Here are the national morning papers:
- Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail says there is very little chance that the Maple Leafs will be purchased by billionaire Alex Shnaider.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today details which draft entry players really impressed at this year’s World Juniors Championship.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Marian Hossa broke out of his slump with two goals on Sunday afternoon to lead the Thrashers to a 5-2 victory over the Sabres.
- Since losing six games in a row late in December, the Bruins have racked up three straight victories and are now ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston held their 18th annual carnival at the Garden yesterday, where they were able to give something back to the fans.
- The Sabres are winless in their last six contests and the schedule doesn’t get any easier moving forward writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News. Sabres center Derek Roy left yesterday’s contest with a shoulder injury and is listed as day-to-day.
- The Panthers have been battling inconsistency all season long, so if they want to make the playoffs, they probably need to win 26 of their last 40 games.
- The Canadiens are rolling out the red carpet for tomorrow’s game versus their original-six rival Chicago Blackhawks writes Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette. Meanwhile, Pat Hickey of the Gazette wonders whether the Habs are expecting too much from rookie netminder Carey Price.
- Mark Everson of the NY Post believes that Brent Sutter and the Devils deserve a lot of credit for how far they’ve come along.
- Hockey is probably the last thing on Henrik Lundqvist’s mind with his dad back in his home country of Sweden recovering from brain surgery.
- Tonight’s Oilers/Islanders game includes a number of players who have played on the opponent’s team at some point in their careers and that should make the game that much more interesting writes Greg Logan of Newsday.
- Teammates Ray Emery and Brian McGrattan dropped the gloves this morning at practice but luckily the two are good friends and were joking about it after.
- Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News says that Joffrey Lupul will be lost to the Flyers for quite a while with a slight concussion and a spinal cord contusion.
- The Penguins are hoping they catch fire in the second-half just as they did last season writes Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Vincent Lecavalier proves that he’s quite modest even with all the praise he has been receiving in hockey circles.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says the Leafs must either trade Mats Sundin or sign him to a contract extension.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks’ Samuel Pahlsson has missed his team’s past six games and is expected to miss tonight’s game versus the Predators with back and abdominal issues.
- Since the beginning of December, the Flames have played tremendous hockey and that has lead them to the third seed in the Western Conference. One thing new coach Mike Keenan has stressed to the Flames is for the players to enjoy victories.
- The Hawks finally lost to the Red Wings for the first time this season writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- Avalanche forward and Michigan native T.J. Hensick is really looking forward to taking part in his first Avalanche/Red Wings contest.
- The only way to gain experience chasing down a playoff spot is to go through it yourself and the Blue Jackets have many players who will be going through the process for the first time.
- Brenden Morrow has been playing on the periphery too much and wants to make a point of returning to his second-home which is in front of the opposing team’s netminder writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- Last night’s victory over Chicago was Chris Osgood’s 355th of his career which makes him the 15th winningest goaltender of all-time.
- As Jim Matheson tells us, former Oiler Mike Comrie does not expect fans to stop booing him when he returns to Rexall Place with the Islanders tonight. Meanwhile, Raffi Torres will be lost to the Oilers for the remainder of the season after he undergoes knee surgery later this week.
- Mikko Koivu is getting closer to a return to the Wild lineup but he will not dress tonight when Minnesota visits Dallas.
- Predators defenseman Kevin Klein wants to impress coach Barry Trotz whenever he checks into the lineup writes Jessica Hopp of the Tennessean.
- The Coyotes have been very good at limiting their penalties taken and limiting their goals against and coach Wayne Gretzky believes those are the two keys to the Coyotes turnaround this season.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an interesting piece on the evolution of Brad Boyes.
- It is a slow recovery process, but Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa is hoping to return to the lineup for the playoffs writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.