Last summer the NHL made myriad rules changes designed to raise
the number of goals, but through Sunday scoring had increased
only slightly (5.30 goals per game, compared with 5.28 in
1997-98). As a result, inside sources say, the league is
considering another modification--slightly widening the nets,
which are currently six feet across. This is a solid idea
because goaltenders are bigger today than ever before and leave
few openings for shooters....
Scouts watching the Globen Cup in Sweden last week raved about
the performance of Oleg Petrov, a forward for Ambri-Piotta of
the Swiss League. Petrov, 27, had 46 points in 112 NHL games for
the Canadiens from 1992-93 through 1995-96, but a lack of
intensity kept him from blossoming. Expect Petrov, who's
grittier now and whose rights are still owned by Montreal, to
play somewhere in the NHL next season....
How much better does Jaromir Jagr make players around him? Since
being placed on a line with Jagr, journeyman Kip Miller, who had
14 goals in 90 NHL games before this season, had tallied 11
times in 14 games through Sunday....
Although neither has gaudy offensive numbers, forward Randy
McKay and defenseman Lyle Odelein are the backbone of the
Devils. Both are not afraid to voice their opinion on the ice or
in the dressing room.