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Hunter can't help but be a pest

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Posted: Thursday June 11, 1998 03:24 PM

  Checks and balances: Hunter (32) sent Steve Yzerman to the ice after a Game 1 check (AP)

DETROIT (AP) -- As expected, Washington's Dale Hunter was an irritant to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1. Hunter, known for his in-your-face style, gave a particularly nasty time to Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman.

"We didn't have any particular assignments, but I think Hunter can get under anybody's skin," Capitals coach Ron Wilson said. "In particular, I think he irritated Steve. But Dale is not going to let this opportunity pass by. At 38-years old, I don't think he expects to play the next four years in the Finals."

Wilson said there was no way he couldn't use Hunter, anyway.

"All I had to do was turn around and who is over my right shoulder but Dale Hunter's dad," Wilson said. "So, if I did not put Dale in, I might have had a beer thrown on me."

Lineup change

Washington left wing Todd Krygier, who has been sidelined with a groin injury suffered in the Buffalo series, will probably return to the lineup on Thursday night, coach Ron Wilson said.

Krygier skated on Tuesday and Wednesday and he said he feels good.

It will be a homecoming of sorts. Krygier's parents, Roman and Charlene, live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He spent the early part of his youth in Novi, Michigan before his parents moved to Buffalo.

"We had season tickets to the Sabres, but I still like coming back here because my parents live here," Krygier said. "It's good. All of our parents have sacrificed a lot and to let them have a chance to see us play is great."

Bellows birth

Washington Capitals forward Brian Bellows took a jet home to Minnesota after Game 1 to be with his wife, Tracy, when she delivered a son. The 7 pound, 1/2 ounce boy was born Wednesday afternoon in Edina, Minnesota.

Bellows returned to Detroit Wednesday night.

Zzzz time

Ron Wilson could not say enough good things about rookie Richard Zednik, who scored the Caps lone goal in Game 1.

"He is just a fun loving kid and he goes out there and he is very relaxed," Wilson said. "He is not intimidated by this atmosphere at all. He is a new breed of European player, who comes over as a youngster and plays junior hockey and isn't intimidated by any stretch of the imagination with the surroundings."

Zednik's seven goals are tied for the team lead in the playoffs with defenseman Sergei Gonchar.


Joe Kocur, who made his NHL reputation mostly with his fists, was out of hockey but living in Detroit when the Red Wings signed him as a free agent a year ago. Detroit coach Scotty Bowman admits he didn't know what he was getting.

"I didn't know much about Joey," Bowman said. "I never knew what kind of player he was, just sort of the reputation that goes around. He is really a smart player. He knows how to play hockey.

"That sounds strange, but he has really got a big sense for the game."

Stay relaxed

Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig looks like a posterboy for cool. But looks can be deceiving. Kolzig says he has to work hard to stay relaxed.

"I'm always going to get nervous, but as long as I can vent, I'll be fine," said Kolzig, who faced 31 shots in a 2-1 loss in Game 1. "My venting takes different forms. Sometimes it's yelling an obscenity. Sometimes it's breaking a stick.

"I don't take anything home with me. It all stays at the rink."


Related information
CNN/SI's Season Recap: Red Wings-Capitals
Kolzig upbeat despite Game 1 loss
Caps confident
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