Here are the Western Conference newspapers.
– Elliot Pap of the Vancouver Sun previews tonight’s Canucks/Penguins game at GM Place, as a Crosby vs. Luongo main event match and as a possible preview of two Canadian teammates who will be heavily counted on to lead Canada back to glory at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler. The Canucks are looking to keep a winning streak going after wins over the Blackhawks and Predators.
– Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal says Forwards Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres were benched for Friday night’s loss against the St.Louis Blues due to poor play. Patrik Thoresen and Liam Reddox were recalled from the American Hockey League and replaced the two veteran Oilers. Barnes wonders if MacTavish made a mistake as the Reddox-Thoresen-Stortini line did an awful job of checking the Boyes-Tkachuk-Kariya line.
– Eric Stephens of the Los Angeles Times says rumours are swirling about which Ducks player will be traded now that 4-time Stanley Cup winner Scott Niedermayer has announced his plans to return to the club next week. Mathieu Schneider’s name has been mentioned ad nauseum.
– Tom Reed and Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch report that the Blue Jackets will turn down the on-ice temperature in hopes of improving sub-standard ice conditions at Nationwide Arena, starting with tonight’s home game against the Minnesota Wild. Michael Peca was quoted as saying fans should act as if they are at an Ohio State football game.
– George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes about Dallas Drake and his improved play since switching from a full visor to a half visor, while he also discusses how Henrik Zetterberg is quietly putting together a possible Rocket Richard Trophy/Hart Trophy worthy season, scoring a hat trick in last night’s 5-0 win over the Minnesota Wild, giving him 20 goals on the season.
– David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News says now that San Jose has a share of the Pacific Division lead with the Dallas Stars, now they have to prove that they can win at the HP Pavilion, starting tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.