Here are the national morning papers:
- Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail has an interesting article on NHL awards and the process involved with it.
- William Houston tells readers that Pierre Lebrun and Don Cherry are on opposite sides of the Jonathan Roy argument.
- The Leafs need to be overhauled, writes David Shoalts of the Globe & Mail.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today says that Team USA may have a very talented squad at this year’s World Hockey Championships.
Here are the Atlantic Division morning papers:
- They almost blew it, but the Devils ended the team’s five-game losing streak last night with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Flyers. Although he is usually not a fighter, defenseman Mike Mottau still stood up for his netminder on Friday night by dropping the gloves, writes Rich Chere.
- The Islanders have sent Jeff Tambellini back to Bridgeport of the AHL for the remainder of the season, writes Erik Boland.
- While first place in the Atlantic Division is a little far-fetched, if the Rangers play good hockey, they have a very good chance at gaining home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Off the ice, the NY Daily News is reporting that Sean Avery’s name was found in a prostitute’s black book. (Writer’s note: Rumors persist that if Avery is suspended by the NHL for this finding that Elliot Spitzer will replace him in the Rangers line up.)
- The Flyers may have lost for the twelfth straight game at New Jersey, but they did earn a valuable point in the process, writes Ray Parrillo. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now. It’s still disappointing the way the game ended. You wish with such an effort you get two points. But we’ll definitely take the point,” said Daniel Briere after Friday’s contest.
- Even with all their offense, the key to a Penguins playoff run is Marc-Andre Fleury. Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks that Marian Hossa will be ready to play on Sunday versus the Rangers.
Here are the Northeast Division morning papers:
- Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has officially been shut down for the rest of the regular season. With the prospect of facing the Habs or Penguins in the first round, the Bruins have their sites set on the sixth seed and a first round match up with the Hurricanes.
- Jerry Sullivan does not hold back in his analysis of the Sabres in this morning’s Buffalo News. The Sabres continued to blow late-game leads last night as they lost 4-3 in overtime to Les Habitants, writes John Vogl.
- “If we were good with the leads, we’d be a .700 team. We blow those leads and that’s why we’re playing like a .500 hockey team right now,” said Senators forward Jason Spezza about his team’s recent propensity for blowing leads. On the injury front, the Senators will be without Cory Stillman (leg) for today’s game versus Boston.
- Friday night’s come from behind 4-3 shootout victory over the Sabres moved the Habs back into first place in the Eastern Conference. Meantime, Red Fisher acknowledges the Canadiens surprisingly successful season thus far, but warns fans that the playoffs are a whole new ballgame.
- Damien Cox thinks the Leafs are going to try a one-year turnaround in the standings and that they will fail in that attempt. As for the off-season, Mats Sundin has stated that he wants to retire a Maple Leaf, but the Leafs captain is unsure of what the future will bring.
Here are the Southeast Division morning papers:
- Vincent Lecavalier made a boy’s dream come true yesterday at practice, writes Erik Erlendsson.
- “I haven’t probably been as good a leader as people expect. I haven’t played the level I am capable of playing every single game,” said Panthers star Olli Jokinen about his recent poor play.
- The Hurricanes thoroughly dominated Atlanta last night and, as a result, came closer to winning the Southeast Division crown. Chad Larose returned to the Canes’ line up last night after having been sidelined for seven weeks with a leg injury.
- The Thrashers took way too many penalties last night, writes Craig Custance. Apparently Don Waddell is encouraging his players to take part in the World Hockey Championships. (Writer’s note: It would be even better if he encouraged his players to actually try during games for the remainder of the season.)
- Sergei Fedorov is determined to get his new team into the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference.
The Western Conference morning papers are soon to follow…
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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