Wherever Butch Goring has gone he has improved the play and the spirit of the team.
The hustling little man first gained attention as a center who helped make the Kings competitive. His brilliance at killing penalties and scoring clutch goals was largely responsible for the team earning respect in the National Hockey League.
But Goring didn't really get much recognition until he provided the one needed ingredient that started the New York Islanders to their string of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships. Goring gave the club the little something extra that turned a real good team into a championship club.
Now, Goring is trying his hand at coaching and the Boston Bruins are the benefactors.
The Bruins, showing the same hustle that characterized Goring as a player, trounced the Montreal Canadiens, 7-2, Sunday night at Boston to give Goring a 3-0 record as a coach.
Defenseman Ray Bourque scored twice and assisted on another as the Bruins weathered a physical assault to add the Canadiens to their list of victims.
The Canadiens' Chris Nilan was given a match penalty for deliberately causing injury to the Bruins' Rick Middleton and the Canadiens spent most of the game with at least one player in the penalty box. The Bruins had 13 power-play opportunities and converted four of them.
The Bruins had only a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Nilan belted Middleton in the mouth and drew blood. While the Canadiens skated short-handed for 10 minutes, Bourque and rookie Kraig Nienhuis scored to put the game out of reach.
"We have to play a very aggressive forechecking game," Goring told the Associated Press. "We did that pretty well tonight. We hemmed them in their end quite a bit at times and took away their passing lanes.
"I like both our power-play combinations as well as our penalty-killing groups. Maybe it's too early to get excited, but I do like what I've seen so far."
Nilan faces an automatic suspension, the length of which will be determined after and investigation by the league office.
New Jersey 3, New York Rangers 2--It may not be too surprising that the Bruins are off to a fast start, but nobody expected the Devils to be 3-0.
Rich Preston fired in a 30-footer at 3:41 of overtime at New York to give the Devils three wins in a row to open the season for the first time since the franchise moved to New Jersey. When they were the Colorado Rockies, five years ago, they won their first three.
Rookie goalie Alain Chevrier, in his second NHL start, stopped 33 Ranger shots to win his second in a row. Chevrier stopped three Ranger shots in overtime before Preston rifled in the winning goal from a severe angle on the right side for his first score of the season.
The Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to finally tie the game on a goal by Raimo Helminen with just 2:13 remaining in regulation.
Quebec 5, Winnipeg 2--Richard Sevigny sparkled in the nets at Winnipeg and the Nordiques joined the group with three consecutive wins to open the season.
Dale Hunter's power-play goal broke a 2-2 tie at 4:45 of the third period and Sevigny, making several sensational stops, kept the Jets scoreless for the final 47 minutes.
The Jets (0-3) fired 38 shots at Sevigny, 29 of them in the first 40 minutes. Sevigny made eight of his saves during the Jets' five power-play opportunities.
Edmonton 6, St. Louis 3--The Oilers and Wayne Gretzky are showing no signs that they plan to rest on their laurels.
In this game at Edmonton, the Oilers won their second in a row. Gretzky, the five-time league scoring champion, scored two goals in the opener and had two assists in this one.
The Blues were holding a 2-1 lead and working on a power-play midway through the second period when Gretzky stole the puck and set up Jari Kurri for his first goal of the season. Kurri, who scored 71 goals last season, scored his second goal near the end of the second period, once again being set up by Gretzky.
Rookie Esa Tikkanen actually scored the winning goal--his first--41 seconds into the last period.
Philadelphia 4, Washington 2--The Capitals, who earned more than 100 points for the first time in the history of their franchise last season, are off to an 0-3 start.
Brian Propp scored twice at Landover, Md., and Pelle Lindbergh stopped 31 shots to lead the Flyers to their second win after an opening loss to the Devils. They spoiled the Capitals' home opener.
Toronto 5, Chicago 1--Tom Fergus scored a goal in his debut with the Maple Leafs and helped spoil the home opener for the Black Hawks.
Fergus, upset with his role on the Boston Bruins, asked to be traded and was sent to the Leafs in exchange for another center, Bill Derlago.
Wendel Clark, the No. 1 choice in the amateur draft, scored twice for the Leafs. The Black Hawks, favored to win the Norris Division, are 0-3.