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Notebook: Horcoff says Brind'Amour cheats on faceoffs

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Edmonton Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff isn't
impressed by the faceoff technique of Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour.

In fact, he doesn't even think it's legal.

Brind'Amour has won 310 of his 514 faceoffs (60.31 percent) in
the playoffs -- including 28 of 34 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup
finals. He was third in the NHL during the regular season at 59.1
percent and has finished in the top five in three of four seasons.

Horcoff, who dropped 18 of 27 in the Oilers' 5-1 loss in the
opener, has already complained about Brind'Amour's methods and the
things he is allowed to get away with.

"It's just a problem that I tried to talk to the linesman a
little about," Horcoff said Wednesday before Game 2. "It's not
really anything that I really need to comment on, it's just the
fact that I thought he was cheating a little bit and hopefully
we'll change that."

Horcoff had enjoyed success on faceoffs before the finals,
taking 55 percent against Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim.

Brind'Amour didn't buy into the claim that he gets special
treatment from the officials.

"I can't even comment on that. I've never heard of that,"
Brind'Amour said. "I'd be surprised if there was special
treatment, but I'd sign up for it."

Talking back
Erik Cole is staying busy during the Stanley Cup
finals even though he is sidelined by a neck injury.

Cole watches his Carolina Hurricanes teammates from a high perch
in the press box. Then he covers their backs away from the rink.

The right winger got into his car Tuesday, the day after the
Hurricanes' 5-4 win over Edmonton in the series opener, and heard
someone take a shot at Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour.

An Oilers fan sent an e-mail to talk-show host Jim Rome that
said even though he was disappointed his team gave up the winning
goal on a busted play behind the net in the final seconds of Game
1, and the fact that starting goalie Dwayne Roloson was knocked out
of the series, he was happy his players didn't resemble Brind'Amour
-- whose face bears the markings and wear-and-tear of a 17-year NHL
career.

Cole picked up his cell phone and speed-dialed the show's
producer. Once his identity was confirmed, Cole was on the air.

"You might not look like Rod Brind'Amour, but nothing was
uglier than that miscommunication behind the net," Cole said.

After Roloson was hurt with less than 6 minutes remaining,
backup Ty Conklin flubbed the puck behind the net with teammate
Jason Smith, allowing Brind'Amour to take it and stuff it in for
the game-winner.

Bottled up
The Hurricanes offered bottles of the wine
"Relentless" Syrah on Wednesday night to the first 20 fans who
donated at least $200 to the Eastern North Carolina chapter of the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Carolina coach Peter Laviolette took on the fight against blood
cancers after family friend Julia Rowe was diagnosed with leukemia.
Her parents gave Laviolette a bottle of the wine -- signed by Julia
-- earlier this year. It has since become an inspirational piece for
the coach and his players.

Laviolette carried the bottle to the podium after the Hurricanes
won the Eastern Conference championship last week.

"What Coach Laviolette did at his press conference was to bring
enormous attention to the families and individuals suffering with
lymphoma and leukemia," said Doug Shafer, president of Shafer
Vineyards in Napa Valley. "It sure got our attention."