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Original Issue

In The Crease

It appears as if the search for a new Kings coach to replace the
recently fired Larry Robinson has been put on hold. L.A.'s
ownership group is said to be looking to add a high-level
management type to oversee the franchise along with general
manager Dave Taylor. Among the new guy's first duties: name a
coach. One person who might be available for the front-office
role is Oilers president Glen Sather, who has an out clause in
his contract....

Speaking of Robinson, he made a classy move last week when he
took his three-man coaching staff, which had also been let go,
on a four-day golf outing to Palm Springs. Robinson wanted to
thank his coaches for their help over the four years he was
behind the Kings' bench....

In the past two seasons the Sabres have relied almost
exclusively on Richard Smehlik and Alexei Zhitnik as their No. 1
defensive tandem. However, since he was acquired from the
Panthers by general manager Darcy Regier in March, blueliner
Rhett Warrener has been paired with Jay McKee to give Buffalo
another outstanding tandem that can be No. 1 in certain

Here's why Scotty Bowman is the most successful coach in NHL
history. Despite his Red Wings' 5-3 victory over the Mighty
Ducks in Game 1 last week, Bowman was unhappy that Detroit
allowed Anaheim snipers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne several
scoring chances. Then Bowman became so disgusted with Detroit's
lackadaisical practice the following day that he ended the
session after only 40 minutes. In Game 2 the fired-up Red Wings
whipped Anaheim 5-1 and did a solid job on the Ducks' dynamic

Why does St. Louis defenseman Al MacInnis, who scored from 65
feet against the Coyotes' Nikolai Khabibulin in Game 1, give
goaltenders the shivers even when he's shooting from the neutral
zone? Fearful of being hit by MacInnis's big shot, defensemen
retreat into their zone, where MacInnis can use them as screens.
He also has an uncanny ability to make the puck dip while it's
in midflight....

With the two-referee system being used in the playoffs, coaches
should make sure their teams practice 5-on-3 situations. In the
first 20 postseason games there were ten 5-on-3 power plays,
resulting in five goals.