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Original Issue

Pierre McGuire's In the Crease

Rangers pest Sean Avery (right) has again gone over the line. On Nov. 3 his taunting of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during warmups incited New Jersey forward David Clarkson to go after Avery. Then before last Saturday's game in Toronto, Avery's verbal jousting with Jason Blake and Darcy Tucker almost ignited a brawl. The NHL needs to put officials on the ice or in the penalty box during warmups.... The most improved player in the NHL could be Wild forward Mikko Koivu, whose ice time has risen nearly three minutes a game from last season. At 24 the third-year player is being used in all situations—and he's a much quicker skater than he was a year ago, one reason he had a team-high 10 assists through Sunday.