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IN THE CREASE
Pierre McGuire
May 01, 2000
Although the NHL office doesn't like to admit it, there's a different standard for supplemental discipline in the playoffs from that of the regular season. A league official told a team exec last week that Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik's vicious slash to the head of Flyers center Daymond Langkow in Game 4 of their first-round postseason series would have warranted a six-to 10-game suspension during the regular season, but Zhitnik had to sit out only one playoff match. The NHL official also said Kings defenseman Rob Blake's cross-check to the face of Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of their series was worth a two-to four-game regular-season suspension, but Blake received no supplemental discipline. An NHL spokesman refused to comment....
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May 01, 2000

In The Crease

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Although the NHL office doesn't like to admit it, there's a different standard for supplemental discipline in the playoffs from that of the regular season. A league official told a team exec last week that Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik's vicious slash to the head of Flyers center Daymond Langkow in Game 4 of their first-round postseason series would have warranted a six-to 10-game suspension during the regular season, but Zhitnik had to sit out only one playoff match. The NHL official also said Kings defenseman Rob Blake's cross-check to the face of Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of their series was worth a two-to four-game regular-season suspension, but Blake received no supplemental discipline. An NHL spokesman refused to comment....

Talented rookie forward Mike Riberio, who made the Canadiens coming out of training camp but was sent back to juniors after only 19 games, earned a reputation as a player with poor work habits. If he is to get back into the good graces of Montreal's management, Riberio had better train hard this summer and report to camp in tip-top shape....

The West is usually regarded as the more free-flowing conference, but tire first-round series that produced the most hits was the Oilers versus the Stars (left). Through Sunday, Edmonton had the most Round 1 hits (229), while Dallas was second (203)....

While many observers cited the Devils' defensive tandem of Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski for keeping Panthers star Pavel Bure under wraps (one goal, three assists) in the first round, the credit should really go to forwards John Madden and Jay Pandolfo. Those players dogged Bure in the neutral zone and shadowed him with outstanding coverage down low....

Matchup to watch in Round 2: Should Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis get the best of Flyers scoring ace Mark Recchi, don't be surprised if Pittsburgh pulls off another upset.

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