After a 24-22-3 start, first-year coach Todd Richards has the Wild playing the fast, physical style of hockey he prefers. With captain Mikko Koivu
(below), who leads the team in scoring (44 points), Minnesota has won four of its last six through Sunday.... A thief last week stole a set of false teeth that had been made for the Flyers' Ian Laperriere—who lost seven in November when he was hit in the face with a puck while trying to block a shot. (A new set has since been ordered.) ... The Hurricanes may soon trade 37-year-old left wing Ray Whitney. Carolina (14-26-7 through Sunday) ranks last in the East and wants to reload with younger talent—dealing Whitney, a proven scorer with a Stanley Cup to his credit, is one way to get the job done.