Here are the national morning papers:
- Tony Gallagher of the National Post opines that the hockey being played in the NHL’s Northwest Division is boring.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today believes that the Penguins have a variety of problems not just goaltending problems.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- If Don Waddell hires a coach this season, it will be from inside the organization writes Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The struggling Bruins’ offense got the medicine it needed (aka the Leafs defense) and tallied five goals on the way to a 5-2 victory. Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli told a Toronto radio station that injured center Patrice Bergeron could very well be gone for the entire season. Chiarelli also noted in the interview how close Tuukka Rask is to playing a substantial role for the Bruins this season.
- The song remains the same for the Sabres as they were defeated 3-2 by the Senators on Thursday night. Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier is sick of watching boring hockey, not as a general manager with sour grapes, but as a fan. (Writer’s note: His take is interesting, and I have to say I agree with most, if not all, of what he says.)
- The Hurricanes are frustrated over the amount of blowout losses they have suffered this season writes Lorenzo Perez of the News Observer. Canes’ winger Erik Cole will be out 7-10 days to allow the swelling in his neck to subside.
- This time the Panthers didn’t blow a late third period lead as they successfully closed out the struggling Capitals 2-1 on Thursday night. Don’t expect Jacques Martin to make any rash trades writes George Richards of the Miami Herald.
- The Habs are hoping usual fourth-liner Tom Kostopoulos will add some life to the team’s top line. (Writer’s note: I guess cousin Jesse was unavailable for first line duty…)
- The Devils are hoping Paul Martin won’t have to miss another game, after he left the Devils/Rangers game with back problems earlier this week.
- The Rangers were dishing out all the cliche answers about why they are suddenly winning games after last night’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Flyers. Last night’s victory moved the Rangers into a tie for first place with the Flyers.
- “I don’t think that was our best effort,” said Islanders’ goalie Rick DiPietro after his team’s 3-2 loss to the Penguins.
- The spotlight was on Daniel Alfredsson last night in Ottawa as the Senators’ captain was playing in hi 800th career game and topped out that milestone game with two goals of his own. (Writer’s note: I have a suggestion, more stories about Daniel Alfredsson and less stories about Sean Avery. Heatley and Spezza may get all the press clipping in Ottawa, but Alfredsson is team’s best player.)
- Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News has been very impressed with the play of Mike Richards this season.
- Michel Therrien scratched Darryl Sydor, Colby Armstrong and Mark Recchi for last night’s game, which the Penguins won 3-2 over the Islanders.
- The Lightning defensemen have done a great job of collectively picking up the slack for their injured defensive leader Dan Boyle writes Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- “We weren’t ready. We weren’t prepared to do the job tonight and that’s why we lost,” said Leafs’ defenceman Tomas Kaberle after last night’s 5-2 loss to the Bruins. One of the many problems for the Leafs, is their inability to get the puck quickly out of their own zone.
- The Capitals inability to get goals from anyone other than Alexander Ovechkin is killing the team’s chances of turning around their prolonged slump.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- All indications are that Blues’ rookie David Perron will remain with the NHL club after he plays his ninth game tonight.
- The Sharks completely demolished the Coyotes last night, defeating them 6-0 on the road. Both defenseman Craig Rivet and forward Marcel Goc missed last night’s game due to injury. (Writer’s note: The Sharks have played six games in nine days, three of those games were against the lowly Coyotes, yet Evgeni Nabokov played each and every game. When does Ron Wilson plan to give him some rest?)
- “The last three games have been unacceptable,” Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan said after last night’s embarrassing performance.
- The Predators played the role of comeback kids last night with a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory over division-rival Chicago. The Predators are proving to have two strong scoring lines writes John Glennon of the Tennessean.
- The Oilers continue to struggle putting goals on the board as they were defeated last night 4-2 by the Wild. John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal thinks there is a goaltending controversy on the verge of taking place in the Albertan capital. Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun has an interesting piece on the Oilers’ youngsters playing down in Springfield of the AHL.
- Niklas Backstrom was pulled from the Wild net last night, yet he wasn’t injured and his team actually had the lead. If Backstrom is in Lemaire’s doghouse, then he won’t have any trouble finding Keith Carney who has been a healthy scratch eight times this season.
- The Ducks’ top line was better than the Kings’ top line and that’s why the Ducks edged Los Angeles 6-3 at the Staples Center on Thursday night. “Hopefully we’re turning a corner and understanding how difficult it is to win in the NHL,” said Ducks’ coach Randy Carlyle after last night’s contest. (Writer’s note: Randy, what does that even mean? Your team won the Stanley Cup last season.)
- Flames’ netminder Miikka Kiprusoff is hoping to build off of his own performance in Tuesday’s win over the Wild.
- The Avalanche will have Andrew Brunette in their lineup even after he took a scary spill in practice two days ago, and also Jose Theodore will be the starting netminder for the Avs tonight when they take on the Stars.
- Fans of offense in hockey may cringe when they read Dave Tippett’s comments in this Dallas Morning News article.
- Dominik Hasek seems to be having trouble with the lack of shots against that his team gives up but he knows he has to play better for the Wings.
- Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch has an interesting article on the openness of practices in the NHL. Here are the Blue Jackets’ probable lines for tonight’s game.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.