What's hot, what's not for the NHL
By Jim Wilkie
Page 2 columnist

Rookie coaches, untested goalies and uncertain calls by NHL referees -- a new look is sweeping across the NHL as legends retire and fade away in the 21st century.

With the Stanley Cup playoffs -- sports' toughest tournament -- kicking off tonight, Page 2 explains who and what to watch for ... and who and what you can safely ignore.

Here's what's hot and what's not as 16 teams race to see who can win 16 games first -- and the 2003 Stanley Cup:

Category Hot Not Hot
Goalie Martin Brodeur Chris Osgood
Patrick Lalime

Patrick Roy
Subplot Alexi Yashin vs. Senators Robbie Ftorek dumpers (Devils vs. Bruins)
Side show Mood swings, betting advice and tax tips from Jaromir Jagr Incredible shrinking Alexei Yashin
Battle Royale Brad May vs. Keith Tkachuk Tie Domi vs. Christopher Falcone
Swede Peter Forsberg Markus Naslund
Detroit color
White Stripes

Red Wings
Celeb fan
Kiefer Sutherland

DB Sweeney
Canucks question Will the Sedins produce? Is Dan Cloutier over his 2002 meltdown?
Fedorov motivation
Unrestricted free agency

Showing Anna how to win
First-round series Flyers-Maple Leafs Avalanche-Wild
Trade deadline pickup Steve Thomas Dan McGillis
Line Brett Hull-Pavel Datsyuk-Henrik Zetterberg Jason Blake-Dave Scatchard-Jason Wiemer
Infraction Diving Obstruction-hooking
Paul Kariya

Darcy Tucker
Pest Vaclav Varada Brenden Morrow
Sentimental story Dave Andreychuk Doug Gilmour
This year's Carolina Lightning Bruins
Gary Bettman nightmare All-Canadian final Referees call interference as they did in October
Ken Hitchcock

Peter Laviolette
Playoff question Are the Senators tough enough? Who'll play in goal for the Wild?
Badge of honor Getting hacked in the face by Brendan "The Butcher" Shanahan's stick Concussion on hit from behind into glass
Accessory Good old-fashioned wood stick Garth Snow's extra shoulder pads
Chance for upset Oilers over Stars Islanders over Senators
Disappearing act Sami Kapanen Robert Reichel
Arena pump-up music Tragically Hip Justin Timberlake
Pool pick Peter Forsberg Peter Bondra
Pool sleeper Matt Cooke Claude Lemieux
Conn Smythe front-runner Daniel Alfredsson Patrick Roy
Eastern final prediction
Senators vs. Maple Leafs

Lightning vs. Bruins
Western final predicition Red Wings vs. Canucks Wild vs. Mighty Ducks
Stanley Cup final prediction Senators vs. Red Wings Stars vs. Devils

Jim Wilkie is a regular contributor to Page 2.


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