NHL 99-00 Scouting Reports

October 03, 1999

In the annual nipping and tucking designed to showcase its
splendid game--a campaign against hooking and holding here, more
space behind the net there--the NHL has taken the ultimate step
in hockey beautification: the Pedi-Cure. There will be no more
unsightly toes in the crease spoiling otherwise perfectly good
goals, no more inflexible policy barring offensive players from
the crease. The decision on whether a goal will stand (137 were
called back last season) no longer rests with an anonymous
video-replay official in the rafters but instead with the
referee, the sole judge in determining goaltender interference.
The NHL also has tarted up its game by instituting four-on-four
play in the five-minute overtime designed to reduce the number
of ties. At the same time, the losing team in sudden death will
now get a point in the standings.

Expect the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks to make their
mark in the standings with both clubs moving toward the top of
the Western Conference while the Boston Bruins rise in the East.
But the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings remain the NHL's
elite. We like Dallas, by a toe.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID E. KLUTHO

How They'll Finish

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division SI's Ranking

1. New Jersey Devils* 7
2. Philadelphia Flyers* 9
3. Pittsburgh Penguins* 11
4. New York Rangers 15
5. New York Islanders 27

Northeast Division

1. Boston Bruins* 4
2. Buffalo Sabres* 5
3. Ottawa Senators* 10
4. Toronto Maple Leafs* 14
5. Montreal Canadiens 21

Southeast Division

1. Florida Panthers* 16
2. Washington Capitals 17
3. Carolina Hurricanes 19
4. Tampa Bay Lightning 23
5. Atlanta Thrashers 28

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

1. Detroit Red Wings* 2
2. St. Louis Blues* 6
3. Chicago Blackhawks 25
4. Nashville Predators 26

Northwest Division

1. Colorado Avalanche* 3
2. Edmonton Oilers* 18
3. Calgary Flames 22
4. Vancouver Canucks 24

Pacific Division

1. Dallas Stars* 1
2. San Jose Sharks* 8
3. Phoenix Coyotes* 12
4. Anaheim Mighty Ducks* 13
5. Los Angeles Kings 20

*PLAYOFF TEAM

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Boston over New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Dallas over Detroit

STANLEY CUP FINALS
Dallas over Boston

Fast Facts and Insider Rankings on the following pages were
written by David Sabino and Pierre McGuire, respectively.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)