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Original Issue

In the Crease

During a game against the Wild last week, Capitals assistant
coach Tim Army could be seen showing forward Richard Zednik a
sequence of plays from the match on a handheld computer. The
XOSketch system, which costs $50,000, allows Washington to tap
into the in-house video feed and almost immediately show
replays. The Caps are the only NHL team using such a system, but
others are sure to follow...

At the Dec. 11 Board of Governors' meeting, Blues owner Bill
Laurie was chastised by other members of the board for lavishing
defenseman Chris Pronger, who won the Hart Trophy last season,
with a three-year, $29.5 million extension in November. That
contract raises the bar for free-agents-to-be such as the Kings'
Rob Blake...

Give Flames coach Don Hay credit for tapping into the expertise
of Brian Skrudland, special assistant to Calgary general manager
Craig Button. Two weeks ago Hay asked Skrudland to devise a game
plan to help beat the Stars. Skrudland, who retired last summer
after finishing his 15-year career as a center with Dallas, did
just that, and the Flames pulled off a 4-3 upset...

Penguins goalie Garth Snow, who came out of his crease and
attacked Panthers wing Peter Worrell in front of the Pittsburgh
bench last Thursday, wasn't the only player who deserved to be
suspended in that brawl. (Snow was given two games.) Penguins
forward Matthew Barnaby, who was on the bench, escaped
punishment despite grabbing Worrell during the scrap...

After a quick start, rookie defenseman Andrei Markov is in the
Canadiens' doghouse. The 22-year-old Markov wasn't dressed for
two games last week because Montreal coaches were unhappy with
his uninspired practice habits...

Senators defenseman Chris Phillips is one of the most improved
players in the NHL. Phillips, the No. 1 pick in 1996 who had
been plagued by inconsistency and injury, has been more
aggressive this season and looks comfortable with the puck. He
also has switched to skates that have a more pliable boot than
the ones he used to wear.