Since Devils right wing Brian Gionta joined center John Madden and Jay Pandolfo (right) on a line during a March 1 game against Montreal, they have been one of the most effective units in hockey. The trio hadn't allowed a goal in three-plus games through Sunday and is generating offensive chances.... No team uses long passes better than the Capitals, who've relied on them since coach Bruce Boudreau took over in November. Forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are adept at stretching the neutral zone—and thus unsettling opponents.... √úberpest Sean Avery is one of the NHL's most reviled players, but he's also a vital Ranger and a catalyst for linemates such as Jaromir Jagr and rookie Brandon Dubinsky. Now that Avery and the Rangers have broken off contract talks, however, there's a strong possibility that Avery will be an unrestricted free agent this summer; if so, he'll have many suitors.
This is an article from the March 17, 2008 issue