, say, Washington's Alex Ovechkin or Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
The way the schedule works now, each team plays teams in its division eight times and everyone else in the conference four times each. Each team plays only 10 of the 15 teams in the other conference once.
The league said it will revisit the schedule to address the concerns about some teams not playing others, but that won't happen this offseason. And the league is finding out now that the current schedule has created one of the best playoff drives in recent history.
Take the Northwest Division, where four teams are separated by a handful of points and the race changes nightly. A team can go from the third seed in the playoffs to the seventh spot in one night, and be dangerously close to missing the playoffs altogether.
Look at the East where Atlanta was in eighth place by a point, went 3-2 and slid all the way to seven points out.
"I've never seen it like this. Never," Calgary's Chris Simon said. "You've got to scratch for everything you get here. Claw. Bite. And it's going to come right down to the end. We know that. No nights off. There's no room for error."
If next season is more of the same, this schedule might be here to stay.
NASHVILLE STORY: The Predators' recent four-game losing streak, during which they were outscored 21-12, is a reason for concern in Nashville.
"I think you're concerned any time you're in a lull because you want to get out of it," coach Barry Trotz said.
The key element is Nashville wants to finish fourth in the West and have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Coming into the weekend, the Predators were 27-7-1 at home, but only 15-16-7 on the road.
GOALIE TALK: This has kind of flown under the radar, but Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Meantime, Montreal's other goalie, David Aebischer , is a restricted free agent. Both likely will want decent money, meaning the Habs might have to make a decision.
Don't be surprised if Aebischer is on the trading block around draft time.
COMEBACK? Rumors in Philadelphia say Keith Primeau, who was supposed to be out for the season with concussion problems, could return for the playoffs.
Primeau says no, but keeps adding the phrase "at this time" in his denials.
"If I come back, I will let everybody know," Primeau said.
END OF THE ROAD: This could be the last season for Atlanta's 39-year-old captain, Scott Mellanby, who is contemplating retirement after 20 seasons.
"It's something I've thought about off and on all year," Mellanby said. "I'm not worried about it. Everybody's day comes. I came here two years ago to help this team make the playoffs. I'd love to be part of a group that makes the playoffs for the first time."
SINGING THE BLUES: With ex-Madison Square Garden president Dave Checketts heading the group that is buying the Blues, there's talk that Rangers broadcaster and former goalie John Davidson could end up being Blues president.
It's probably a long shot because Davidson, our choice for the best broadcaster in hockey, likes his job and lifestyle. Maybe a wad of cash could lure him. After all, TV will always be there.
MUTINY: Detroit's Chris Chelios is leading a group of dissident players who want Ted Saskin out as the NHLPA's executive director. Chelios claims 14 teams, including the Red Wings, have taken secret ballots and did not support Saskin.
"We have 14 teams that don't support Ted or the executive committee," he said. "It's going to be even more in the future."
ICE CHIPS: Former Lightning defenseman Paul Mara recently scored his 15th goal, making it the most by a Coyotes defenseman since the team moved to Phoenix in 1996.
... Fans in Edmonton are grumbling that coach Craig MacTavish should be fired if the Oilers don't make the playoffs, but GM Kevin Lowe won't fire his good friend. If the Oilers do miss, they can look back at four home losses to the Wild as the reason why. ... Toronto goalie Ed Belfour said he wants to return to the Leafs, but the Leafs hold the option. ... The Canadiens first want to make the playoffs, but they also want to avoid a first-round matchup with Carolina. The Habs went 0-4 against the 'Canes this season and were outscored 25-9.
Information from the Calgary Herald, the Tennessean, Delaware County Daily Times and Detroit News was used in this report.