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Hockey

NHL Week at a Glance:
The personal touch

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Posted: Thursday May 20, 1999 04:14 PM

 
Kostya Kennedy's
Playoff Previews
As the Conference finals heat up, take a look at what SI's Kostya Kennedy had to say about the matchups.

Find out why he likes the Sabres in the Eastern Conference and the Stars in the Western Conference.

You can also send your thoughts on the playoffs to Kostya's NHL Mailbag.

By Jamie MacDonald, CNN/SI

As NHL fans turn their eyes to the conference finals, we turn our Glance to a few individuals who will be personally responsible for securing a date with the Stanley Cup.

With that in mind, we are again providing a service for those busy NHL stars who aren't able, or are just a little too embarrassed to give the Glance Personals a try. For the uninitiated, the Glance Personals are not for SMs seeking attractive and literate SWs, but for NHL stars seeking a drink, maybe more, from a silver chalice.

Mr. Mo. -- A captain in Dallas with GQ good looks, but willing to take a few scratches to sweep you off your feet. Mailbox #9.

Hullie -- Outspoken, but a little more tame since coming to Big D -- you're the only reason I moved here. Don't make me beg. New mailbox, #22.

May the Fors be with you -- Nouveau riche (eight figures) with a mean streak, anger management should help acquaint us. Mailbox #21.

Little Lanche -- Been scarred in the recent past, and have admitted to a Napoleon complex, but I heal fast and play big. Mailbox #14.

Big Swede -- The weight of the world is on my shoulders lately, help me get at least a city off my back. Mailbox #13.

Cujo -- Dog's name, but better than Cat quick. As the name suggests, I have been hounding you, but would like to be a little closer. Mailbox #31.

Dominator -- Name should say it all, but I'm also quite acrobatic (slinky for a spine). Our meeting last season never Capitalized.* Mailbox #39.

Peca -- As a Boston publication put it, measure me any way you like, I'm big and you can't shake me. Mailbox #27.

*Should read "never materialized."

Storylines We're Following

Wandering Pens
Lawyers, pucks and money are the central themes in Pittsburgh, but not necessarily in that order -- and pucks may not be a part of it at all if the bankrupt franchise is not purchased by a local owner. One lawyer said a scorecard was needed to keep up with the ping-ponging plans for the team, but at last check it was: Mario Lemieux 's plan is set for a vote within the next few weeks and a second bid (a joint bid from the owners of the Igloo and Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh) will be reviewed later this month. A third player appears to be Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft and one of the few guys who can reach Bill Gates on the billionaire totem pole. Hopefully one of the options keeping the team in Pittsburgh is financially viable and the Pens stay in Steeltown as tenants of what will be the NHL's oldest building next season.

Sutter's honeymoon in Calgary
The Flames picked up the option for a third and final year on Brian Sutter 's contract, but will he accept the terms? The answer will follow in the coming weeks, but Sutter told the Calgary Herald that he considered the Flames' announcement a "formality" and countered with "we're working on some other things, so we'll see." The paper pointed out that Sutter, a veteran coach with a lifetime 329-278-93 record, was the NHL's lowest-paid head coach. Sutter earns the almost entry-level NHL coaching salary of $425,000 Canadian. "Let's just say that some other stuff has to get done," Sutter said.

A Leetch in New York
Brian Leetch may be close to re-signing with the Rangers, which many expected, which leaves Theo Fleury ( Mark Recchi re-signed with Philadelphia) as the only blockbuster attraction at the free agent gate this summer.

Dismantling of the Wings
It won't quite have the impact as the dismantling of the NBA's Bulls, but two of the Wings' biggest names may not be back. Scotty Bowman , who has been taking teams to the Stanley Cup finals since 1968 and someone for whom Hall of Fame should waive a waiting period, is considering retirement. Nicklas Lidstrom , the Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman who might command more than $5 million, may also take flight -- back to his homeland. Lidstrom has talked about raising his children in Sweden no matter what he's worth on the NHL's open market.
 

NHL's Three Stars
Each week throughout the playoffs, we'll take a look back at a few of the individuals who made a significant impact on team success.

1. Peter Forsberg , Colorado -- Valeri Kamensky 's return may have helped, but against the Red Wings Forsberg showed that he's capable of taking over games in both ends of the ice.

2. Michael Peca , Buffalo -- The Sabres are 8-0 in the playoffs when he scores a point and 0-2 when he doesn't. He may also be more important to his team in the postseason than Dominik Hasek .

3. Sergei Berezin , Toronto -- Three goals in his last three games. His quick-strike capabilities are going to be needed against Hasek in the conference finals.

Bandwagon
Patrick Roy Regaining St. Patrick form
Jamie Lagenbrunner Will be a key vs. Colorado
Adam Deadmarsh Much more dangerous on third line
Red Wings So much for Dynasty on Ice
Wayne Primeau Outscoring his brother
Lonny Bohonos Five games, three goals, plus-4
Colorado rookies Hejduk and Drury should share Calder
Harry Sinden Wrong way to voice our thoughts
Not your average prediction

Two of our bandwagoneers, Jamie Lagenbrunner and Adam Deadmarsh, will decide the Stars-Avalanche series. If Langenbrunner outscores Deadmarsh, the Stars will win. If Deadmarsh outscores Lagenbrunner, the Avalanche will win.



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