By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 18, 2001
HELPING HAND: Detroit's Brendan Shanahan can take care of himself, but that was no reason for linesman Vaughan Roddy to try to even things up Sunday during Shanahan's dust-up with Minnesota's Sylvain Blouin.
"I was totally shocked," Shanahan said. "The guy squared up with me, so I dropped my gloves and then, a moment later, I got lassoed by the referee and hog-tied. Ripped my suspenders right off my pads.
"What's the point of even commenting? I couldn't believe it. Two guys squaring off, one guy getting tossed around the ice. That was me."
TRAVELIN' MAN: By playing in Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center, Detroit defenseman Larry Murphy has played in 54 NHL arenas over 21 seasons.
"I never had a vision of how long I'd play," Murphy said. "I was happy to be in the league. When I think back, it doesn't seem like I've been playing that long. It feels like I started just yesterday."
SHOPPING SPREE: The first thing left wing Dan LaCouture thought when told he was traded to Pittsburgh: "I'm going to go out and buy a big jar of peanut butter."
LaCouture was roommates with Edmonton defenseman Tom Poti, who has multiple allergies. The worst was to peanuts, which cause his throat to close up.
LONG MEMORY: Wild goaltender Derek Gustafson made his NHL debut March 9 against the Islanders and lost 4-1. Gustafson is best known for getting the win in the longest game in NCAA history, a four-overtime, 3-2 victory for St. Lawrence over Boston College.
The other goalie was the Islanders' Rick DiPietro. But New York coach Lorne Henning apparently has no sense of history and started John Vanbiesbrouck.
"The game was at noon and the pregame meal was at 8:30," said Gustafson, who made 72 saves in the four-OT win. "It finally ended about 6. Except for some oranges and bananas, no one ate anything and guys were cramping up. When we scored the winning goal, I tried racing to join the pile and it took me forever because I was out of gas."
MINOR MISTAKE: When you've spent the bulk of your career in the minors, it's easy to take things the wrong way. That's what happened to Senators goaltender Mike Fountain, who was asked by coach Jacques Martin on March 9 if he was ready to play against the Rangers the next day.
"When he asked me if I was ready to go, I thought he meant did I have my bags packed and was ready to go back to (minor-league) Grand Rapids," Fountain said. -- Compiled by Damian Cristodero.