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Hockey

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Attitude adjustment?

Osgood's funk may spur Red Wings to woo Leafs' Potvin

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Posted: Thursday December 31, 1998 05:22 PM

 

Facing a must-win Monday against St. Louis, the Detroit Red Wings passed over Stanley Cup goalie Chris Osgood and went with rookie Norm Maracle. The 4-4 tie ended the Wings' five-game losing streak but did nothing to clear up their murky goaltending picture. Osgood, who finally earned league-wide respect last season, has played indifferently much of this year. If Osgood doesn't pull out of his slump soon, expect Detroit to make a pitch for AWOL Toronto goalie Felix Potvin.

Avalanche building

Colorado goalie Patrick Roy's sprained knee is only a bump in the road for the Avalanche, who have found their way after a woeful start. Colorado can be a playoff force assuming it finally signs holdout defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh. The power-play specialist will agree to a two-year, $6.75 million contract. The hold-up is Ozolinsh wants $4 million in the second year, which would force GM Pierre Lacroix to make him a qualifying offer of at least $4 million for the 2000-2001 season.

Crawford: Watch out for Colorado's Drury

While Bill Muckalt of Vancouver and Mark Parrish of Florida have been the spotlight rookies so far, ultimately the two best players who will emerge from the class of 98-99 are with Colorado. Former Avalanche coach Marc Crawford told me that while speedy right wing Milan Hejduk will be a fine NHL player, Chris Drury has a chance to be great. Drury, a smallish center who won the Hobey Baker award at Boston University, is probably better known for leading his Connecticut team to the Little League World Series title in 1989.

So glad to see you

Montreal Canadiens GM Rejean Houle got some long overdue help on the weekend when former New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire agreed to a three-year deal as a consultant. Houle's weaknesses are a sketchy knowledge of the league and a tendency to overrate talent, something Lemaire's cold, critical eye can correct. And he won't be after Houle's job. Lemaire played a similar role in Montreal in the late 80s and is happiest when he can operate behind the scenes, away from the media.

 
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