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NHL Morning Papers (Tuesday Edition): NHL Draft Lottery tonight on TSN, EA Sports says Bruins will capture the Stanley Cup, Cam Ward has waited three years to return to this stage, The Chris Osgood factor, Rene Bourque skated with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen on the top line

Here are the morning papers for Tuesday the 14th of April:

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)

  • According to an EA Sports simulation, the Bruins will beat Chicago in six games to capture the Stanley Cup.
  • The Canadiens have been more than just a playoff nemesis to the Bruins, they have flat-out owned the Black ’n’ Gold over the years.
  • Considering that the Bruins just delivered their finest regular season in 37 years, how about just giving every player, coach and manager an A-plus.
  • Georges Laraque said he’s not surprised that he has been pencilled into the lineup for Game 1.
  • Looks like the feisty Habs revel in their new underdog role instead of favorite as they were last season.

 Washington Capitals (2) vs. New York Rangers (7)

  • The biggest question facing the Washington Capitals as they prepare to open the Eastern Conference first round against the New York Rangers is whether José Theodore can catch fire.
  • Tarik El-Bashir was on Washington Post Live to preview the Caps’ first-round series with the Rangers.
  • Maybe there is hope for the Rangers going into their opening-round series against the high-powered Capitals, but if you’re going to think that way, it’d help to have evidence.

New Jersey Devils (3) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (6)

  • It could be the bounce in Martin Brodeur’s step, the beneficial result of an injury-shortened season that leaves the Devils goalie well-rested and anxious for the playoffs to begin
  • Brent Sutter coached Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward for three seasons of junior hockey at Red Deer (WHL).
  • Midseason coaching changes are as much a part of the NHL’s culture as playoff beards.  But how teams respond to the first phenomenon has a lot to do with whether they even get to grow the second.
  • There was a time in January when the Carolina Hurricanes looked nothing like a team capable of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs, much less one that would sizzle during the stretch run of the NHL season.
  • Cam Ward has waited three years to return to this stage, this chance to prove what he did last time he was here was no accident.

 Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5)

  • It is the contemplative aspect of angling that appeals to Pittsburgh interim coach Dan Bylsma, so it doesn’t bother him that no one can corroborate his definitive fish story
  • Penguins interim coach Dan Bylsma didn’t rule out using enforcer Eric Godard against rough-and-tumble Philadelphia.

Western Conference

San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Anaheim Ducks (8) 

  • It’s not as if the Sharks don’t know the Anaheim Ducks. After all, the two teams knocked heads three times in the last month of the season, twice in its final week.
  • Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have united to help revive the Ducks and form a dominant line.
  • The one and only Don Cherry voiced the original opinion that the NHL officials should let the Ducks play.

Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (7)

  • The Chris Osgood factor.  The Red Wings, trying to become the first to win back-to-back Cups since they did it in 1997 and ’98, are dangerous if …
  • The NHL’s salary cap is a farce.  All you have to do is look at the decade-plus contracts of Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen to know that.

Vancouver Canucks (3) vs. St. Louis Blues (6)

  • The Vancouver Canucks were likely preparing to face a different, higher-profile goaltender named Mason in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Written off in a brutal slump in January, the Vancouver Canucks are suddenly the hottest ticket in town.
  • St. Louis Blues goalie Chris Mason will be playing his 39th consecutive game and making his 34th start in a row Wednesday against Vancouver.
  • Although there were indications from the Blues that Paul Kariya could be available for Game 1 Wednesday, he hasn’t made the trip to Vancouver.

 Chicago Blackhawks (4) vs. Calgary Flames (5)

  • What has been a tumultuous season for Nikolai Khabibulin could well be his last one with the Blackhawks.
  • As the Flames prepared for Game 1 of their playoff series against the Blackhawks, Rene Bourque skated with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen on the top line.
  • The smile on Jarome Iginla‘s face fades, ever so slightly, at the mere suggestion his Calgary Flames rank as underdogs heading into Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
  • As the Calgary Flames get ready for Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, bar owners, police and residents around the Red Mile are preparing for potential celebrations.

Non-Playoff Teams

  • The NHL holds its draft lottery tonight with five teams having a chance at landing the No. 1 pick — and most likely Tavares.  TSN has ranked who they feel with be the top 14 picks.
  • It’s not the playoffs in any sport until Las Vegas puts down its odds.
  • The questions echoed off the empty locker stalls over and over Monday. What went wrong? What needs to be fixed? How can the Buffalo Sabres return to the playoffs?
  • Bryan Murray spoke to the media for one last time this season, touching on everything from the failed campaign to the futures of individual players in Ottawa.
  • Four different networks are gearing up to broadcast the NHL playoffs to the masses starting Wednesday and their assortment of experts are already busy making their opinions known.
  • Thrashers‘ priorities this offseason: Job No. 2 for the Thrashers this summer is signing Ilya Kovalchuk to a new contract.  That might be impossible unless they complete job No. 1, finding Kovalchuk a few new teammates.
  • Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu revealed the seriousness of their knee injuries as the Wild packed up for the offseason.
  • The voice of the Oilers goes silent for a moment as he packs up his gear and leaves the broadcast booth with a cherished gift, a seat cushion, tucked under one arm.
  • The Predators roster that finished the 2008-09 season may look a good bit different than the one that begins the 2009-10 campaign.
  • The Dallas Stars will have to plug holes next season on a budget, co-general manager Brett Hull said as the team held exit interviews and physicals with players.
  • With numerous free agents, the face of the Coyotes could dramatically change.