Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups:
Detroit versus Nashville:
- Tomas Holmstrom is looking a lot healthier as the games go on and his game is really coming together as a result. At practice, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg practiced both together and apart. The Wings sure don’t lack experience in net with Dominik Hasek between the pipes.
- The Predators know that one key moment can change a series, writes John Glennon. On the injury front, David Legwand will be a game-time decision for tonight’s contest.
San Jose versus Calgary:
- Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News wonders if the Sharks can recover from their collapse last night at the Saddledome. You knew what was coming if you were a Sharks fan last night, writes Purdy. “It takes men to play this sport, not a bunch of boys,” said Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov after last night’s 4-3 loss.
- When the Flames started to bully, the Sharks did not fight back, writes George Johnson. Cory Sarich’s big hit was what turned the whole game around, writes Jean Lefebvre. Curtis Joseph pitched a shutout in his relief appearance last night and that was enough to hold the Flames in the game until they got the lead late in the third period. Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun thinks Sarich’s hit may have turned the Flames’ whole season around. (Writer’s note: Here is the hit if you have not seen it.)
Minnesota versus Colorado:
- The Wild know they are fortunate to be tied 1-1 without any production from sniper Marian Gaborik, writes Michael Russo. No coach creates more line combinations than the old master Jacques Lemaire.
- Peter Forsberg missed practice on Sunday, but Avalanche fans need not worry, as the veteran was just getting some rest for tonight’s tilt. Across the ice, the Wild’s playmakers have yet to prove they can play at the level of the Avs playmakers, writes Mike Chambers. With the Avalanche finally back home, the Pepsi Center should be rocking tonight.
Anaheim versus Dallas:
- It has been a tough start to the playoffs for Anaheim, so the Ducks just want to focus on winning the next period of their series with the Stars, writes Dan Wood. If the Ducks have any aspirations of winning this series, the team’s defense needs to be play up to its capabilities.
- Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson have found chemistry at the perfect time, writes Mike Heika. There is a different feel around this version of the Stars says Mike Modano.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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