Stanley Cup Notebook
Wings tough with a lead
Posted: Saturday June 13, 1998 11:44 PM
Draper and the Red Wings are 12-1 in the playoffs when they score first (AP)|
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings have
been tough to beat when scoring first in the playoffs.
Saturday night's 2-1 victory over Washington gave them a 12-1 record in
the postseason when getting the early jump.
"We realize how important it is to get off to a good start, especially
coming into [the MCI Center]," Detroit's Brendan Shanahan
said. "We knew that they were going to have a lot of emotion and we wanted
to jump on them early."
The Red Wings did, scoring 35 seconds into the game.
The action was fast and furious at the Stanley Cup finals -- even before
Saturday night's Game 3.
In a hallway outside of the Detroit locker room, some of the Red Wings
were in a circle kicking a soccer ball around.
"This could be a bad omen," joked one sports writer, "we could be playing
all night with a scoreless tie."
Really big show
Pre-game ceremonies at the MCI Center on Saturday night included scenes
of Washington through the years -- and scenes from one of the Japanese
"Godzilla" movies. The latter, of course, was a reference to the Capitals'
jumbo-size goaltender, 6-foot-3, 225-pound Olaf Kolzig who wears
his nickname on his mask.
Long and short of it
At one point in Saturday night's game, the Capitals were being outshot
17-3 -- and two of their shots came on a Detroit power play.
What does a hockey player do when he signs a new contract worth millions
of dollars? Treat his teammates to dinner, of course.
That's what Sergei Fedorov did
for the Red Wings after rejoining the team late this season following his
long and complicated contract battle.
Fedorov, who earned a $12 million bonus when the Red Wings made the
conference finals, took his teammates out to a restaurant in Phoenix. The
dinner bill: about $11,000.
What did the players eat?
"We [drank] a lot of red wine," Brendan Shanahan said.
The silent type
As a captain, Steve Yzerman leads
by example rather than fiery speeches. So says Detroit coach Scotty Bowman.
"He doesn't say a lot," Bowman said. "If there are issues, he will take
them up. He has a good demeanor because he plays hard."
Unless the Tampa Bay
Lightning make a trade, it's likely they'll pick Vincent Lecavalier
with the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft.
A guest at the Stanley Cup finals along with other likely top picks,
Lecavalier was asked about stories regarding the Lightning trading his
"I read something in the newspapers [about a possible trade], but I don't
know if it's true or not," he said.
There were chuckles and groans. Then, realizing he was among writers,
Lecavalier quickly apologized, saying, "No offense!"
With victories over Washington in the first three games of the finals,
the Red Wings extended their unbeaten streak over the Capitals to 10 games
(9-0-1). The last previous Washington win over Detroit was January 30, 1994
-- 6-3 at Landover, Maryland.
Detroit's Steve Yzerman was on a streak of his own. His assist in Game 3
extended his point streak in the finals to seven games dating to last
year's four-game sweep of Philadelphia.
Brown out, Klee in
Brown was scratched from the Capitals' lineup Saturday and replaced by
"Kenny deserves a chance to play right now. He hasn't played in a while,"
Capitals coach Ron Wilson said after Saturday's morning skate. "He's a guy
who can kill penalties and play a steady game. Maybe he'll step forward and
make a difference in the game."
Brown has a problem with post-concussion syndrome. He felt nauseated
after the second period in Thursday night's game at Detroit and did not
return to the ice.
Klee had one goal in seven games during the 1998 playoffs but was not
used in the first two games of this series.
"Of course, it's great to get a chance like this," Klee said. "This is
what you dream about when you're growing up -- playing in the Stanley Cup
Inspired by Utah
Wilson hoped the underdog Capitals could draw some inspiration from the
performance of the Utah Jazz, who staved off elimination Friday night by
beating the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.
"Everybody wrote off Utah and they bounced back with a great effort
against a great team and the greatest basketball player of all time,"
Wilson said. "It shows that if you put your nose to the grindstone and
battle, you can change the momentum.
"That's exactly what we're looking for -- a big effort from our best
players and a continued effort from the people on our fourth line. We're
playing a great team, but we're not disappointed at all in the way we've
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