- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2002

Seen and heard last night at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.:

COME AGAIN? In an occupation where there is a lot of travel and all hotel rooms look the same, there are times one wakes up in the morning unsure if he is in Dallas or Detroit before glancing out the window.

They make it easy for you in this part of the country. An easy way to tell where you are is to check out the lead sports page in the local paper. For instance, the front page here included an off-lead story on the World Series, a centerpiece on the wife of a football coach, a story about key rivals meeting in a hockey game and two other items in the middle of college and pro football seasons.

The lead story in the paper was about the N.C. State basketball team seeking a new leader; below it, the lead local columnist wrote about the chances that the Wolfpack might be better in the ACC than both Duke and North Carolina.

Obviously, you woke up in Raleigh, where college basketball is king during all seasons of the year.

NO ARCHIE The Caps were scheduled to face Arturs Irbe but the 5-foot-8, 190-pound goalie elected instead to have wisdom teeth extracted. It was probably a wise choice. The Latvian, who was one of the heroes of Carolina's drive to the Stanley Cup finals last season, is off to a horrible start he's 0-2-0 with a goals-against of 5.25 and a saves percentage of .806. Lifetime against the Caps, he was 7-10-2 with a respectable goals-against of 2.59.

NEW LINEUP Three games, three different lineups. Newcomer Andreas Salomonsson, the left wing picked up from New Jersey off waivers, was inserted into the lineup. Stephen Peat was the healthy scratch at forward, while Sylvain Cote and Rick Berry were defensive scratches.

Dave Fay

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