Publish date:

In the Crease

Although the NHL office doesn't like to admit it, there's a
different standard for supplemental discipline in the playoffs
from that of the regular season. A league official told a team
exec last week that Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik's vicious
slash to the head of Flyers center Daymond Langkow in Game 4 of
their first-round postseason series would have warranted a six-
to 10-game suspension during the regular season, but Zhitnik had
to sit out only one playoff match. The NHL official also said
Kings defenseman Rob Blake's cross-check to the face of Red Wings
forward Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of their series was worth a
two- to four-game regular-season suspension, but Blake received
no supplemental discipline. An NHL spokesman refused to

Talented rookie forward Mike Riberio, who made the Canadiens
coming out of training camp but was sent back to juniors after
only 19 games, earned a reputation as a player with poor work
habits. If he is to get back into the good graces of Montreal's
management, Riberio had better train hard this summer and report
to camp in tip-top shape....

The West is usually regarded as the more free-flowing
conference, but the first-round series that produced the most
hits was the Oilers versus the Stars (left). Through Sunday,
Edmonton had the most Round 1 hits (229), while Dallas was
second (203)....

While many observers cited the Devils' defensive tandem of Scott
Stevens and Brian Rafalski for keeping Panthers star Pavel Bure
under wraps (one goal, three assists) in the first round, the
credit should really go to forwards John Madden and Jay
Pandolfo. Those players dogged Bure in the neutral zone and
shadowed him with outstanding coverage down low....

Matchup to watch in Round 2: Should Penguins defenseman Darius
Kasparaitis get the best of Flyers scoring ace Mark Recchi,
don't be surprised if Pittsburgh pulls off another upset.