Here are the national morning papers:
- Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail says that most of what John Ferguson Jr. did during his stint in Toronto was unsuccessful.
- Cliff Fletcher does not have very much time before the trade deadline arrives, writes Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail.
- The NHL and Versus have agreed to extend their television contract for another three years.
- Mark Spector of the National Post tells readers that Cliff Fletcher has a big mess to clean up.
- Mike Brehm of USA Today providers readers with some news and notes from around the NHL.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Ilya Kovalchuk was ejected late in the first period as the Thrashers went on to lose their fourth straight game last night with a 4-0 loss to the Rangers. Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details behind the confusing Thrashers and Hawks ownership situation.
- The Bruins were defeated 8-2 by the Canadiens last night, making that six losses to the Habs this season. Even with the drubbing handed to them by the Habs, the Bruins did get some good news on Tuesday with the announcement that Tim Thomas had been named to the All-Star team. Also, injured center Patrice Bergeron has returned from a club-ordered vacation to Aruba.
- Sabres coach Lindy Ruff accepts responsibility for his club’s recent struggles, writes John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
- The Hurricanes gave up a shocking three short-handed goals yesterday in their 6-3 home loss to the Islanders, writes Luke Decock of the News Observer.
- With last night’s 5-3 victory over the Senators, the Panthers moved within four points of the Southeast Division lead.
- The Canadiens were about as impressive as you can get last night in their dominant 8-2 victory over the division-rival Bruins.
- The Devils tied a franchise record with five power play goals last night in their 7-3 victory at Philadelphia yesterday. Meanwhile, both Martin Brodeur and Brent Sutter have pulled out of All-Star weekend.
- The Rangers finally looked like the team that everyone expected in the off-season, with a 4-0 dominating performance over the Thrashers last night. “We were a relentless team tonight,” said coach Tom Renney after last night’s game.
- The Islanders were 3 for 8 last night scoring on Carolina’s power play, as they defeated the Hurricanes 6-3 at the RBC Center last night.
- The Senators were defeated 5-3 at Florida last night, and have only 15 wins registered in their last 32 games played. The return of Daniel Alfredsson to the Senators line up didn’t help the team keep the puck out of their own net, which seems to be their biggest problem as of late.
- “We had a total letdown,” Flyers coach John Stevens said after his team’s embarrassing 7-3 home loss to the Devils. Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if the Flyers fear the Devils.
- The Lightning recorded a 4-3 victory over visiting Edmonton yesterday to make it three straight wins, which has vaulted the Bolts back into playoff consideration. Bolts coach John Tortorella has been very impressed with the play of his team’s fourth line.
- David Templeton of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at the positive side of things when it comes to Sidney Crosby’s ankle.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star wonders if Cliff Fletcher can save the Maple Leafs. Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun lists possible GM candidates for the Leafs. It shouldn’t take John Ferguson Jr. too long to find work, writes Mike Zeisberger of the Sun.
- Bruce Boudreau will be making his first coaching experience in his home-town Toronto tonight as the Capitals visit the Leafs.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Both Corey Perry and Scott Niedermayer have been named to the All-Star team, writes Dan Wood of the Orange County Register. (Writer’s note: How can anyone take the game seriously when Niedermayer is named to the team? While he is one of the top three defensemen in the game today, he has hardly played this season! C’mon NHL, give someone else the opportunity.)
- The Flames are now in first place in the Northwest Division, for the time being, after defeating division-rival Minnesota last night in a closely contested 2-1 game.
- The Blackhawks had their four-game winning streak snapped last night as they lost 3-2 in San Jose, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. (Injury news: Jonathan Toews is expected to be out for three more weeks.)
- “The desperation wasn’t there for us tonight. Right from the get-go, you could tell,” said Avalanche winger Ian Lapperierre after last night’s 4-0 loss at home to Nashville. Meanwhile, Woody Paige of the Denver Post thinks that Colorado should host an outdoor game. For those who love rumors, both the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs have had scouts following the Avalanche.
- “To win a game like this, down and coming back with such a big effort by so many guys, it’s a turning point for our organization,” said an excited Ken Hitchcock after his Blue Jackets came back from a third period deficit to defeat the Stars 4-2. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch provides readers with the details of the minor swap between Colorado and Columbus. (Writer’s note: Ken Hitchcock and Scott Howson have this club moving in the right direction. They may not generate much attention from the casual fan, but the Jackets should not be overlooked.)
- The Stars feel like they let two point slip away last night versus the Blue Jackets, writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- Chris Osgood started his first game since being pulled from a game last week by coach Mike Babcock and was tremendous shutting out the Kings by a score of 3-0. Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg has decided to take a week off to rest his ailing back.
- “Every single game is vital for us moving forward,” said Oilers forward Marty Reasoner after his team’s 4-3 loss at Tampa Bay last night. Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun wonders how the Oilers can expect to make the playoffs by losing games to the 29th and 30th ranked teams in the NHL.
- The best in the West defeated the worst in the West last night, as the Kings were beaten 3-0 by the powerful Red Wings.
- The Wild suffered a letdown last night after their inspiring victory over Vancouver on Monday and were defeated 2-1 by the Flames at the Saddledome. The Wild top forwards asked Jacques Lemaire for more ice-time and their wish has been granted, writes Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
- The Predators separated themselves from the Avalanche at the beginning of the third period last night and cruised to a 4-0 victory. In the process, J.P. Dumont extended his point streak to thirteen games.
- Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic provides readers with the details behind the Ilya Brygalov contract extension.
- The Sharks ended their four-game winless streak last night with a 3-2 home victory over the Blackhawks.
- “We haven’t paid as much attention to detail,” said Blues coach Andy Murray in reference to his team’s current five-game losing streak.
- In Vancouver, coach Alain Vigneault has challenged Roberto Luongo to play better. The Canucks have lost Kris Beech on waivers to the Capitals.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.