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Original Issue

In The Crease

Since the beginning of 2002-03, the Oilers have lost forwards
Mike Grier, Anson Carter, Rem Murray and Todd Marchant in trades
or to free agency, and those departures are the reason the team
ranked last in the league through Sunday in penalty killing and
28th in face-offs. In making a quick fix to the latter, G.M.
Kevin Lowe recently signed 41-year-old free-agent center Adam
Oates, who is a face-off specialist.... Why have the Red Wings
scored more power play goals than any other team? For all
offensive-zone draws Detroit, taking a page from the Wild, stacks
two forwards along the boards instead of one on either side of
the circle. On the face-off the Red Wings' center pushes the puck
to the boards, creating a two-on-one that usually results in
Detroit's taking possession.... Last weekend the Leafs installed
eight-foot-wide sheets of Plexiglas along the boards at the
middle of the rink, replacing the four-foot sections that are
held together by metal stanchions, which obstruct the view of
spectators. If it works, expect all NHL teams to make the change.