Inside The NHL

April 27, 2003

Mighty Duck Hunt
The best way for the Stars to cool down hot Anaheim goalie
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is to crash the crease

The bruises he incurred during a bone-crunching, six-game
first-round series against the Oilers had barely begun to purple,
but Dallas left wing Brenden Morrow was already looking forward
to a date with the Mighty Ducks this week in the Western
Conference semifinals. "Anaheim has smaller defensemen than
Edmonton," Morrow, a fixture in front of the Oilers' net
throughout the series, said after the Stars clinched with a 3-2
win last Saturday. "Maybe my body won't take the abuse I got from
these guys."

The Mighty Ducks make up for their lack of size on the blue line
with the colossus they have in net, Jean-Sebastien Giguere. To
avoid adding to the legend of Giguere, who stopped 165 of 171
shots in Anaheim's sweep of Detroit in Round 1, Dallas must
attack him with more muscle than the flashy Red Wings did.
Detroit peppered Giguere with shots from the perimeter but rarely
crashed the crease to set screens or pounce on rebounds. Giguere
is so fundamentally sound and quick on his feet that allowing him
clear views of the puck is tantamount to booking a time-share in
the Bahamas for the Stanley Cup finals.

The Stars will try to unsettle him by moving the puck across the
offensive zone. That plan requires another big contribution from
defenseman Sergei Zubov, an expert passer who often joins the
attack. Against Edmonton, Zubov had four goals and six assists,
and he set up Mike Modano's game-winner on Saturday with the type
of misdirection--a cross-ice pass through the slot--needed to
beat Giguere.

The 5'11", 210-pound Morrow, who had four assists against the
Oilers, will be a key figure as well. Dallas coach Dave Tippett
called him "one of the most influential players" in the Edmonton
series for his ability to create traffic and take punishment in
front of the opposing goalie. "That's his game," says Scott
Young, the other wing on a line with Morrow and Modano. "He
creates a lot that doesn't show up on the stat sheet."

What's Next for Detroit?
The Red Wings' Off-season Plans

Last week general manager Ken Holland said that the Red Wings,
with a payroll approaching $70 million, would have to cut costs
this summer regardless of how far the team went in the playoffs.
But after Detroit was swept in the first round by the Ducks,
Holland might have to trim more than planned.

The loss of projected postseason revenue for the Red Wings is
about $4 million per home game--a total of as much as $56
million, assuming they would have reached the finals. Leading
scorer Sergei Fedorov, forward Darren McCarty and defenseman
Jason Woolley will be unrestricted free agents on July 1. Detroit
wants all three back but isn't likely to enter bidding wars to
retain their services. Holland will clear payroll by cutting ties
with aging forwards Luc Robitaille, 37, and Igor Larionov, 42,
and replacing them with prospects Igor Grigorenko, 20, and Jason
Williams, 22.

COLOR PHOTO: JEFF VINNICK/GETTY IMAGES/NHLI Morrow and the Stars barreled past the Oilers. COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO

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)