Here are the national morning papers:
- Tim Wharnsby of the Globe & Mail tells us that it appears likely Eric Lindros will officially announce his retirement from the NHL later this week.
- Kevin Allen has the story of the total transformation of Ilya Kovalchuk as a player and as a teammate in this morning’s USA Today.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Things only seem to be getting worse for Glen Hanlon and his Washington Capitals as they were blown out 5-0 yesterday by the Hurricanes in the first game of an important road trip.
- With both Mark Bell and Kyle Wellwood making their season debuts tonight there is finally some good news in Leafland.
- The Lightning just can’t catch a break right now and now have a seven game road losing streak after last night’s 4-3 loss to the Panthers.
- Michel Therrien switched around all of his lines except for the Malkin-Crosby-Malone line and it worked out well as Pittsburgh got one goal from each of the team’s four lines on their way to defeating the Devils 5-0. Meanwhile, Penguins’ fans who are critics of Marc-Andre Fleury should read the comments that Martin Brodeur has about the young netminder.
- The score may have looked close but the Flyers were outplayed and outshot 45-30 in their 2-0 loss to the Rangers last night.
- If the Senators defeat the Leafs tonight then they will have recorded the most points in NHL history after fourteen regular season games. After hearing Wade Redden say yesterday that he’d consider taking a paycut to stay with the Senators, you can’t help but appreciate his loyalty to the city of Ottawa and desire to win the Stanley Cup.
- Rick DiPietro is no worse for wear after the eye injury he suffered this weekend and the netminder may be in between the pipes tonight for the battle of New York.
- The Rangers have had a very successful homestand, moving from last to one point out of first after last night’s 2-0 victory over the first place Flyers. Due to the fact he is returning from a serious shoulder problem, Larry Brooks of the NY Post suggests that Sean Avery use more discretion when he plays.
- After being pasted 5-0 by the Penguins, Devils’ coach Brent Sutter regretted giving the Devils the day off on Sunday. “It was a total lack of professionalism and commitment as individuals and as a group,” said Sutter after the game.
- Habs’ coach Guy Carbonneau surprisingly tapped Cristobal Huet to start last night’s game against the Sabres and the French netminder made his coach look like a genius with a 2-0 shutout.
- The Panthers got a late goal from David Booth to defeat the Lightning 4-3 at home last night. Mike Van Ryn doesn’t have a point this season, and he attributes that lack of production to his increased focus on the defensive side of the game.
- The Hurricanes’ Cory Stillman led his team to a dominating 5-0 victory over Washington with a hat trick in the first ten minutes last night’s game. Stillman may have gotten the headlines, but had it not been for Cam Ward’s play early in the first period, the Canes may not have had such a successful night.
- The Sabres weren’t overly displeased with their game as much as they were impressed by the play of Cristobal Huet writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. In other Sabres’ news, the team has re-arranged its first line.
- It doesn’t look like Don Waddell is going to hire a coach anytime soon writes Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rookie Onrej Pavelec appears to be the favorite to get the start tonight for the Thrashers.
- Even though the Bruins lost both games to Ottawa over the weekend, they are taking solace in the fact that they were in both games against arguably the best team in the NHL.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Prior to last night’s game, it looked like the Ducks were turning their season around, however, Anaheim was dominated by the Stars and were defeated 5-0 on home ice.
- The Flames didn’t have an urgency to their game according to coach Mike Keenan and were easily defeated 4-1 last night by the Avalanche. “It’s disappointing, and I expected, quite frankly, our team to be a lot more passionate about the game,” said Keenan after the contest.
- The Hawks are beginning a television era by announcing their new home television schedule. (Writer’s note: Reading this article is kind of like being in the twilight zone. You would think it was 1978 with all the passion the organization has about broadcasting home hockey games on television.)
- Had it not been for Miikka Kiprusoff’s play in the first two periods, the Avs would have dominated the scoreboard even more writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
- The Columbus Dispatch provides readers with a couple of National analysts’ thoughts on the Blue Jackets so far this season. With the recent play of Pascal Leclaire, Jackets’ goaltending coach Clint Malarchuk says he has it easy.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press profiles the Zetterberg-Holmstrom-Datsyuk line and opines that it may be the best unit in the NHL.
- The Stars put forth their best effort of the season last night writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Oilers’ finally beat goaltender Niklas Backstrom, however, they couldn’t stay out of the penalty box and it cost them in their 5-2 loss to the Wild. With all the injuries the Oilers have encountered, at least they can count on Raffi Torres who played his 201st consecutive game last night.
- With the way the Wild’s powerplay was clicking last night, who needs Gaborik and Demitra asks Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
- Dustin Brown of the Kings tells Lonnie White of the L.A. Times that he is unhappy about the team’s long layoff.
- Martin Gelinas has no problems with players wearing visors, he just chooses not to wear one himself.
- Coyotes’ coach Wayne Gretzky has some tough lineup decisions on his hands with his team exhibiting surprising depth.
- Jeremy Roenick wants people to forget about him scoring 500 goals and focus on the Sharks getting far above the .500 level of play.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has five questions with Blues’ GM John Davidson.
- Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault is sticking with having his eggs all in one basket on the top line writes Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.