Caps beset by division of power

April 01, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

What do statistics mean, anyway? Anything you want.

When Washington coach Terry Murray and goaltender Don Beaupre look at the overall team performance numbers, they see different things.

The Capitals basically have had their way with Adams Division Notebook

teams (12-5-2), Norris Division teams (10-3-2) and Smythe Division teams (6-4-1). It is only the Patrick Division teams that give them trouble -- 11-18-2.

"I hope we're mature enough and experienced enough to be beyond the point of not being able to do it whenever we need to do it," Murray said. "In the Patrick Division, all our games have been very, very close most of the year. And it seems when we get into the latter part of the third period the urgency is there to score right now instead of just playing patient and making the good decisions -- even though we know patience and good decision making is going to open up one or two key chances and that those are the opportunities we have to take advantage of."

But when Beaupre looks at the numbers, instead of concentrating on the Patrick Division struggle, he looks at the positive side.

"What it means is we've got a good chance in the playoffs, if we can get out of our division," he said. Goalie Manon Rheaume is scheduled to get her first start in the International Hockey League when the Atlanta Knights close the season at home April 10 or 11.

"We hadn't intended on doing this, but she's doing so well and the team was in a position to . . . learn more about how she's doing," coach Gene Ubriaco said. "We're going to take advantage of it."

The two final games won't affect the standings in the Atlantic Division, where the Knights have clinched the title.

Ubriaco said he hopes Rheaume can play regularly next year, either for the Knights or another Tampa Bay farm club.

Lemieux stretches out

Mario Lemieux stretched his point-scoring streak to 11 games with two points Tuesday night against Ottawa. The Pittsburgh center, who has 17 goals and 18 assists in the streak, led by three points in the NHL scoring race over Buffalo's Pat LaFontaine before Buffalo's game with New Jersey last night.

In mourning


The Montreal Canadiens franchise was in mourning yesterday, after the death of Claude Mouton, their public relations director and a national figure as the bilingual public address announcer for Montreal. Mouton, 61, died Tuesday night from pancreatic cancer.

Mouton, who began his career announcing arrivals and departures at a bus terminal in downtown Montreal, said recently, "The microphone is my life. I'd rather lose an arm than lose my job as an announcer."

Mouton was on the job last Saturday night when the Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, at the Forum.

Thinking about Langway

During a recent discussion, LaFontaine asked how the Capitals 36-year-old defenseman Rod Langway was doing. Told Langway had put his career in limbo and left the team for the rest of the season, LaFontaine reflected on how hard it is for a pro athlete to let go.

"You're a man letting go of a kid's game, but the kid's still in you," said LaFontaine, 28. "It's not easy to move on. It's like having to get a divorce from someone you still love. Letting go, after putting in 25 or 30 years to get where you are, it's not easy. I told my wife to hit me over the head with a sledge hammer when it's obvious I have to give it up. She has my full


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