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Free LCS 1997-98
Reader Hockey Pool
head coach: Colin Campbell
roster: C - Wayne Gretzky, Pat LaFontaine, Brian Skrudland, Mike Eastwood, P.J. Stock. LW - Adam Graves, Kevin Stevens, Bill Berg, Darren Langdon, Tim Sweeney. RW - Niklas Sundstrom, Alexei Kovalev, Mike Keane, Johan Lindbom, Ryan VandenBussche, Shane Churla. D - Brian Leetch, Ulf Samuelsson, Jeff Beukeboom, Bruce Driver, Doug Lidster, Alexander Karpovstev, Eric Cairns, Jeff Finley. G - Mike Richter, Dan Cloutier.
injuries: Shane Churla, rw (knee surgery, out 'till March); Ryan VandenBususche, rw (arthroscopic knee surgery, three weeks); Alexei Kovalev, rw (arthroscopic knee surgery, 1-2 weeks); Alexander Karpovtsev, d (inflamed tendon in right wrist, day-to-day).
transactions: Recalled Peter Ferraro, rw, from Hartford (AHL).
Eastern Conference - Atlantic Division Team GP W L T PTS GF GA New Jersey 56 34 16 6 74 158 110 Philadelphia 55 29 17 9 67 160 123 Washington 56 26 19 11 63 156 143 NY Rangers 57 17 24 16 50 140 154 NY Islanders 57 20 29 8 48 148 158 Florida 57 18 27 12 48 138 160 Tampa Bay 56 10 37 9 29 104 185
1/29 at Ottawa T 2-2 1/31 at Boston L 4-2 2/02 at San Jose W 3-2 2/04 at Anaheim L 3-2 2/05 at Los Angeles L 3-1 2/07 at Phoenix T 1-1
by Alex Frias, NY Rangers Correspondent
The Rangers go into the Olympic break with a record of 17-24-16, six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot and only two ahead of the 11th-place Panthers. When they return from the break, the Blueshirts will have 25 games to squeak into the playoffs and try and make a miracle run.
"It's tough because we have a really solid group of guys and a group that plays hard for each other," Wayne Gretzky said. "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We can't seem to get ahead."
Trade Winds: It seems like GM Neil Smith was working on a deal that would send defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev to Phoenix for center Chad Kilger. The deal, which could not be completed before the February 6 Olympic trade ban, can't be executed until Feb. 25.
Kilger, 21, is a 6-3, 221-pounder who was drafted fourth overall in the 1995 draft by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Anaheim traded Kilger along with Oleg Tverdovsky for Teemu Selanne two seasons ago. Since then, Kilger's path to the NHL has been blocked by the Coyotes' wealth of veteran centers such as Jeremy Roenick, Craig Janney and Cliff Ronning.
If this trade does goes down, I think it could be a steal. Kilger is a big boy who can play, he's just never been given the right chance. Anaheim overwhelmed him giving him too much ice time straight out of the draft, instead of seasoning him down in the minors. Then Phoenix seasoned him, yet never was able to give him the minutes he needed at the NHL level to blossom. Hey, look at all the chances Alexei Kovalev has been given to flourish. We might as well give this cat a chance as well.
In other notes, Smith apparently turned down offers for Adam Graves by Vancouver, including straight-up deal for Trevor Linden, who wound up on Long Island.
Trainer's Room: Karpovtsev said he has been playing "with one hand" for a month since Keith Primeau's check bent his right wrist into the boards on the final shift of a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on January 6. And because of the heightening pain which runs from his wrist to his elbow on the underside of the forearm, Karpovtsev has pulled out of the Olympics in Nagano.
"I want to be 100 percent healthy," said Karpovtsev, who sat out the last three games before the break.
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