Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers are no longer a threat to make the playoffs, but that does not mean they took yesterday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers very easily.
- The Bruins ended their losing streak with a win over the undisciplined Capitals on Saturday afternoon, writes Fluto Shinwaza. Shane Hnidy was the Bruins’ difference-maker without even scoring a goal last night. Meanwhile, here is Kevin Paul Dupont’s usual Sunday notes column.
- Buffalo was happy they were able to battle back and record an important point versus Carolina last night, unfortunately, their penalty troubles led to a 4-3 overtime loss. Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News opines that Gary Bettman’s plan for parity is working perfectly.
- The Hurricanes finally capitalized on their eighth power play of the game to defeat the visiting Sabres in overtime. In other Canes news, it appears Frantisek Kaberle has returned to his old form.
- According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, Glen Sather turned down an offer of Steve Bernier for Sean Avery at the trade deadline. John Dellapina of the NY Daily News has an interesting feature on Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire.
- The Flyers rode four power play goals to a convincing 4-1 victory over the visiting Islanders, writes Joe Logan. Meantime, Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if the NHL’s point system needs to be tweaked.
- Both the Crosby/Ovechkin and the Malkin/Ovechkin rivalries are renewed this afternoon, writes Shelly Anderson. Marian Hossa will not suit up this afternoon.
- The Leafs allowed a last minute goal to the Devils last night at the Air Canada Centre, and with that, probably kissed their slim playoff hopes goodbye. Damien Cox points out that the Leafs haven’t had a shutdown defensive pair or checking line in a long time. Off the ice, Jason Blake feels lucky everyday.
- There are a couple of interesting story lines heading into today’s Tampa/Columbus game.
- The Senators ended their West Coast road trip on a positive note last night, writes Bruce Garrioch. Erin Nicks wonders if Mike Fisher is a suitable second line center.
- After last night’s loss to the Flyers, the Islanders are now seven points back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
- Zach Parise almost single-handedly led the Devils to a 2-1 road victory over Toronto, writes Rich Chere.
- The Habs aren’t even playing their best, but they are still winning, writes Pat Hickey. In roster news, it looks like unhappy forward Mikhail Grabovski will be returned to Hamilton of the AHL.
- The Panthers kept their slim playoff chances alive with a resilient come-from-behind victory over the Thrashers last night.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- With Corey Perry on the shelf for six weeks, the Ducks are hoping Bobby Ryan can help fill the void.
- Ken Hitchcock didn’t care that his players had to trek through a lot of snow to get to practice on Saturday, as he sent the team home after an intense lecture. Here are the Jackets’ probable lines for today’s game versus Tampa.
- “We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re going to play deep into the playoffs doing the things we’re doing right now,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow after his team’s 3-1 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
- Darren McCarty is in Detroit but the veteran is currently sidelined with a rib injury that is restricting his ability to practice. McCarty is not the only Red Wing who is going to miss Sunday’s game, writes Helene St. James.
- The Habs played in Los Angeles for the first time in four years last night, and apparently it wasn’t as much of a road game as many would think.
- The Wild play eight of their final thirteen games on home-ice, however, their play at home needs to improve if they are going to secure a playoff spot, writes Kent Youngblood.
- In Nashville, the Predators are concerned that David Legwand’s foot may be broken.
- The Sharks are gunning for their ninth straight victory today at the Wild, writes David Pollak.
- Brad Boyes tallied twice last night, but he didn’t get any help as his team lost 4-2 at Vancouver. The Blues have realized their chances of the playoffs are slim to none, so they have opted to start playing their youngsters in place of some veterans like Martin Rucinsky.
- Craig Conroy is done talking about the Flames’ slow starts, writes Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald. Jarome Iglinla’s next goal will set the franchise record for the Flames.
- Every game is huge for the Blackhawks, who are six points back of a playoff spot with only fourteen games remaining, writes Chris Kuc.
- The Avalanche made it six victories in a row last night, in their 3-1 come-from-behind victory over the Stars. On the injury front, Adam Foote is questionable for tonight’s rematch versus Dallas.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal has a nice story on the Oilers’ rookie duo of Cogliano and Gagner.
- “We didn’t do enough to win, simple as that,” said Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, after his team’s 4-2 home loss to the Senators.
- Alex Burrows was huge for the Canucks yesterday, helping his team to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Blues and taking the team within two points of the division lead. Burrows’ play was important, but Brad Isbister was the star last night, writes Elliot Pap.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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