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Original Issue

In The Crease

NHL director of officiating Bryan Lewis showed poor judgment by
not assigning one of the league's top referees to last
Saturday's Devils-Red Wings matchup, featuring the return to
Detroit of New Jersey's Claude Lemieux, who has long been
regarded as a villain by Wings fans. Stephen Walkom, whom many
coaches rate in the bottom half of the officials' pool, quickly
lost control of the game, during which Devils coach Robbie
Ftorek hurled a bench onto the ice in protest of a noncall in
the second period....

Hurricanes players are unhappy with their practice facility.
Instead of working out on a standard NHL-size rink (200 by 85
feet), Carolina is often forced to practice on an
international-size surface (197 by 98) because the Raleigh
Entertainment and Sports Arena is rarely available to them.
Hurricane players feel that it's difficult to simulate NHL-type
game situations on the bigger surface at IcePlex....

Canadiens wing Trent McCleary could have died on Saturday had it
not been for quick thinking by Montreal trainer Gaetan Lefebvre
after McCleary was struck in the throat by a shot from the
Flyers' Chris Therien. Lefebvre pulled McCleary to his feet and
yanked out his mouth guard so he wouldn't choke on his blood. As
of Sunday night McCleary, who suffered a fractured larynx and a
collapsed lung, was in stable condition in a Montreal

Sharks goaltender Steve Shields has been struggling since San
Jose traded co-No. 1 netminder Mike Vernon to the Panthers in a
three-way deal last month. It seems Shields can't handle the
pressure of being the Man.