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SCOUTING Reports
October 04, 1999
In the annual nipping and tucking designed to showcase its splendid game—a campaign against hooking and holding here, more space behind the net there—the NHL has taken the ultimate step in hockey beautification: the Pedi-Cure. There will be no more unsightly toes in the crease spoiling otherwise perfectly good goals, no more inflexible policy barring offensive players from the crease. The decision on whether a goal will stand (137 were called back last season) no longer rests with an anonymous video-replay official in the rafters but instead with the referee, the sole judge in determining goaltender interference. The NHL also has tarted up its game by instituting four-on-four play in the five-minute overtime designed to reduce the number of ties. At the same time, the losing team in sudden death will now get a point in the standings.
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October 04, 1999

Scouting Reports

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How They'll Finish

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION

SI'S RANKING

1. New Jersey Devils*

7

2. Philadelphia Flyers*

9

3. Pittsburgh Penguins*

11

4. New York Rangers

15

5. New York Islanders

27

NORTHEAST DIVISION

1. Boston Bruins*

4

2. Buffalo Sabres*

5

3. Ottawa Senators*

10

4. Toronto Maple Leafs*

14

5. Montreal Canadiens

21

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

1. Florida Panthers*

16

2. Washington Capitals

17

3. Carolina Hurricanes

19

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

23

5. Atlanta Thrashers

28

WESTERN CONFERENCE

CENTRAL DIVISION

1. Detroit Red Wings*

2

2. St. Louis Blues*

6

3. Chicago Blackhawks

25

4. Nashville Predators

26

NORTHWEST DIVISION

1. Colorado Avalanche*

3

2. Edmonton Oilers*

18

3. Calgary Flames

22

4. Vancouver Canucks

24

PACIFIC DIVISION

1. Dallas Stars*

1

2 San Jose Sharks*

8

3. Phoenix Coyotes*

12

4. Anaheim Mighty Ducks*

13

5. Los Angeles Kings

20

*PLAYOFF TEAM

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Boston over New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Dallas over Detroit

STANLEY CUP FINALS

Dallas over Boston

Fast Facts and Insider Rankings on the following pages were written by David Sabino and Pierre McGuire, respectively.

In the annual nipping and tucking designed to showcase its splendid game—a campaign against hooking and holding here, more space behind the net there—the NHL has taken the ultimate step in hockey beautification: the Pedi-Cure. There will be no more unsightly toes in the crease spoiling otherwise perfectly good goals, no more inflexible policy barring offensive players from the crease. The decision on whether a goal will stand (137 were called back last season) no longer rests with an anonymous video-replay official in the rafters but instead with the referee, the sole judge in determining goaltender interference. The NHL also has tarted up its game by instituting four-on-four play in the five-minute overtime designed to reduce the number of ties. At the same time, the losing team in sudden death will now get a point in the standings.

Expect the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks to make their mark in the standings with both clubs moving toward the top of the Western Conference while the Boston Bruins rise in the East. But the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings remain the NHL's elite. We like Dallas, by a toe.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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