Here are the national morning papers:
- William Houston is sick of the Leafs-centric Hockey Night in Canada.
- Jarome Iginla is a fan like anyone else, so he is really enjoying how close the standings are this season, writes Erik Duhatschek.
- The Red Wings should be healthy for the playoffs, writes Kevin Allen of USA Today.
- The Art Ross Trophy is most likely to go to a Russian player this year, writes Wayne Scanlan.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star has some words of wisdom for the anti-visor club.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers were so bad at practice yesterday that they were kicked off the ice by assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, writes Craig Custance.
- The Bruins were better last night than they were on Monday, but still not good enough, writes Kevin Paul Dupont. On the injury front, the team will be without Aaron Ward for about the next two weeks with a bruised right foot.
- The Sabres got a big victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night, writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News. Lindy Ruff challenged defenseman Dmitri Kalinin at practice yesterday in front of his teammates.
- After losing 6-1 to the Devils a few weeks back, the Hurricanes had a team meeting and have been a different team ever since.
- The Rangers still got a point out of their 4-3 shootout loss last night, but they haven’t been as sharp the past week of play, writes Larry Brooks. “A lot of parts of my game are pretty good and some parts just have to be better. I can’t excuse myself for bad bounces. I just have to be better,” said Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist after last night’s contest.
- Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News says the Flyers aren’t as urgent as they need to be, in their pursuit of a playoff spot. Daniel Briere missed last night’s game with a shoulder injury.
- The Penguins rode the return of Sidney Crosby to a 2-0 victory over the Lightning, writes Shelly Anderson. Marc-Andre Fleury got the start again last night, which means Michel Therien is sticking to his policy.
- Cristobal Huet is questionable for tonight’s game with a back problem, writes Tarik El-Bashir.
- Craig Anderson recorded his second consecutive shutout last night, as the Panthers defeated the Bruins 1-0 in overtime.
- Pat Hickey wonders if Guy Carbonneau will start Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak tonight versus Phoenix.
- The Devils got big goals from their top players when they needed them last night in a win over the Maple Leafs.
- The Islanders defeated the Rangers at MSG with backup Wade Dubielewicz between the pipes.
- Daniel Alfredsson is questionable for tonight’s game against the Sharks. Bryan Murray escaped extra punishment from the NHL for his game misconduct on Monday.
- The Lightning continued their losing ways last night with a 2-0 shutout loss to the Penguins.
- The Leafs were defeated last night by a better team, writes Mark Zwolinksi. Martin Brodeur was the difference on Tuesday, writes Terry Koshan.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Craig Conroy toughed out yesterday’s game against the Blue Jackets with a sore knee, and then went on to score the game’s only goal in the Flames’ 1-0 shutout victory. Miikka Kiprusoff made sure he proved who was the team’s number one netminder last night.
- The Jackets just couldn’t get on the scoresheet last night and it may have cost them their playoffs chances, writes Tom Reed. Apparently lots of Columbus players have embraced the leadership roles that were opened up by the Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov trades last week.
- Even though they are playing great hockey, the Stars are not far ahead of the their division rivals, writes Chuck Carlton.
- The Wings are expected to have Brian Rafalski back in their lineup tonight, and Nicklas Lidstrom should be soon to follow.
- The Kings lost their fifth straight game last night by a score of 3-2 to the Blues.
- The Predators recorded their second straight important road victory last night, with a 5-1 win at Edmonton.
- Jody Shelley has been a very important addition for the Sharks, writes Mark Purdy.
- The Blues ended their six-game losing streak last night with a victory over the lowly Kings, writes Jeremy Rutherford. The Blues are excited to get on the road and come together.
- The Blackhawks are creeping back into playoff contention with their victory over the Wild last night, writes Chris Kuc.
- Peter Forsberg returned to the Avalanche lineup last night and the team came away with a 2-1 victory over the Canucks. Woody Paige gives his take on Forsberg’s return.
- The Oilers were defeated at home by the Predators, writes Joanne Ireland. Mathieu Garon couldn’t make the big stops last night.
- The Coyotes have to win the little battles tonight versus the Stars, writes Jim Gintonio.
- With last night’s loss to the Avs, the Canucks have fallen out of playoff position.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
Email any thoughts, ideas or suggestions to email@example.com