Now thatdefenseman Scott Niedermayer (right), has returned to the Ducks (he had flirtedwith retirement), watch for Anaheim's power play to start climbing from 21st inthe league, where it ranked through Sunday, to the top 10. Also expectthird-place Anaheim to win the Pacific; Dallas and San Jose blew chances topull away when the Niedermayerless Ducks struggled early on.... When SidneyCrosby made his first career trip to Western Canada this month, playing tosellouts in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, he delivered on and off the ice.After Crosby's breathtaking three-point third period in Pittsburgh's 4--2 winover the Oilers, the Penguins arrived in Calgary at 1:35 a.m. in --13° weather.Crosby saw four young fans standing by a fence at the airport holding signsreading WELCOME TO CALGARY SID, WE LOVE YOU. Crosby put his bags on the teambus, walked over to the young fans and talked with them for 10 minutes beforehe got back on the bus.
ROBERT BECK (NIEDERMAYER)