Selanne's power-play heroics, Claude's comeback and those pesky Kings

December, 2, 2008
With my apologies to the good folks at "SportsCenter," here is a hat trick of "Did You Knows?" for Tuesday.

Did you know …

• That Teemu Selanne's past 12 goals have come on the power play? He scored an even-strength goal in a 6-3 loss to the Kings on Oct. 14. Since then, the Finnish Flash has scored nothing but power-play goals. During Monday night's Ducks-Red Wings broadcast, John Ahlers and Brian Hayward noted Selanne was the first player to score 12 PPGs in his team's first 25 games since Dave Andreychuk accomplished the feat with the Sabres in 1992. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is surely thrilled Selanne has been such a productive force on the man-advantage. Carlyle probably would like to get a little more even-strength scoring from his future Hall of Fame winger. The Ducks, who are an impressive 13-4-3 after a 1-5 start, needed a little more offensive help during a 2-1 loss in Detroit on Monday.

• That Claude Lemieux scored the first AHL goal of his comeback bid? It was a third-period tally during Worcester's 4-1 win over Bridgeport on Saturday night. Wearing his familiar No. 32 for the Sharks' minor-league affiliate, the 43-year-old Lemieux was credited with a team-high eight shots, as well. In three AHL games, Lemieux has a goal, an assist, 14 shots and is a plus-2. And -- oh yeah -- he does have two penalty minutes. It will be interesting to chart his progress in Worcester. I don't think I'd be too surprised if he found his way to San Jose sometime later in the season.

• That, even after Monday night's 3-1 loss to the visiting Leafs, the Kings were 7-4-2 since Nov. 4? Coach Terry Murray has done a terrific job communicating his message to a very young team. They've improved in many key areas. Last season, for example, the Kings ranked 28th in goals against and shots allowed, and 27th in faceoff win percentage. This season, they're tied for eighth in goals against (2.65), first in fewest shots allowed (24.9) and third in faceoff win percentage (53.0). That's an amazing turnaround with such a young squad. For my two bucks, Murray deserves some serious Jack Adams consideration. By the way, the Kings have two other things going for them -- a cool third jersey and Heidi Androl.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.



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