Here are the national morning papers:
- In his weekly notebook, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail examines, among other things, all the newly signed extensions in the NHL this season.
- Tim Wharsnby of the Globe & Mail examines the possibile roster decisions for Canada’s 2010 Olympic entry in Vancouver.
- The Flames got a little taste of an angry Darryl Sutter after practice yesterday, writes George Johnson of the National Post.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today says just because Rob Blake is injured right now, that doesn’t mean teams aren’t going to be interested in his services come trade deadline time.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers understand how crucial intra-division games are at this point in this season, writes Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Bruins got down 2-0 yesterday at Buffalo, but stuck to their game plan and came back with an important 3-2 shootout victory over their division rival. Glen Murray returned to the Bruins line-up last night, and coach Claude Julien was impressed with the way the veteran looked in his first game back in 19 games.
- Last night’s 3-2 shootout loss to Boston, means the Sabres continue to sit on the outside looking in for this season’s playoff race, writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News. “I’m not real happy right now. It’s just unacceptable,” said Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller after his team blew a 2-0 third period lead at home last night to the Bruins.
- By defeating the Capitals 2-1 in Washington last night, the Hurricanes assured themselves first place in the Southeast Division through at least Sunday, writes Luke Decock of the News Observer.
- The Rangers are turning to Steve Valiquette for their matinee affair with the the Flyers today, writes Dan Martin of the NY Post. The Rangers play twice this weekend, and then get five days off, so the team is hoping they can bank some points today and tomorrow, so as to not give up too much ground over the week.
- Joffrey Lupul has been given clearance by Flyers doctors to play this afternoon, writes Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer. With Lupul back in the fold, the Flyers have some new line combinations.
- Sidney Crosby is still far-off from a return to the Penguins line-up, but he skated yesterday with his teammates at practice and gave the whole team a big lift. In other injury news, the Pens are close to sending Marc-Andre Fleury down to Wilkes-Barre for a rehabilitation stint.
- The Capitals were 0-for-7 with the man-advantage on Friday, and that was the main reason they lost 2-1 to the Hurricanes at the Verizon Center.
- The Toronto Star has a very statistically oriented piece about the possible route the Leafs should take for their next GM hire. The Leafs are starting to get some of their main players back into their line-up, writes Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun. Here are some quotes from Detroit GM Ken Holland in the Toronto Sun.
- The Lightning know they still have a pulse in the Southeast Division race but that they have to continue playing top hockey to make up all their lost ground.
- Apparently the trade for which Wade Redden refused to remove his no-trade clause was Redden to San Jose for Matt Carle and a draft pick. The Senators’ top line of Spezza-Heatley-Alfredsson will be reunited tonight for the team’s important game versus Montreal.
- Mike Comrie is acting more like a leader lately for the Islanders, writes Greg Logan of Newsday.
- The New Jersey fans booed Scott Niedermayer in his return to the swamp, but it was Niedermayer who got the last laugh as his Ducks were victorious 2-1.
- Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette has an intersting article on the reborn Alexei Kovalev.
- The Panthers are expecting to get Ville Peltonen back in the line-up tonight for the first time in two months when they face-off against the Bruins.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks have a roster full of big-name players and you’d think they would have been primarily responsible for the team’s 2-1 victory at New Jersey yesterday, but it has been their unknown youngsters that have been leading them lately, writes Dan Wood of the Orange Country Register.
- The Flames are going to make sure they don’t take the bait this time around when they face-off against Zach Stortini and the Edmonton Oilers.
- Evgeni Nabokov was the difference last night, as the Blue Jackets came into San Jose and outshot the Sharks but still came away with a 2-1 overtime loss. Meanwhile, Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said Ole Tollefsen should have known better than to go after Craig Weller with his hands down.
- Mike Modano is cherishing the challenge of being on the ice in the deciding moments of a game, writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Wings are excited as a team to play on Hockey Day in Canada, writes Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire wants more consistency in his team’s game, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
- “Nabby obviously won this game for us,” said Joe Thornton after his team’s 2-1 overtime win hosting the Blue Jackets. Here is some information on the almost trade involving Wade Redden.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch provides readers with the details behind the decision to make Eric Brewer the new Blues captain.
- The Blackhawks are still hoping to make the playoffs, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- Sheldon Souray underwent season-ending surgery on his shoulder yesterday and will be ready for training camp come September. The Oilers know they will be facing a pumped-up Flames team, but they are ready for the Battle of Alberta.
- The Predators need better play and scoring production from their second line, writes Paul Kuharsky of the Tennessean.
- Coyotes GM Don Maloney says he doesn’t see his team making any significant moves prior to the trade deadline.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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