Here are the national morning papers:
- Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail compares and contrasts the managing success (or lack thereof) of Toronto’s John Ferguson Jr. with Montreal’s Bob Gainey.
- Eric Duhatschek discusses the upcoming Hall of Fame class and their inability to get away from the game they love in his Saturday notes column.
Here are the Western Confernce morning papers:
- Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun profiles Al MacInnis just prior to his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
- The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 4-2 last night in Chicago and one of the reasons for the Hawks’ success can be attributed to their defense’s offensive output. Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune explains the expectations that Comcast has for its home broadcasts this season.
- “They’re the measuring stick and we’re trying to catch up,” is what Ken Hitchcock said about the Red Wings after they defeated the Blue Jackets 4-1 on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Jackets face the Predators on Saturday night and coach Hitchcock says the Jackets won’t have a rivalry with the Predators unless they stop losing to them all the time. Here are the Jackets’ probable lines for tonight’s game.
- The Stars are striving to be more consistent writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- Both the Red Wings and their star forward Henrik Zetterberg kept their streaks going last night in Detroit as they defeated the Blue Jackets 4-1. Wings’ youngster Jiri Hudler appears to be on a similar career course as current Detroit first-liner Tomas Holmstrom.
- Sheldon Souray thinks he will be back in the Oilers’ lineup for Wednesday’s game versus the Canucks writes Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun. Oilers’ defenseman Alan Rourke will make his team debut on Hockey Night in Canada tonight versus the Flames.
- Flames’ center Daymond Langkow will not dress for tonight’s game versus the Oilers due to a concussion he suffered at the hands of Matt Cooke on Thursday night. Asked yesterday whether he would share his beliefs of why the Flames had been struggling, coach Mike Keenan responded, “I think that’s information that should stay in the locker-room. It’s something you try to protect with the team and deal with them.”
- Marian Gaborik has joined his teammates on their trip to Colorado for Sunday’s game against the Avalance, but his linemate Pavol Demitra was left behind due to his more serious groin injury.
- The Kings are hoping to have enforcer Raitis Ivanans back in the lineup next week, however, Kyle Calder is still a couple weeks away from a return to the lineup.
- The Predators have to make sure they are prepared for tonight’s game versus Columbus because the Jackets were beat by Nashville in all eight meetings last season and are very much stressing the importance of beating the Preds this season.
- While the Sharks are not where they want to be in terms of their play, they feel like last night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Ducks was a step in the right direction.
- “It’s difficult for us to win a hockey game when, in our opinion, I don’t know if we had five of our forwards play average or above,” said Blues’ coach Andy Murray after the team was defeated by the Hawks 4-2 at the United Center. Meanwhile, the Blues’ face-off percentage has been falling off for the past couple weeks writes Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Canucks got their third win in a row last night and are now back at .500 after they defeated the Avalanche 2-1 in overtime. Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province has a feature on Paul Stastny.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Don Waddell improved his record to 7-3 behind the bench this season for the Thrashers as they defeated the Panthers 4-1 on Friday night. Ilya Kovalchuk is arguably playing the best hockey of his career right now and is maturing into a leader writes Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Bruins’ defenseman Aaron Ward will be out of the lineup indefinitely with a concussion. It is going to be a battle for the Bruins to fill Ward’s void in terms of leadership and minutes-played writes Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald.
- The Sabres offense is struggling so much right now that they couldn’t even breakout versus the lowly Leafs’ defense as they were defeated by Toronto 3-0 on Friday. The breaks just aren’t going the Sabres’ way right now writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
- Lorenzo Perez of the News Observer previews the Hurricanes’ game at Atlanta tonight.
- The Panthers outplayed the Thrashers last night but couldn’t bulge the twine and it cost them as they were defeated by Atlanta 4-1 at home. “We’re in a big hole now. There’s no question about it. We have to be better, no doubt about it,” said goaltender Tomas Vokoun after the loss.
- This season’s version of the Flyers are definitely not on equal footing with the Broad Street bullies writes Red Fisher in this morning’s Montreal Gazette. Francis Bouillon of the Habs said his collision with Bruins’ defenseman Aaron Ward was completely by accident and that he didn’t even see Ward coming.
- For the first time since last season, the Devils had their full healthy roster at practice yesterday. Both Colin White and Jamie Langenbrunner are now able to practice but they won’t be in tonight’s lineup versus the Islanders.
- Former Ranger Mark Messier will be watching from the stands as the Rangers are in Toronto tonight to face-off against the Leafs in the Hall of Fame game. The Blueshirts will attempt to secure their first road victory tonight.
- One of the keys to the Islanders’ success is the goal-scoring of veteran Miroslav Satan writes Mark Hermmann of Newsday.
- With the way things are going for Martin Gerber, the netminder is not about to change to his new helmet anytime soon. According to Bruce Garrioch, the Senators may open the 2008/09 regular season in Sweden. The aforementioned Gerber will get the start this afternoon versus the streaking Habs.
- It looks like Simon Gagne may have returned too soon from his concussion, so don’t expect him or the Flyers to make that same mistake twice.
- Ray Shero made it clear yesterday that he is not replacing Michel Therrien with a new head coach and he is not replacing Marc-Andre Fleury with a new number one netminder. Ryan Whitney is slated to return to the Penguins’ lineup tonight after missing the last four games with a sore groin.
- Both Bryan McCabe and Andrew Raycroft got redemption last night in the Leafs’ 3-0 win in Buffalo. With all the panic and outcry over the Leafs’ play, the team reached the .500 level after Friday’s win over the Sabres.
- Carter Gaddis of the Tampa Tribune has an interesting piece on the relationship between Tampa coach John Tortorella and GM Jay Feaster
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.