Here are the national morning papers:
- Eric Duhatshek and Alan Maki of the Globe & Mail examine the affect of the soaring Canadian dollar on small-market U.S. clubs.
- With Eric Lindros scheduled to retire this afternoon, Stephen Brunt of the Globe & Mail reviews his controversial career.
- Hockey Night in Canada fans will enjoy this week's Hot Stove as it will include journalists for this weekend's Hall-of-Fame game broadcast between the Rangers and Leafs.
- Mark Messier believes that leaders aren't born, rather, they are made.
- Damien Cox argues both sides of the Eric Lindros Hall-of-Fame debate in this morning's Toronto Star.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- It is easy to detect the excitement in the voice of Chris Bourque (son of Ray) heading into the second game of his NHL career.
- With the struggling play of the Leafs so far this season, frustration has begun to set-in for Jason Blake. With the expected return of Bryan McCabe and Darcy Tucker this weekend, the Leafs' roster could be near 100% healthy.
- The Bolts finally got a 3-1 victory over the Panthers last night and one of the reasons for their victory was their ability to keep things in perspective during the team's recent struggles.
- The Penguins found out this year's version of the Flyers is far more difficult to play against than last year's team as they were defeated by Philadelphia 3-1 on home ice last night. Expect Marc-Andre Fleury to get the start in net tonight as the Penguins take on the Rangers. Pens' defenseman Ryan Whitney hopes to be back in the lineup for tonight's game.
- Flyers' center Daniel Briere says last night' s victory was a big confidence boost for Philadelphia. It looks like coach John Stevens made the right line changes last night as both Mike Richards' line and Daniel Briere' line tallied markers.
- Ray Emery will get the start tonight against Washington, however, John Paddock has been very displeased with the goaltender's work ethic in practice. Jason Spezza won't be in the lineup tonight versus the Capitals, but the center is shooting for a return this weekend.
- Even though he hasn't been scoring goals lately, Mike Comrie has still made quite an impact for the Islanders writes Greg Logan of Newsday.
- Tom Renney wants to get his team out of its scoring slump and is stressing more shots on net in the process. Henrik Lundqvist will get his 16th straight start in net tonight when the Rangers host the Penguins. (Writer's note: I understand the schedule has been quite spread out during the early part of the season, but 16 games in a row is far too many. Renney, and a number of other coaches who are overplaying their top players, will regret their decisions come April or May.)
- Patrik Elias initiated a talk with Devils' coach Brent Sutter to make sure the coach knew he wasn't slacking off. Martin Brodeur says he has to adjust to the Devils' new style of play.
- Rookie goalies will be the story in Boston tonight as the Bruins give Tuukka Rask his first NHL start versus fellow rookie Carey Price of the Habs.
- Tomas Vokoun's frustration was boiling over after last night's loss to the Lightning; the veteran netminder can't help but stress the importance of these early-season intra-division contests. "You can't tell me we were ready to play," Vokoun said.
- The Hurricanes scoring depth is one of the main reasons for the team's early season success writes Lorenzo Perez of the News Observer. The Canes hope to add to the Lightning's road struggles when they host them tonight.
- Clarke MacArthur made the coaches decision to put him on the ice in overtime look great, as the winger converted on a pass from Drew Stafford to give the Sabres a 2-1 victory over the Bruins.
- The Bruins are working hard they just can't seem to catch a break writes Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald. Bruins' rookie Milan Lucic was right back in the lineup last night after being a healthy scratch over the weekend.
- The status of sniper Ilya Kovalchuk is up in the air for Friday night's game versus Florida after the winger left Tuesday's game against Washington with back spasms. Meanwhile, former Thrashers' winger Scott Mellanby thinks that the team should already have named current assistant coach Brad McCrimmon the team's new head coach.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Even though the Ducks lost to the Coyotes in overtime last night, goaltender J.S. Giguere wants the team to focus on the fact they came back from a 4-2 deficit and salvaged a point. The Ducks really miss Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer writes Mark Whicker in the morning's Orange County Register.
- Dion Phaneuf's leg injury will not force him to miss any time so the workhorse defenseman will be in the lineup tonight as the Flames take on the Canucks.
- The Blackhawks impressive 5-2 victory over the Blue Jackets was overshadowed by the loss of Kevyn Adams to what looks like a season ending injury. Patrick Lalime picked up the victory last night for the Hawks, and coach Denis Savard said after the game, "Whoever's hot is going to play."
- The Avalanche demonstrated their great depth last night as neither of their first two lines could create offense, so their third line accounted for all three goals the team scored in its 4-3 shootout win over Edmonton. Terry Frei reminds Avs fans that impressive youngster Tom Gilbert was once property of their favorite franchise before being traded for Tommy Salo in 2004.
- Nevermind their impressive 3-1 victory over the Stars, Mike Modano became the all-time leading U.S. born scorer last night with two goals in San Jose. (Writer's note: While there, arguably, may have been better American players than Modano, there were none more exciting to watch as a fan of the game.)
- While they didn't register a victory last night against the Avs, the Oilers played a spirited hard fought game. "Our effort was outstanding I thought, we worked our tails off tonight and played a real good game," said coach Craig MacTavish after the contest.
- Red Wings' winger Henrik Zetterberg broke the team record for consecutive games with a point to start the season in the Wings' 3-2 shootout victory over Nashville on Wednesday night.
- The Predators were happy that they were able to comeback from two goals down in the third period against one of the best teams in the league and salvage a point. The Predators wouldn't even have had a chance to comeback if not for the stellar play of goaltender Chris Mason who turned aside 43 of the 45 shots he faced.
- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire is hoping to have Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra back for the team's next game Sunday at Colorado but he isn't getting his hopes up.
- Kings' coach Marc Crawford has been happy with the team's goaltender play as of late.
- Coyotes' coach Wayne Gretzky was very happy with the team effort he received last night as his young Phoenix team knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champions on the road in overtime.
- Mike Modano stole the show last night in San Jose writes David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News.
- In an attempt to spread out his team's offense, Blues' coach Andy Murray has swapped centers Keith Tkachuk and Jay McClement.
- The Canucks' penalty killing, which was so good last season, is hurting the team's performance this year writes Elliot Pap of the Vancouver Sun. Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province chronicles the similarities between the Canucks' start last season and this season.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.