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Scouting Reports

Oct. 12, 1998
Oct. 12, 1998

Table of Contents
Oct. 12, 1998

NHL 98

Scouting Reports

The NHL is like Scottish weather: If you don't like it, wait 10
minutes, it'll change. Clearly there were enough unhappy
fans--as reflected in last season's disastrous TV ratings--that
the eager-to-please league, perennially insecure about its
wonderful game, did some overhauling.

This is an article from the Oct. 12, 1998 issue Original Layout

The most dramatic changes took aim at last season's pathetic
5.28 goals-per-game average, the lowest in 42 years. Four feet
has been taken from the length of neutral ice and has been used
to add two feet to the space behind each net to give creative
centers such as Wayne Gretzky more room to make plays, and the
size of the crease has been reduced to allow scorers to get
closer to the net. Watching over this hopped-up offense will be
two referees (instead of one, on a trial basis of 20 games for
each team), an experiment that will escalate the NHL's war on
obstruction.

What else is new? The Nashville Predators have entered the
league as an expansion team, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have
switched to the Eastern Conference as the league realigned into
three divisions in each conference. Oh, there will be one more
big change: a new Stanley Cup champion, the Dallas Stars.

How They'll Finish

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION
1. Philadelphia Flyers* 4
2. New Jersey Devils* 5
3. New York Rangers* 18
4. Pittsburgh Penguins 20
5. New York Islanders 22

NORTHEAST DIVISION
1. Buffalo Sabres* 6
2. Boston Bruins* 15
3. Ottawa Senators* 16
4. Montreal Canadiens 19
5. Toronto Maple Leafs 21

SOUTHEAST DIVISION
1. Washington Capitals* 7
2. Carolina Hurricanes* 10
3. Florida Panthers 24
4. Tampa Bay Lightning 25

WESTERN CONFERENCE

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Detroit Red Wings* 2
2. St. Louis Blues* 11
3. Chicago Blackhawks* 12
4. Nashville Predators 27

NORTHWEST DIVISION
1. Colorado Avalanche* 3
2. Edmonton Oilers 14
3. Vancouver Canucks 23
4. Calgary Flames 26

PACIFIC DIVISION
1. Dallas Stars* 1
2. Los Angeles Kings* 8
3. San Jose Sharks* 9
4. Phoenix Coyotes* 13
5. Anaheim Mighty Ducks 17

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Philadelphia over New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Dallas over Detroit

STANLEY CUP FINALS
Dallas over Philadelphia

*PLAYOFF TEAM.

Fast Facts and Keys to Success on the following pages were
written by David Sabino and Pierre McGuire, respectively.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID E. KLUTHO The chase is on Todd Gill's Blues and Martin Lapointe's Red Wings will be pursuing the same thing--the Stanley Cup.