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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS | MIGHTY DUCKS NOTES

Fedorov's Year Twists, Turns Like a Novel

May 04, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Detroit center Sergei Fedorov was the NHL's most valuable player three seasons ago.

But he played on the third line and the blue line this season, and his goal in Game 1 was a big one--his first of the playoffs and only his third in his last 26 postseason games.

"It's an interesting season," Fedorov said. "I think I can write a book on this one season. But I'm not a psychic. I can't predict what is next for me. I could call one of those numbers and say, 'How does my season end?' "

Fedorov can become a restricted free agent this summer, and there was intrigue about whether he might be traded, as well as speculation that the team might have been driving down his value when it relegated him to lesser roles, including defenseman, before reuniting the five-man Russian unit.

"They tell you to write a story, and tie your hands behind a chair," said Fedorov, who still had 30 goals and 63 points. "How are you going to write it? Nice handcuffs.

"Let's put it this way: This season was the toughest season I ever played. As far as hockey . . . there has been lots of miscommunication between the coach and myself, both ways."

*

Despite everything, Fedorov says he wants to remain a Red Wing.

"Why do I want to stay here? It's the city I came to after I defected. It's my second home. Detroit is my second city.

"That's really not important right now, what happened last season. I'm still alive, still battling through. It feels great. It's made me a stronger person. It makes me know how business is run. It makes me know what to expect. I'm not going to be surprised or disappointed or mad. What happens, happens."

*

The Ducks held Detroit's power play in check in Game 1, as the Red Wings went zero for five.

That's a few more opportunities than the Ducks want to give them, and they can't hope to shut out the Red Wings consistently.

"They were working on the power play this morning, and we'll have to make adjustments," Duck Coach Ron Wilson said. "But your best penalty-killer is usually your goaltender."

*

Working the officials: After a string of penalties against the Ducks in Game 1, Wilson told linesman Ray Scapinello to ask referee Mark Faucette--a fellow Providence College alumnus--who wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey.

Scapinello skated by with the answer later. He got the joke.

"Homer," he said. "That's a pretty good one."

*

Center Richard Park, who is from Rancho Palos Verdes, on his occasional shifts with Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne: "I'm very fortunate whenever I get a chance to play with those two players," Park said. "But when I'm out on the ice, I can't let those things faze me.". . . . Signs in the Duck dressing room on the Zen of teamwork: "One finger can't lift a pebble," and "For the raindrop, joy is entering the river."

Times staff writer Elliott Teaford contributed to this story.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Ducks vs. Red Wings

* Today's game: 11 a.m. at Detroit

* Television: Channel 11

* Series recap: Detroit won Game 1 in overtime, 2-1.

* Ducks' game plan: No major changes. Look for the Ducks to continue the patient, defensive style they played in Game 1. They must avoid key defensive lapses that led to Detroit goals, however.

* Red Wings' game plan: Improve on their 0-for-5 performance on the power play. Expect Detroit to try to put more bodies in front of Duck goalie Guy Hebert in the theory that he can't stop what he can't see.

* Injury report: Forward Ted Drury and defenseman David Karpa are listed as questionable for the Ducks. The Red Wings have no injuries.

* Next game: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Pond.

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