St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on May 12, 1993 · Page 29
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 29

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Wednesday, May 12, 1993
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rr SPORTS ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 1993 3D HOCKEY Success Robs Leafs Fans Of Rhyme And Reason JEFF GORDON AT THE PLAYOFFS Boisterous fans chanted taunts at Blues net-minder Curtis Joseph. They cheered derisively when he made saves. They gleefully partook in organized clapping. They roared at crushing Leafs hits. Long-time Toronto Star sports columnist Jim Proudfoot said the rowdy Leafs crowds are a revelation. "Toronto hockey crowds have always been really quiet and reserved," he said. "They are very knowledgeable about hockey. There wasn't that level of hatred for opponents. They saw an opponent make a good play, and they applauded." The Leafs have provided Canadians with a smile at a time when their newspapers are dwelling on economic woes and political unrest. "Toronto and all of Canada was looking for something to be happy about," Proudfoot said. Now the Leafs are just one victory away from making the National Hockey League's Final Four. "I'm totally excited about our chances," Julian said. Concerned for the welfare of their fans, the Leafs issued a press release advising ticket holders to dress casually Tuesday night. Why? Once again it was rather warm in the old building. Still, a bunch of wealthy stiffs in the choice seats wore their power suits. Sometimes prosperity requires sacrifice. Local media types call Maple Leaf Gardens the "Carlton Street Cashbox," but commerce was pretty brisk outside too. Smarmy scalpers paced outside the build ing, communicating with operatives via cellular phones. Brokers clad in Hawaiian shirts cruised the perimeter in cars, waving fistfuls of tickets. Panhandlers sat vacantly against the old brick edifice. Would-be blues guitarists played for their dinner. Vendors grilled large, suspicious-smelling sausages on gas grills. Overpriced tickets? Cheap dinner? Guilt appeasement? You could get it all outside the Gardens. Inside, vendors hawked "Stanley's Coming To Town" T-shirts and "Wipe The Blues Away" hand towels. About every third female was wearing "Gilmour 93" jerseys and a local beer company and a local newspaper were both handing out free placards. Among the banners on display in the arena Tuesday night were: "You Want A Little Cheese With Your Whine, Berry?" "Curtis, Better Quit Crying." "You're A Bum, Cujo." And . . . "Brendan, Your Toronto Friends Are Still True Blue." In the hallway outside the Leafs locker room, photos of Toronto's past Stanley Cup celebrations adorn the walls. Most of the photos were taken during or shortly after World War II. But new artwork decorates the walls, too good-luck faxes and posters sent by their fans, beginning in the Red Wings-Leafs first-round series. "Wendel Clark: I hope you shoot the puck, and it goes in off Bob Probert's head," was the thoughtful message from Nick Wenill. The men and women at TMS Marketing sent along the following inspiration: "Cowards die a thousand deaths, "The valiant Maple Leafs die but once." There was lots of bad poetry, including this from Lisa Dafoe of Willowdale, Ontario: "Our boys will be ready come the first of June, "For whomever they meet in the final matchup. "The fans will be ready to celebrate with, "Champagne or maybe a balloon. "The team's destiny is the Stanley Cup." And then there was this from Claudio Gonzalez of Toronto: "I wish I have a ticket, "To see Puppa play. "Potvin is amazing, "And Andreychuk scores for the day. "I collect hockey cards, "I save them all. " 'Specially the ones, "Of Doug Gilmour." OK, it's not "The Iliad," but it was certainly sincere. Perhaps in an attempt to elicit sympathy for Leafs goaltender Felix Potvin and to dissuade grumpy Blues from creaming him the Toronto Sun ran a heartwarming cover photo of him playing with teammate Sylvain Lefebvre's kids in a wading pool. Several Blues noticed it and suggested Le-febvre spring for a bigger pool. "Oh, that's just something for the kids," said Lefebvre, whose kids are Jade-Isis, 4; Djan Alexander, 2; and Jordan, 1. The SUNshine girl on Page 3 was lovely Leanne, 25, a barmaid at Don Cherry's Grapevine in Hamilton, Ontario. She was holding a "Go Leafs" sign which she probably didn't draw herself. j Then there was shot of ex-Blue Peter Zezel posing with members of the rock group Rush his cousin Alex Lifeson, singer bassist Geddy Lee and drummer Neal Peart. ; Lifeson, Zezel said, "taught me to play a little on the guitar. But I don't think I'll be going on tour with them." j His favorite Rush song? "It'd have to be 'Tom Sawyer,' " Zezel said. Who has a more glamorous life, a hockey player or a rock star? "I don't know," Zezel said, laughing. "You'll have to ask them." The knowledge of Toronto hockey fans was evident during an hour of programming on the local all-sports station, "The FAN." ; At 4:46 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the on-air guys asked an obscure Ray Ferraro trivia question. The first caller answered it correctly. j It would have taken KEZK listeners weeks to do the same. I All this Leafsmania does not thrill Toronto native Brendan Shanahan. The Blues left winger is somewhat tortured. "It upsets me even more," Shanahan said. "When we're playing against them, I can't enjoy the fans' excitement at all. "Chicago fans cheer their team, too, but I take this a lot more personally." TORONTO - Darren Julian has been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan since he was 5 years old. "Ever since Borje Salming scored a goal on my brother's birthday," said Julian, now an adult. Speaking for long-suffering Leafs fans everywhere, Julian said he's delirious. "It's an intense feeling," he said. "It's hard to watch, even on TV. You get all knotted up watching them play, especially when it goes into overtime." He admits the first-round series victory over Detroit which featured comeback victories in Games'5 and 7 stunned him a bit. "I was losing it in Game 7," Julian said. "I was really starting to sweat. I have to be honest, I never thought they'd win. I thought it was great that of all people, Doug Gilmour came through by scoring the tying goal. "These guys are so determined. It may be the last time some of these guys can win a Stanley Cup. It's great to see some old-time hockey. Mike Foligno is just playing some amazing hockey." Maple Leaf Gardens was rocking here Tuesday night as the Leafs pounded out their 5-1 victory over the Blues in Game 5 of the Norris Division Final. Joseph Gets Another Shot At NHL's Vezina Trophy it sy.- K'r.'5M: m) ?r? If :W:-ft'34S- m&jL f( n : fegtfg, i ISsfc AP bone in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Going into Game 5 of the Norris finals Tuesday in Toronto, Joseph led playoff goalies with a 1.68 GAA and a .955 save percentage. "He's been super for us," coach Bob Berry said. "He's a super competitor and a super goalie. It'd be nice if he won it." The late Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall are the only Blues goalies to have won a Vezina Trophy, sharing the award in the 1968-69 season. Plante and Ernie Wakely were runners-up in the 1969-70 season. Joseph was the only Blues player among the finalists for the NHL awards. Center Craig Janney got some votes for the Lady Byng Trophy, the annual award for sportsmanship and achievement, but he wasn't among the three finalists. Former Blue Adam Oates, Buffalo's Pat LaFontaine and the New York Islanders' Pierre Tur-geon were the Byng finalists. LaFontaine, Oates and Turgeon scored more points than Janney this season, but Janney had the fewest penalty minutes among the NHL's 100-point scorers 12. "But they were all roughing penalties," Janney said, with a laugh. Toronto had three finalists former Blue Doug Gilmour, coach Pat Burns and goalie Felix Potvin. Gilmour was nominated for two awards, the Hart Trophy for the NHL's MVP and the Selke Trophy for the top defensive forward. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux and LaFontaine were the other Hart finalists, while Calgary's Joel Otto and Boston's Dave Poulin were the other Selke finalists. "It's an honor, but that's something you look at after the season," Gilmour said. "We're here for the playoffs now, and we can't think about the awards right now." Burns, former Blues coach Brian Sutter and Quebec's Pierre Page were the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the coach of the year. Burns won the award as Montreal's coach in the 1 988-89 season. Sutter was coach of the year after the Blues' 105-point season in 1990-91. The Blues fired Sutter after last season, and Boston hired him. Sutter led the Bruins to second place overall with 109 points in the regular season, but the Bruins were swept by Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs. "If you look at the team he had, he did a good job there," the Blues' Ron Sutter said. "He worked with guys he wasn't supposed to be able to work with, and he adapted." Hull commended Sutter as well. "Other than Oatesie, Bourque and Juneau, he didn't have a whole lot to work with," Hull said. "He did a hell of a job." Potvin, Boston's Joe Juneau and Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne were the candidates for the Calder Trophy, which goes to the league's top rookie. Chicago's Chris Chelios, Boston's Ray Bourque and Pittsburgh's Larry Murphy were the finalists for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league's top defenseman. The awards will be presented on June 17 at the 10th annual NHL TV Awards. By Dave Luecking Of the Post-Dispatch Staff TORONTO Blues captain Brett Hull made a valid point Tuesday when asked where the Blues would be without star goalie Curtis Joseph. "He wouldn't be where he is without us giving up more shots than any team in the history of the game," Hull said, with a laugh. No one would argue with Hull. The two go hand in hand. The Blues allowed 2,202 shots, more shots than any team has allowed in a single season since the National Hockey League started keeping track of such things in 1982-83. Joseph excelled under the heavy work load. He led the NHL with a .911 save percentage, and NHL general managers couldn't help but notice. The GMs selected Joseph as one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL's best goalie. Former Vezina winners Ed Belfour of Chicago and Tom Barrasso of Pittsburgh were the other finalists. "It's definitely a well-deserved honor for Curtis," Hull said. Almost single-handedly, Joseph brought the Blues back to respectability after a slow start for him and the team. He was 19-12-5, with a 2.66 GAA and a .926 save percentage in the second half of the season. "Just to be nominated among the elite guys in the league is a tremendous thrill," Joseph said. "I'm ecstatic about it, but I really didn't think about the possibility' too much. Other things have taken up a lot of time, like this series. That's first and foremost." Joseph has been the Blues' back The Blues' Curtis Joseph tries in vain to stop Dave Andreychuk from scoring Toronto's first goal. Blues Borschevsky Gives Maple Leafs A Lift ' XT r1 V 1) 1 ; . V- J t .if i A a- v 1 1 : - l AP By Jeff Gordon Of the Post-Dispatch Staff TORONTO The Toronto Maple Leafs desperately needed to add some skill to their aging lineup this season. So they stole waif-like winger Nikolai Borschevsky 77th overall in last summer's draft taking him after the Blues took Igor Korolev, Vitali Prokohorov and Vitali Karamnov. In the regular season, Borschevsky scored 34 goals and added 40 assists. In the postseason, he scored the decisive overtime goal in Game 7 to eliminate the Detroit Red Wings. And he helped push the Blues to the brink of extinction Tuesday night. Borschevsky scored one goal and added two assists as the Leafs rolled to a 5-1 victory in Game 5 of the Norris Division Final. "He played very, very well, no doubt about it," Leafs coach Pat Burns said. "And he took a lot of abuse." chuk said. Borschevsky also set up Bob Rouse's power-play goal, then scored the clinching goal on a fluke play. With the puck seemingly dead on the body of Murray Baron in the slot, Joseph relaxed thinking the whistle had blown. It hadn't, and Borschevsky just sort of whacked the puck into the net. "I stopped on the play for sure," Andreychuk said. "I felt sure he referee Dan Marouelli had blown it dead. Everybody was thinking that." Give the Toronto scouting staff credit for coming up with Borschevsky, whom many scouts downgraded because of his lack of blazing speed. "The thing about Borschevsky we liked, in Russian hockey, a lot of the players are not imaginative around the net," Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher said. "That's what we liked about him. We were very lucky to get him." Borschevsky a Russian known as "Nik the Stick" by teammates might weigh 155 pounds, 10 pounds under his listed weight. Who weighs less, him or linemate Doug Gilmour? "That's a good question," said power forward Dave Andreychuk, who played with those two Tuesday night. But Borschevsky was large Tuesday night. He put Toronto on the board by wheeling in on Blues netminder Curtis Joseph on a power play, freezing him, then slipping the puck to Andreychuk for a tap-in. "He was going to shoot," Andreychuk said. "All of a sudden the goalie came out at him. That left a wide-open net and he made the pass." Borschevsky is not conversant enough in English to describe the goal himself. "He's the kind of guy, he wants to have the puck all the time," Andrey Toronto's Bob Rouse tangles with the Blues' Dave Lowry in Tuesday's game. BLUES REPORT From page one Bob Rouse and Glenn Anderson scored the Leafs' other goals. Brett Hull scored the only goal for the Blues, tying the game 1-1 on a first-period power play. "It wasn't a good effort at all," Hull said. "We have a system, and we're not using it. Toronto's doing it just like we should be doing it." Toronto borrowed strategy from the Blues. In the first round, the Blues forced Chicago to take bad retaliatory penalties, then capitalized on the power play. On Tuesday, Toronto pounced on the Blues' bad penalties with two goals in the first period and a 2-1 lead it never lost. First, Joseph whacked Foligno on the back after Murray Baron had tackled Foligno in the crease. Toronto has bumped into Joseph numerous times in the series, and Joseph has become agitated and distracted. "I barely touched him," Joseph said. "There was no warning. No nothing. I've been touching guys all year, but he calls it, and they score a big goal. It wasn't a backbreaker, but it was a nice start by them." After Hull tied the game on a power play at 9 minutes 29 seconds, Ron Wilson pulled down Andreychuk at center ice at 16:54. Rouse beat Joseph with a long shot that deflected off a skate for a 2-1 Toronto lead at 18:17. "We wanted to stay away from bad penalties, but some of that has been cropping up," Berry said. Toronto added to its lead with two goals in the second period. Andreychuk beat Rick Zombo and Joseph to a loose puck that had deflected off Zombo, whacking it under Joseph at 4:38 for his 10th goal of the playoffs. The goal tied Lanny McDonald's Toronto record for goals in the playoffs. Borschevsky then scored the "embarrassing" goal, sliding in a backhand after the puck had fallen out of the grasp of defenseman Murray Baron. Borschevsky's first shot hit Baron on the chest, and the puck disappeared in his jersey. Borschevsky and Andreychuk wrestled with him, the puck fell to the ice, and Borschevsky scored the goal after Joseph stopped playing. "I thought I had heard the whistle," Joseph said. "I'm real embarrassed. It was out of my sight for three seconds, and I thought I heard something, but it wasn't a whistle, unfortunately. Very embarrassing." Anderson closed the scoring with his 83rd career playoff goal, converting a pass from pest Foligno at 1 2:35 of the third period. "Our backs are against the wall," Joseph said. "But it's definitely not over." fl!lJW:VI.TT:illTOMI,',M;lW NHL PLAYOFFS Bozon 9 1 0 1 0 Lowry 9 1 0 1 14 McRae 9 0 1 1 24 Ri. Sutter 9 0 1 1 8 Zombo 9 0 1 1 12 Baron 9 0 0 0 10 Bassen 9 0 0 0 10 Joseph 9 0 0 0 2 Quintal 9 0 0 0 8 Wilson 9 0 0 0 12 Hedican 8 0 0 0 12 Hebert 1 0 0 0 0 Giles 1 0 0 0 0 Korolev 1 0 0 0 0 GOALTENDINQ Mm. GA SA Avg. W L Hebert 2 0 1 0 00 0 0 Joseph ... 595 20 361 2.02 6 3 Shutouts: Joseph 2. BLUES' PLAYOFF STATISTICS Blues Opp. Goals 22 21 1st Period 8 8 2nd Period 6 7 3rd Period 6 5 Overtime 2 1 Power-play goals 9 7 Short-handed goals 1 0 Empty-net goals 0 1 Shots 258 363 ATTENDANCE Home Road Totals . . : 72,085 80,752 MAPLE LEAFS S, BLUES 1 BLUES 1 0 0 1 TORONTO 2 2 1 5 FIRST PERIOD T (PPG) Andreychuk 9 (Borschevsky, Gilmour) 6: 18 B (PPG) Hull 8 (Brown, Emerson) 9 "S T (PPG) Rouse 2 (Borschevsky, Ellett) 18:17 Penalties Bassen (B), tripping, 3:52; Joseph (B), served by Hull (slashing), 6:07; Clark (T), holding, 7:55; Wilson (B), holding, 16:54. SECOND PERIOD T Andreychuk 1 0 (Eastwood. Ellett) 4:38 T Borschevsky 2 (Gilmour, Gill) 11:11 Penalties Lowry (B), charging, :38; Man-derville (T), interference, 6:43; Andreychuk (T), interference. 18:42. THIRD PERIOD T Anderson 2 (Foligno, Mironov) 12:35 Penalties McRae (B), double-minor (slashing, roughing). 8:17; Rich Sutter (B), roughing, 14:19; Gill (T),. roughing, 14:19; Eastwood (T), cross-checking. 16:44: Rich Sutter (B), roughing, 19:32; Manderville (T), roughing, 19:32. SHOTS ON GOAL BLUES 6 10 10 26 TORONTO 12 8 9 29 Power-play Opportunities Blues 1 of 3; Toronto 2 ot 6. Goaltenders Blues, Joseph. 6-3 (29 shots-24 saves); Toronto, Potvin, 7-5 (26-25). Referee Dan Marouelli. Linesmen Ron Finn and Kevin Collins. A 15.752. BLUES' PLAYOFF SCORING GP G A Pts. PIM Hull 9 8 3 11 2 Janney 9 2 9 11 0 Brown 9 2 8 10 4 Shanahan 9 4 3 7 12 Emerson 9 1 5 6 6 Felsner 9 2 3 5 2 Miller 8 0 3 3 2 Butcher 9 1 1 2 18 Penguins Feeling Good With Stronger Lemieux UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - With Mario Lemieux feeling good, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking better in the Patrick Division final. Following a strong performance in Monday night's 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders, Lemieux said he wants to end the series as soon as possible. The Penguins can do that tonight in Game 6 of a back-and-forth series that has seen the Islanders win the first game, the Penguins the next two and the Islanders the fourth before Pittsburgh's win on Monday night. That put the defending Stanley Cup champions one victory away from the Wales Conference final against the Montreal Canadiens. v "We're only thinking about the next game," Pittsburgh coach Scotty Bowman said. "You've got to win four we've got to win one more." : i Lemieux's back problems have been a concern for the Penguins. He played one shift in the first game of the Islander series and missed the second before playing tenta-i tively in Games 3 and 4 at the Nassau Coliseum. J At Pittsburgh on Monday night, Lemieux never looked healthier as he played a full game, scoring two goals and setting up another. His performance was reminiscent of his play during the regular season when he won the NHL scoring championship. ; ' "If you're sick and not feeling well, you don't want to go to work," Lemieux said. "But I felt great. I still feel great, Everytime I feel this good, I can be effective." NHL PLAYOFF LEADERS (Through Sunday) Scoring GP G A PTS PIM Gretzky, LA .... 10 6 13 19 2 Gilmour, Tor .... 11 5 12 17 14 Ferraro, NYI .... 10 11 3 14 12 Hawerchuk, Buf ..8 5 9 14 2 Damphsse. Mon . 10 8 5 13 8 Francis, Pit 9 5 8 13 4 Sandstrom.LA ..10 5 8 13 6 Courtnall, Van ... 10 4 9 13 10 Adams, Van 10 7 5 12 4 Fleury.Cal 6 5 7 12 27 Bure.Van 10 5 7 12 6 LaFontaine. Buf ..7 2 10 12 0 Andreychuk, Tor .11 8 3 11 14 Lemieux, Pit 8 5 6 11 6 Rychel, LA 10 5 6 11 21 Linden, Van .... 10 3 8 11 10 Coffey, Det 7 2 9 11 2 Janney. Blues 8 2 9 11 0 Goals Against Avg, GP Min GAAvg. Joseph. Blues 8 535 15 1.68 Roy, Mon 10 640 25 2.34 Barrasso, Pitt 9 537 22 2 46 Tabaracci, Wash ... 4 304 14 2.76 Hextall.Que 6 372 18 2 90 Wins GP Min W-L Roy. Mon 10 640 8-2 Joseph. Blues 8 535 6-2 Barrasso, Pitt 9 537 6-3 McLean, Van 10 609 6-4 Healy, NYI 10 623 6-3 Potvin, Tor 11 690 6-5 Save Pet. Min GA SA Pet. Joseph. Blues . 535 15 332 .955 Roy, Mon 640 25 345 .927 Barrasso, Pitt . . 637 22 285 .923 Hextall.Que ... 372 18 211 915 Tabaracci. Wash 304 14 160 .913 STOPPED Pittsburgh snapped their playoff power play drought by scoring two goals in four attempts. Previously the slanders held them to one goal in their last 15 chances. DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS (Best-of -Seven Series) TUESDAY'S RESULTS Toronto 5, Blues 1 (Toronto leads series 3-2) Los Angeles at Vancouver, night (series tied 2-2) MONDAY'S RESULT Pittsburgh 6. NY Islanders 3 (Pittsburgh leads series 3-2) TODAY'S GAME (St. Louis Times) Pittsburgh at NY Islanders. 6:40 p.m. THURSDAY'S GAMES Toronto at St. Louis, 7:10 p m. Vancouver at Los Angeles. 9:40 p.m. FRIDAY'S GAME NY Islanders at Pittsburgh. 6:40 p.m., if needed SATURDAY'S GAMES Blues at Toronto, 7:10 p.m., if needed Los Angeles at Vancouver. 7:10 p.m., if needed Note: Montreal advances to the conference championship. STATS The Pittsburgh Penguins are 9-1 in potential series-ending playoff games the last three seasons. The New York Islanders, down 3-2 in their series against the Penguins, have a 2-5 career prayoff record in games when they trail the series 3-2. The Islanders outshot Pittsburgh 37-18 Monday night, but converted only 1 of 9 power play chances and are just 3 for 27 in the series. They have lost 8 of 10 road playoff games. SCORING The Penguins started Game 5 against the Islanders by scoring three goals in the first two minutes Monday night. Mario Lemieux scored 19 seconds into the game. Rick Tocchet followed with his sixth goal of the playoffs 35 seconds later and Larry Murphy s goal finished the scoring at 1:48 of the first period. , "-i--i ! ii.r-----'''-"-- "-"' r f r--'ii,Si-""irrrTii-ifnfcfirt-r"f--Aifc. .

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