Here are the national morning papers:
- Alan Maki of the Globe & Mail tells readers that there are a lot of positives that could come along with being GM of the Maple Leafs.
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail wonders if Cliff Fletcher is just a puppet for Richard Peddie.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today has a great article on the success of the Detroit Red Wings since the salary-cap was introduced.
- Brett Hull is enjoying his role as co-GM in Dallas, writes Kevin Allen.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Ilya Kovalchuk has been suspended one game by the NHL for his hit-from-behind on
Michael Roszival and, as a result, the superstar forward will sit out tonight’s rematch versus the Rangers at MSG.
- Coming off of an 8-2 drubbing at the hands of the Habs, the Bruins are looking to rebound tonight versus the Islanders. In other Bruins news, Glen Murray has hit a speed-bump in his road to recovery and his return date is still unknown.
- The Sabres still don’t have a timetable for the returns of both Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly, writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News. With the Sabres visiting the Stars tonight, coach Lindy Ruff wants his team to be cognizant of Marty Turco’s ability to handle the puck.
- Both Sergei Samsonov and the Hurricanes are happy to have each other, writes Rachel Carter of the News Observer.
- Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says that South Florida is desperate for a winning team; so, now is the time for the Panthers to create a buzz. Nathan Horton hasn’t scored a goal in the three weeks, but he has a contributed to the team in a variety of different ways.
- In Montreal, Mathieu Dandenault is not very happy sitting on the sidelines as a healthy scratch. Meanwhile, before the Habs go on vacation over the All-Star break, the team will attempt to solve Martin Brodeur and company at the Prudential Center tonight.
- Michael Fensom of the Newark Star-Ledger details the progress made this season by Devils youngster David Clarkson. The Devils are looking forward to getting a break over the weekend before the playoff-run ramps up.
- Jaromir Jagr hopes to remain a Ranger through this season and beyond, writes Larry Brooks of the NY Post. Jay Greenberg salutes Brian Leetch whose number being raised to the MSG rafters tonight.
- Mike Sillinger says that the Islanders just need to maintain their focus on the teams ahead of them in the standings.
- Eugene Melnyk had breakfast with John Paddock and Bryan Murray yesterday to discuss the current state of the Senators, writes Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun. John Paddock was also busy doing other things on Wednesday as he threw out a challenge to both of his netminders, with the promise that whomever wins will continue starting.
- Flyers coach John Stevens wants his team’s penalty-killing to improve.
- Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discusses the unexpected success of Penguins netminder Ty Conklin. The Penguins head into tonight’s game versus Philadelphia with the early-season blowout loss to the Flyers on their minds.
- The Lightning have three star players who are not afraid to lay it on the line and lead by example.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star discusses the circus that is the new Leafs GM situation. With all the distractions in Toronto, the Leafs relied, as they usually do, on Mats Sundin and the big captain didn’t disappoint by scoring with less than one minute remaining in regulation to give the Leafs a 3-2 victory over Washington.
- “We definitely didn’t play our best game,” Capitals forward Matt Pettinger said after his team’s 3-2 loss at Toronto.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Wings got a little bit of payback last night, when they caught a break on the game-winning goal and defeated the Ducks 2-1 at the Honda Center. “They’re the best team in the league for a reason,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle about the Red Wings.
- Jarome Iginla will aim to end his seven game goalless drought when the Flames resume play on Tuesday. Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald provides readers with candid comments from Flames GM Darryl Sutter.
- Martin Lapointe is champing at the bit to get back into action for the Blackhawks having missed four straight games with a bruised kidney.
- Whichever team wins tonight’s Wild/Avalanche contest will be in first place in the Northwest Division heading into the All-Star break. Terry Frei correctly points out in this morning’s Denver Post that the Avalanche are playing some boring hockey as of late.
- The Blue Jackets have to rely on their veteran players to keep them emotionally in check heading into the chase for a playoff spot, writes Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. Blue Jackets rookie Kris Russell was happy to get his first NHL goal out of the way. Here are the Jackets’ projected lines for tonight’s tilt versus Chicago.
- The Stars will be happy to welcome back Jussi Jokinen to the line up tonight versus the Sabres after the Finnish winger missed the last thirteen games with a knee injury.
- The Wings did not back down from the physically imposing Ducks and defeated Anaheim 2-1 last night.
- According to a University of Alberta business professor, the Oilers have a 1% chance of making the playoffs. (Writer’s note: I’m no professor, but I am pegging their chances at 0%.) John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal thinks the time is right for Daryl Katz to be the new owner of the Edmonton Oilers.
- After playing the Red Wings on Tuesday, the Kings’ road to the All-Star break doesn’t get any easier with a tough contest versus the Ducks tonight.
- Wild rookie James Sheppard has been trying emulate the play of teammate Mikko Koivu and it has served him well, writes Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
- Jason Arnott of the Predators is from your quintessential hockey family, writes John Glennon of the Tennessean.
- The San Jose Mercury News takes a look at the dangers that come with blocking shots.
- Blues coach Andy Murray was very happy with his team’s effort in their 3-2 shootout loss at Vancouver.
- The slumping Canucks were relieved to get a victory heading into the All-Star break after last night’s 3-2 shootout win over visiting St. Louis.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.