Here are the Central Division morning papers:
- “They worked harder and they worked for longer. They looked desperate and we looked uninterested,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock after his team’s 6-2 loss at Chicago last night. It appears that when Tomas Holmstrom returns from his groin injury, he will playing at less than 100%. Off the ice, coach Babcock and GM Ken Holland are not far apart on a contract extension for the Wings’ coach.
- The Blackhawks took care of business last night versus Detroit, and now they need the Blues to defeated the Predators tonight to keep their slim chances alive.
- The Predators have impressed many people around the NHL with their resiliency. Even though he had a poor start last game, expect Dan Ellis to be between the pipes tonight as the Predators take on the Blues.
- With the Avalanche clinching a playoff spot on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets now receive Colorado’s first round pick this year. Here are the Jackets’ probable lines for tonight’s game versus Detroit.
- The Blues are currently one of the five worst teams in the NHL, which means they have a chance to win the draft lottery.
Here are the Pacific Division morning papers:
- Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic tells readers that the Coyotes are in a win-win situation for the remainder of the season.
- “Monday is the most important day for this franchise,” said Kings coach Marc Crawford about next week’s draft lottery.
- Teemu Selanne loves his team’s winning mindset, writes Eric Stephens of the L.A. Times.
- The Stars hope that Sergei Zubov returns for the playoffs, but they are playing with the mindset that he won’t return.
- David Pollak wonders if Evgeni Nabokov is the NHL’s top netminder. (Writer’s note: I’ll make this easier for readers–he isn’t.)
Here are the Northwest Division morning papers:
- The Flames need one point over their final two games to make the playoffs, writes Scott Cruickshank. Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun thinks the Flames are too uptight.
- The Oilers may be out of the playoff race but that does not mean they won’t bring their best effort tonight versus the Canucks. Ales Hemsky will not play tonight due to a sprained knee.
- If the Wild want to succeed versus the Flames tonight, they need to learn how to slow down Jarome Iginla. Meanwhile, Brian Rolston’s focus is on a longer playoff run this season.
- The Canucks need to win tonight to stay alive, writes Ben Kuzma.
- In Colorado, it looks like Wojtek Wolski is finally out of coach Quenville’s doghouse.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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