If there was any question whether embattled Bruins coach Pat
Burns would return next season, it was answered last week when
Boston traded Raymond Bourque and Dave Andreychuk to the
Avalanche and dealt Rob DiMaio to the Rangers. All three were
firm backers of Burns, who has been under fire in Boston for the
Bruins' disappointing season (21-31-17-5 through Sunday). Burns,
however, deserves credit for not lashing out at management,
considering his lineup has been decimated by injuries, contract
holdouts and questionable player transactions....
The NHL's image will continue to suffer as long as the league
allows rampant cross-checking and slashing. In the waning
moments of the Canadiens' 3-2 victory over the Sabres last
Friday, Montreal defenseman Eric Weinrich was cross-checked in
the mouth by Buffalo forward Vaclav Varada. When players on the
Canadiens bench asked referee Don Koharski why there was no
penalty, his response was that Varada was trying to defend
Heading for the trading deadline on Tuesday, most teams in
postseason contention were looking to add depth. Why? Clubs see
the success of the Blues, who are so deep that their third line
comprises the outstanding trio of center Marty Reasoner and
wings Jochen Hecht and Stephane Richer....
Hurricanes center Rod Brind'Amour, who had a slow start with
Carolina after being acquired from the Flyers in late January,
has been terrific lately. On a recently completed four-game road
trip Brind'Amour won 75% of his face-offs. His improved play
coincides with the arrival of his wife, Kelle, and their two
children in Carolina....
Many observers felt the Sabres overpaid by sending forwards
Brian Holzinger and Wayne Primeau and promising defenseman Cory
Sarich to the Lightning for center Chris Gratton last week.
Buffalo, however, most likely would not have protected Holzinger
and Primeau in June's expansion draft.