- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 27, 2002

Seen and heard yesterday at Madison Square Garden in New York:
NO HALPERN DECISION No decision has been made on whether Caps center Jeff Halpern will have surgery on his left knee, which he injured in Montreal on Jan. 16. The team will wait at least a few more weeks before making any decision, waiting to see what comes out of the natural healing process.
Halpern was placed on injured reserve after the game, and the team said at the time he would be out 3-5 weeks. But there are conflicting reports whether he needs surgery and how urgent that need is. One Caps source said the knee needed surgery, that it was only a matter of when. Another said no medical decision has been made.
THE REASON WHY Rangers coach Ron Low, the original Caps goalie, summed things up pretty accurately when he was asked what the difference was in his team's current three-game winning streak and its losing streak before that.
"We've had time now to practice and rest, which we didn't have before, and the guys have responded," he said. "It's hard when you don't practice and when you don't have any days between games."
The Caps played their fourth game in six days the schedule being one reason why injuries are up alarmingly throughout the league.
EX-CAPS Center Trent Whitfield, claimed by the Rangers off waivers Jan. 16 by the Caps, has played in just one game for New York and has been a healthy scratch in three straight.
Not so left wing Jeff Toms. A Cap for 74 games over three seasons in the late '90s, Toms scored his first career hat trick Wednesday against Boston. He was recalled from the minors earlier in the season after being claimed from the New York Islanders last season.
Dave Fay

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