Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers can thank Kari Lehtonen for their 3-2 shootout victory over the Capitals last night because they were outplayed, writes Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a thank you to the fans, the Thrashers have raised season ticket prices for next year. (Writer’s note: Good move by Atlanta. This should decrease their attendance from 14 people to 12 for next season.)
- The Bruins played a playoff-type game versus Pittsburgh last night and came away with a 2-1 road victory, writes Kevin Paul Dupont. Unfortunately for the Bruins, last night’s win came at the cost of a scary injury to Aaron Ward.
- The Sabres only got one last night and it was uncharacteristically from Paul Gaustad, but that was enough to defeat the Maple Leafs 1-0. The Sabres can thank Ryan Miller for last night’s win, writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
- It appears that Hurricanes center Matt Cullen will be out of the line-up for quite a bit longer as he is still suffering from vision problems.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post has all the details behind the Henrik Lundqvist contract extension.
- With Braydon Coburn still out for an extended period of time, the Flyers have decided to call-up Ryan Parent from the AHL. With the Parent call-up, the Flyers aren’t exactly following their pre-season plan, writes Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News.
- “We played a team that was hungry to play, and we weren’t. It’s pretty simple,” said Pens head coach Michel Therrien after his team’s 2-1 loss to Boston. According to Therrien there is a good chance that Dany Sabourin will start between the pipes tonight versus Carolina.
- The Capitals lost 2-1 in overtime to Atlanta last night, leaving them in a three-way tie for first place with the Thrashers and Hurricanes. (Writer’s note: I’m sick of having to write first place in that division. None of these teams deserve “first place” beside their team name.)
- The Leafs didn’t play a bad game, they just couldn’t squeeze on past Ryan Miller and that was the difference as they were defeated 1-0 on Mats Sundin’s 37th birthday. If you expected the Leafs to tank the rest of the season, you were wrong. (Writer’s note: Who in their right mind tanks a season these days? The draft order for the top picks is done by lottery anyways.)
- Here is some information on the long and drawn out attempted sale of the Lightning, courtesy of Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- Senators coach John Paddock shuffled his lines last night, but that mattered not as the Sens were defeated 3-2 by the Devils in overtime. “I’m still looking around and I’d like to make at least one more move,” said Senators GM Bryan Murray.
- Chris Simon is eligible to return to the Islanders line-up next week, writes Erik Boland of Newsday.
- With last night’s overtime victory, Devils netminder Martin Brodeur recorded his 30th win of the season, marking the 12th time he’s done that in his career. The Devils have scaled down their expectations for the remainder of the season, eyeing the Atlantic Division crown instead of the Eastern Conference leading Senators.
- Here is a nice Valentine’s Day story about the Beliveau’s, courtesy of Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette. After leading the Habs to last night’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Panthers, Pat Hickey thinks starting Carey Price on Saturday is the logical choice.
- The Panthers think they got hosed on the penalty call versus Jassen Cullimore in overtime, and weren’t happy about it after their 2-1 overtime loss to the Habs. (Writer’s note: I was watching the game at the time of the penalty, and it was an awful call. Sometimes you wonder what game these refs are watching…)
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Curtis Zupke of the Orange County Register examines Brian Burke’s options heading into the trade deadline.
- Last night’s 7-2 home loss to the Blackhawks may have been the Jackets most painful loss since the franchise’s inception to the NHL, writes Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. Portzline’s colleague at the Dispatch, Michael Arace, believes the Jackets playoff hopes have fallen by the wayside. Fredrik Norrena didn’t play well last night but at least he manned up and shouldered the blame for last night’s loss.
- Here is the newspaper article touching on the Stars’ decision to lower season ticket prices that I linked yesterday afternoon.
- Even though he is in the midst of an awful slump, Eric Belanger is continuing to stay positive, writes Michael Russo.
- The Predators enjoy having the luxury of being able to start two goalies with equal confidence, writes John Glennon of the Tennessean. The Predators are hoping to have winger Jordin Tootoo back in the line-up this weekend.
- The Sharks believe they have to change the way they play at the end of games, writes Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News.
- The Blues raised ticket prices yesterday and didn’t really explain why in this article by Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Writer’s note: Don’t really understand how this team can justify raising ticket prices…)
- Apparently Mike Keenan is looking towards winning 700 NHL games, writes Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald. Meanwhile, the Flames’ fighters have been having trouble finding dance-mates.
- If the Blackhawks are going to make a run at the playoffs, they better continue playing as well as they did in their 7-2 victory over the Blue Jackets, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Avalanche can’t seem to shake the injury bug, as Brett Clark is now on the mend, and Paul Stastny is now out with a groin injury.
- Ales Hemsky has been playing lately with an injured wrist, which may be contributing to his recent struggles.
- Wayne Gretzky is still confident in his team’s ability to turn it round even though they are in the midst of a four-game losing skid.
- The Canucks are calling tonight’s game versus the Wild a “must win.” The Canucks are excited to get Willie Mitchell back on their blueline for tonight’s game.
- Wings GM Ken Holland thinks there will be three-to-four significant deals before the February 26th trade deadline.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
Email any thoughts, ideas or suggestions to email@example.com