Here are the national morning papers:
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail wonders if Don Cherry will be on his best behavior in Winkler, Manitoba this Saturday for Hockey Day in Canada.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today has an interesting article on the difficult decisions that have to be made by Columbus GM Scott Howson prior to the trade deadline.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers had their chances to win last night, but played a poor third period and were defeated 2-1 by the visiting Canucks. Thrashers defenseman Niclas Havelid didn’t play in last night’s contest because he had the flu.
- If today’s morning skate goes well, Glen Murray will make his return to the Bruins lineup after missing nineteen games with a hip flexor. Coach Claude Julien will be looking to give Alex Auld a start in between the pipes, either tonight or tomorrow.
- Sabres forward Tim Connolly is going to try and play through the pain of his hip injury and see if he can withstand the pain to be able to play the remainder of the season. With Connolly being out of the lineup, coach Lindy Ruff moved Jochen Hecht to center and his line has enjoyed great offensive success.
- Luke Decock of the News Observer gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into broadcasting a hockey game on television.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post calls out essentially the entire Rangers roster for a lackluster performance last night in their 4-1 loss to the Ducks at MSG. Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers was not happy that Alexei Kovalev was not suspended for his elbow on Hollweg on Sunday.
- Start the uproar, Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News believes Eric Lindros should be in the team’s Hall of Fame. In current Flyers news, winger Scottie Upshall has been lost to the team for the next 7-10 days with an ankle sprain.
- After being called out in the press by his coach, Pens defenseman Ryan Whitney scored two goals and added an assist in his team’s 4-3 victory over the Islanders on Thursday. Meanwhile, Mario Lemieux was skating yesterday at Mellon Arena yesterday to fulfill the wish of a sick child.
- With the start that the Captials and Hurricanes got off to respectively this season, no one would have believed that the Hurricanes would be trailing the Capitals in the Southeast Division standings at this point in the season.
- “We have to play a bit more stingy than that if we want to be successful on the road,” said Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun after his team’s 5-4 loss in Ottawa last night. Even after the loss, the Panthers still have four points in the first three games of their road trip and hope to make it more with two games left before they head back to Sunrise.
- The Habs lost 4-2 to the Leafs last night at the Bell Centre, and coach Guy Carbonneau believes the main reason the team lost was that they strayed away from their defensive game. Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette gives readers an inside look at the struggles this season of former Hab Darcy Tucker.
- Scott Niedermayer makes his first appearance in New Jersey tonight since signing with the Ducks in 2005. For the first time since the inception of the salary cap, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has money to spend come trade deadline time, writes Mark Everson of the NY Post.
- The Islanders caught a tough break last night as Bill Guerin’s tying goal with 0.6 seconds remaining in the third period was waved off and the team lost 4-3 to the Penguins.
- The Senators were really happy with the way Dany Heatley played in his return from his shoulder injury, as the sniper scored two goals and added an assist in his team’s 5-4 victory at home over Florida. With Dany Heatley back in the lineup, Don Brennan says the Senators should focus on some other concerns, such as their struggling penalty killing.
- After defeating the Predators 2-1 in overtime at Nashville, the Lightning has moved to within six points of the Southeast Division lead, writes Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- After defeating the streaking Habs 4-2 in Montreal, everyone can get off the Leafs’ backs for one night, writes Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star. Kevin McGran of the Star provides readers with more background information on highly sought after free agent forward Fabian Brunnstrom.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks, sparked by the play of their fourth line, went into MSG and defeated the Rangers 4-1, writes Dan Wood of the Orange County Register.
- The Flames couldn’t replicate their comeback against Phoenix last night as they lost 2-1 at home to the Blackhawks, thanks in large part to the play of Nikolai Khabibulin. With his name being tossed around in almost every trade scenario, Flames winger Alex Tanguay says he tunes out all rumors.
- The Jackets were concerned with the loss of Pascal Leclaire for their two-game road trip, but Fredrik Norrena was strong in the team’s first game of the trip leading them to a 2-1 victory at Phoenix. Jackets players admit it will be weird to see Jody Shelley skating on the opposite end of the rink tonight as Columbus visits the Sharks.
- Who needs Marty Turco? Obviously the Stars, but not last night, as backup Michael Smith shutout the Wild in Minnesota to lead Dallas to a 1-0 victory.
- No one could have predicted this outcome, as the Wings, winners of eight consecutive games, blew a 3-1 third period lead to the lousy Kings and lost 5-3 on home ice. The Detroit Free Press provides fans with an interview with former Wing Shawn Burr.
- “First two period, I don’t think we worked hard,” said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire after his team’s 1-0 loss at home to the Stars.
- After being called out for his poor performance against the Avalanche, Sharks winger Steve Bernier will see himself in the press-box tonight when his team hosts the Blue Jackets.
- Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a nice article on Jeff Woywitka and his family.
- The Canucks put an end to their four game losing streak and evened their record to .500 on their current road trip with a 2-1 victory at Atlanta last night. The Canucks clearly had a plan to knock Ilya Kovalchuk off his game, writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
- Ilya Brygalov wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be last night and that was the difference, as the Coyotes lost 2-1 to the Blue Jackets on home-ice, writes Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
- “I didn’t think we brought our best effort, but I don’t want to take anything away from Tampa Bay,” said the classy Barry Trotz after his team’s 2-1 overtime loss at home to the Lightning.
- The Oilers are making a concerted effort to get back to playing a gritty game lately and it has paid off, writes Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal. Sam Gagner has stepped in beautifully for the injured Shawn Horcoff, making onlookers forget that his is only 18 years old.
- The Blackhawks outplayed the Flames last night, and came away with a well-deserved two points, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. In positive news, center Jonathan Toews may return to the lineup this Sunday.
- Avalanche GM Francois Giguere said he wouldn’t have the interest he does in Peter Forsberg if he didn’t he was worth pursuing.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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