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in the Crease
Pierre McGuire
March 03, 2003
After his team's road victory against the Canadiens on Feb. 18, Florida coach Mike Keenan invited his mentor, Scotty Bowman, to address the Panthers, the NHL's youngest club. Bowman told the players they were heading in the right direction, and they immediately proved him correct. In Florida's next two matches, against Eastern powerhouses Ottawa and Philadelphia, the Panthers, who were 17-22-11-9, scored a pair of upsets....
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March 03, 2003

In The Crease

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After his team's road victory against the Canadiens on Feb. 18, Florida coach Mike Keenan invited his mentor, Scotty Bowman, to address the Panthers, the NHL's youngest club. Bowman told the players they were heading in the right direction, and they immediately proved him correct. In Florida's next two matches, against Eastern powerhouses Ottawa and Philadelphia, the Panthers, who were 17-22-11-9, scored a pair of upsets....

One of the worst trades last summer was Montreal's swapping hard-nosed forward Arron Asham to the Islanders for soft but skilled wing Mariusz Czerkawski. Through Sunday, Asham (10 goals) had scored twice as many times as Czerkawski. To compensate for the loss of Asham's toughness, the Canadiens had to claim enforcer Gordie Dwyer off waivers from the Rangers last week....

One reason the Mighty Ducks (29-21-8-4 at week's end) are poised for their first winning season since 1999-2000 is their shakeup last off-season. New general manager Bryan Murray not only hired the right coach ( Mike Babcock) and acquired skilled players such as wing Petr Sykora, but he also brought harmony to the organization. Former general manager Pierre Gauthier, who was uncommunicative, was disliked by many players and front-office personnel....

Stars defenseman Derian Hatcher may be the most improved blueliner in the league this season. Why? First, rookie coach Dave Tippett paired him with slick Sergei Zubov, keeping Hatcher from having to overhandle the puck. Second, Tippett switched the southpaw-shooting Hatcher from right defense to left, making it easier for Hatcher to maneuver the puck and allowing him to pivot to the outside more quickly. After being +12 last season, Hatcher was tied for the NHL lead in that category, at +33.

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