If any of you are craving for hockey later this afternoon, the Bruins/Rangers game has been moved to 4pm EST from 7pm EST in order to avoid a time conflict with tonight’s Red Sox/Indians ALCS game six.
On to the morning papers:
- Reports that the Leafs were going to get Kyle Wellwood and Carlo Coliacovo back in the lineup for tonight’s game were untrue as both players have encountered setbacks in their rehabilitation. Leafs’ coach Paul Maurice doesn’t think Vesa Toskala has had an off-game yet writes Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star. It is expected that, once again, the Leafs will be facing a backup goaltender on Saturday night as Patrick Lalime is expected to get the call in net for Chicago.
- The whole hockey world would benefit if the Blackhawks became a team people cared about again opines Damien Cox in this morning’s Toronto Star.
- The Canucks can’t seem to put a complete game together, and a poor second period cost them against the Kings as Vancouver lost last night’s game 4-2.
- According to Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times a mid-second period save by Kings’ goaltender Jason LaBarbara may have been the game’s turning point.
- Alexander Ovechkin faces off against Sidney Crosby tonight, but the Capitals are less concerned about the matchup and more concerned about getting their powerplay in order writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
- The struggling Lightning take on the new-look Thrashers tonight in a divisional matchup.
- The Thrashers have placed goaltender Kari Lehtonen on the IR and he is expected to miss an extended period of time with what is being termed an upper-leg injury.
- The Ducks are heading back out on the road for the first time since returning from their long European road trip to start the season; Curtis Zupke of the Orange County Register has the story.
- As Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe tells us, Bruins’ coach Claude Julien is instructing his players to cut down on their long shifts. In other Bruins’ news, coach Julien has no problem with the time change of his team’s game today versus the Rangers.
- Last night 3-0 loss to Columbus was the Sabres’ first time being shutout in their last 95 regular season games.
- The Flames’ summer acquisitions get their first taste of the Battle of Alberta tonight as the Oilers visit Calgary in the second half of HNIC’s Saturday night double-header.
- Scott Walker injured his torso and moments after he was taken off the ice the Hurricanes surrendered their lead to the Penguins and ended up losing to the Pens 4-3 in a shootout. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have yet to announce who their starting netminder will be tonight as they visit Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.
- Forget the Blackhawks victory over the Avalanche all anyone wanted to talk about after the game was Jonathan Toews and his gorgeous goal. (Illegal Curve’s Michael Remis linked the goal through youtube as part of his nightly recap which can be found here)
- Even though they mounted a comeback, the Avalanche feel as though they lost last night’s game in the early going writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
- The Blue Jackets’ Pascal Leclaire recorded his third shutout of the season last night over the Sabres and he has only started four games. Jackets’ forward Dan Fritsche was a healthy scratch for last night’s contest.
- Stars’ forward Todd Fedoruk needs to get back to his fighting ways in order to move down from the press-box and back on to the ice; Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has the story.
- As Helene St. James of the Detroit Free press tells readers, the Red Wings have loved the play of tough guy Aaron Downey so far this season.
- The Oilers have been continually mixing and matching their lines but may have finally come upon a combination that works. Robbie Schremp was demoted back to the AHL yesterday and after reading Craig MacTavish’s comments about the youngster’s game, it would probably be safe to say, that barring injuring, he won’t be back up in the NHL in the near future.
- Nobody is more excited to face the Senators than Cory Murphy (well, aside from his family) writes Steve Gorten of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Panthers are not yet sure whether Tomas Vokoun can start tonight’s game and will make that decision later this morning says coach Jacques Martin.
- There is no love lost between the Wild and the Blues heading into tonight’s contest writes Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It should be a physical game tonight writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
- The Penguins were resilient last night coming back on a number of occasions to defeat the Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout.
- The Sharks have to stop getting bloated egos from listening to all the lofty predictions and start working hard says goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
- When asked what problems the Red Wings present to the Coyotes heading into tonight’s contest in the desert, coach Wayne Gretzky responded, “Well, you got enough room on paper?”
- Tonight will serve as a good measuring stick for the revamped Flyers as they take on the one-loss Hurricanes.
- The legendary Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette has a great article this morning on Alexei Kovalev’s controversial comments earlier this week.
- Steve Sullivan’s doctors say the X-rays show improvement in his back injury, unfortunately for Sullivan he doesn’t feel any better.
- Greg Logan thinks it was the Islanders’ penalty killing, not Bill Guerin’s hat trick, that was the key to the Isles’ victory over Washington on Thursday night.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.