Warrior sharpens teeth

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET


 Dave Lowry was adored during springtime in San Jose.

 The faithful at the Shark Tank loved his moxie, his aggressive forecheck and the impact he brought to the 2000 NHL playoffs.

 But in particular, the Silicon Valley fans revelled in Lowry's relationship with all-star defenceman Chris Pronger. His role was to bother the St. Louis Blues rearguard at every turn of their Western Conference quarter-final series.

 "I was given an opportunity -- I was playing with Owen (Nolan) and Vinny (Damphousse) -- and St. Louis was trying to keep Pronger out there on them," Lowry said. "One way to take the pressure and focus off them was to get right in his face. And that's all I tried to do.

 "I tried to be the guy in first on the forecheck and make sure every opportunity I had to hit him, I finished my check and that would take him away from the other two guys."

 It's a role Lowry relished and one that helped the Sharks oust the Blues in seven games that year.

 Now with Lowry on the opposition Calgary Flames, his role is to help oust the Sharks in the conference final. Three former teammates are on his to-hit list.

 While they don't quite rival Pronger's star status, defencemen Brad Stuart, Mike Rathje and Scott Hannan will nonetheless be among Lowry's targets.

 "They have some skill on the back end and we're going to have to finish all of our checks," Lowry said. "We're going to have to play the exact same way that we played against Detroit. And if the opportunity's there to finish a check, you have to finish the check."

 Even on a few old friends?

 "As far as I'm concerned, it's another team," said Lowry, who played in 19 games and recorded a goal and three points over three post-seasons with the Sharks (1998, '99 and 2000). "A lot of the guys that were there when I was there are gone. There's a lot of new faces there.

 "Obviously, you have to respect their players," Lowry continued. "But you have to play hard and you have to do whatever you have to do to win hockey games.

 "I'm not going to change the way I play. I realize there's a certain way that I have to play to be successful. That's just to finish checks and to be in players' faces. I'm not going to change."


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