- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 5, 2003

Seen and heard last night at Madison Square Garden in New York:
BONDRA AILING Washington Capitals left wing Peter Bondra missed his third straight game with what is being described as the flu. Privately, team sources said Bondra might recover faster from these little bouts if he wasn't so intense. He rarely takes a day off, showing up at Piney Orchard to exercise even when the team has a day off. And even when the team is ordered to rest, Bondra reportedly works out at home. Without the rest, he doesn't get a chance to recover from the normal rigors associated with the sport. As a result, when he is bitten by a flu bug or similar ailment, it hangs around longer than with other athletes.
RETURN EYED Not that the Philadelphia Flyers are in any real immediate danger, but wing John LeClair, out since Nov.27 with a dislocated right shoulder that later required surgery, is hoping to be back by the end of February. He told Philadelphia writers that he has been exercising the shoulder since the day following surgery and hopes to be on a treadmill sometime in the next two weeks.
DANGER AHEAD If the New York Rangers ever get healthy, will they be able to justify their $69.17million payroll? Brian Leetch, Pavel Bure and Petr Nedved were just three of the medical scratches the team made against the Caps to go along with Mike Richter (out for the season), Dale Purinton and Sylvain Lefebvre. Perhaps when some of those players return and New York starts playing like a team, it will be a force to be dealt with, unlike the also-ran it is now.
SECRET WINS At Reston Skatequest, the U.S. Secret Service scored a 10-7 victory over an FBI team that had reinforcements from DEA. The charity game, with proceeds going toward the Linda Franklin Fund to benefit one of the sniper victims, was described as penalty- and fight-filled.
Dave Fay

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