Here are the national morning papers:
- The Maple Leafs had an impressive comeback last night, but in the big scheme of things, the win doesn’t really get them much closer to the playoffs, writes Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail.
- By the third period last night, the Senators looked supremely confident, writes Roy MacGregor of the Globe & Mail.
- Mark Spector of the National Post tells readers that the Oilers organization is a model for teams looking to rebuild their rosters.
- Ted Montgomery breaks down the oddest couples in the NHL in this special to USA Today.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Leafs pulled off an amazing comeback last night, but still sit seven points out a playoff spot with eleven games to go, writes Paul Hunter. Even though they allowed the Flyers to record one point in the standings yesterday, the Leafs played a game worth remembering, writes Damien Cox. Off the ice, the Leafs have decided to not raise ticket prices for next season.
- Last night’s 8-4 victory over the Islanders was a record breaking win for Lightning coach John Tortorella, as he became the winningest US born coach of all-time. Just because the Bolts acquired Mike Smith, doesn’t mean that youngster Karri Ramo is going to back down and be satisfied with the back up goaltender role.
- Martin Gerber continued his terrific play yesterday in leading the Senators to a 4-1 victory over the slumping Bruins. Dany Heatley was equally as terrific last night, writes Don Brennan.
- The Islanders had an embarrassing loss to the Bolts last night, but more important to Isles fans may be the internal squabble between coach Ted Nolan and star netminder Rick DiPietro.
- “They dominated us from end to end,” captain of the Devils b said after last night’s 4-0 loss at Montreal. Here is a funny story about the Devils youngsters out on an adventure trying to pick up some coffees.
- The Habs were terrific in all aspects of the game yesterday, as they defeated the Devils 4-0 and took over first place in the Eastern Conference.
- Steve Gorten of the South Florida Sun Sentinel has a nice feature on the smiling Brett McLean. In a bit of weird news, apparently the BankAtlantic Center doesn’t have an out-of-town scoreboard.
- “It was the worst game we’ve played in a long time,” said Thrashers coach/GM Don Waddell after last night’s 5-2 home loss to the Avalanche. However, the news wasn’t all bad yesterday for Waddell as the team announced he will be back for next season.
- The Bruins have scored only seven games in their past six games and continued their slump last night in Ottawa, writes Fluto Shinwaza. Make no mistake, the Senators top players would not have had as much success as they did if the Bruins had Zdeno Chara in the lineup last night.
- Ryan Miller is having a hard time figuring out why he has struggled so much in shootouts lately, writes Mike Harrington. The Sabres get Henrik Tallinder back in the lineup tonight, but will be without both Jaroslav Spacek and Dmitri Kalinin.
- The Hurricanes visit the Blackhawks tonight, which means a reunion of sorts for a number of players involved in tonight’s game.
- The Rangers are rolling, but they still must address their power play, writes Larry Brooks. The Rangers have been on fire since Tom Renney tried three new line combinations on February 20, writes John Dellapina.
- Flyers coach John Stevens was furious after his team blew a 3-0 lead on the road to the Maple Leafs. Steve Downie was back in the lineup last night after being a healthy scratch.
- Marian Hossa surely wasn’t complaining about lining up alongside Sidney Crosby at practice. Meanwhile, the Penguins still need to improve on their faceoff efficiency, writes Dave Molinari.
- They are still talking about Nicklas Backstrom’s own goal in Washington.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks lost 3-2 in a shootout last night to Phoenix, and beat writer Dan Wood thinks their chance to win the Pacific Division title have fallen by the wayside.
- George Johnson of the Calgary Herald has a great article on Jarome Iginla and the early signs of his stardom.
- The Blackhawks played the Red Wings tough last night, but there are no moral victories this late in the season, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- With last night’s 5-2 victory over lowly Atlanta, the Avalanche moved into a tie for top spot in the Northwest Division. Ruslan Salei sure earned the respect of his teammates, but it didn’t come without a cost, writes Adrian Dater. On the injury front, it appears that Peter Forsberg and Ryan Smyth aren’t too far from a return to the lineup.
- Andrew Cogliano scored his third straight overtime winner last night to lead the Oilers to a 4-3 victory over the slumping Blues. The Oilers have not been giving Mathieu Garon any time off, writes Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun.
- The Coyotes recorded a giant victory last night, after trailing 2-0 at home to the Ducks, writes Jim Gintonio. Gintonio also has a story about Craig Weller whose perseverance and work ethic have taken him farther than most anyone thought he could go.
- Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province tells readers about the burgeoning chemistry between Ryan Kesler and Alexander Burrows. Meantime, Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun tells readers that the Canucks’ loss in the broadcast booth will be Canada’s gain.
- According to Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets are expected to name Rick Nash team captain today. Apparently Ken Hitchcock is ready to unveil his secret weapon tonight.
- The Stars are being cautious with both Sergei Zubov and Phillipe Boucher when it comes to their return from IR. In other Stars news, winger Steve Ott has been suspended by the NHL for three games.
- The Wings dominated the Hawks yesterday on their way to a 3-1 victory. Off the ice, the team has signed Dan Cleary to a five year contract extension.
- While the Wild have been slipping in the standings as of late, the player and management have not lost confidence in the team’s abilities.
- The Predators ran into a streaking Sharks team last night, writes John Glennon of the Tennessean. New Predators owner David Freeman was unhappy with the officiating on Tuesday night.
- The Sharks made it ten victories in a row last night, with a win over the Predators. The team’s recent success has brought about compliments from Sharks coach Ron Wilson.
- The Blues didn’t lay down after trailing the Oilers 3-0 last night, but their comeback fell short as they were defeated 4-3 in overtime.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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