Here are the national morning papers:
- There is a toxic stew surrounding the Maple Leafs right now writes Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail.
- Here are some news and notes from around the NHL courtesy of the National Post.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- It looks like Todd Bertuzzi may be nearing a return to the Anaheim lineup, however, he still has days where he really doesn't feel well writes Curtis Zupke of the Orange County Register.
- The Blackhawks didn't bring the same energy level last night against the Blue Jackets as they did Sunday against the Red Wings writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post provides readers with five reasons why the Avalanche have been one of the best teams in the NHL since last season's trade deadline.
- As Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock pointed out yesterday after his team's 4-2 victory Chicago, "expectations are changing." Rick Nash really impressed his teammates last night with a Gordie Howe hat trick. One of general manger Scott Howson's best moves this off-season was picking up defenseman Jan Hejda writes Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch.
- The Stars' management situation may have changed, but the results on the ice did not, as Dallas was defeated 4-3 by the Sharks in a shootout on Wednesday night.
- The Red Wings' plane got stuck in the mud before leaving St. Louis, so the team stayed over the Gateway city and practiced yesterday.
- The Oilers got a terrific performance from Mathieu Garon as he gave the team a chance to win last night's game in a shootout, which it did 1-0. Meanwhile, Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal calls out Ales Hemsky for being consistently inconsistent. Long-time Edmonton Sun writer Terry Jones tells readers that Kelly Buchberger has his sites on one day becoming an NHL coach.
- Kings' forward Alexander Frolov only had to participate for a short-time in practice after playing an astonishing 30 minutes on Tuesday night.
- According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Marian Gaborik is set to return to the Wild lineup tonight at Edmonton.
- Predators' defenseman Shea Weber practiced for the first time since injuring his knee in the team's first game and is tentatively scheduled to return to the Predators' lineup on Saturday night. Here are some news and notes about the Predators and Blackhawks prior to tonight's game.
- Nick Boynton thinks the NHL rule that got him suspended for tonight's game versus the Sharks is "a little stupid."
- Since Ryan Clowe was lost to the Sharks for an extended period of time, winger Steve Bernier has felt the need to play a more physical style of play.
- The Blues have to make sure they learn from their win over Detroit and keep that type of intensity for games against teams that are inferior to the Red Wings.
- Elliot Pap of the Vancouver Sun has the details from a boring 1-0 shootout victory for the Oilers over the Canucks.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Leafs take their gong show on the road tonight in Boston. "This isn't anything that we really care about. It's something that happened and we move on," said third-year forward Alexander Steen in reference to the Jiri Tlusty photos.
- The Capitals spent a lot of money last off-season, but those moves have yet to pay off writes Tarik-El Bashir of the Washington Post. In positive Capitals news, Chris Clark is slated to return to the lineup on Friday versus Florida.
- Last night's performance by Vincent Lecavalier was a prime example of why you pay the superstars the big bucks. After last night's 6-1 win over division-leading Carolina, the Bolts are gaining ground on the leaders of the Southeast Division.
- Penguins' prospect Kris Letang has been called up from Wilkes-Barre and is the only one of the Pens' six starting defensemen who shoots right. Marc-Andre Fleury is slated to get the start tonight versus the Islanders.
- The Flyers' have finally conceded that Simon Gagne has a concussion.
- This year's version of the Sabres, has a lot in common with last year's version of the Senators writes James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen. While Nick Foligno is disappointed about being demoted to AHL, he is looking forward to playing more minutes. You'll be hard pressed to find a better leader in the game than Daniel Alfredsson.
- Bill Guerin has been cleared to return from his eye injury and will be able to play Thursday versus the Penguins.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post says the true sign of Rangers progress is their new found success over the ever-dominant Devils. Jaromir Jagr was terrific last night for the Blueshirts, as the Rangers prevailed 4-2.
- "They're the better hockey club," John Madden said after last night's loss to the Rangers. Lost in the Devils' disappointing performance was the fact that Martin Brodeur was unable to register his 500th win against their Hudson rivals. In worrisome news for Devils fans, Paul Martin was unable to finish last night's game due to a back injury.
- The Canadiens brass believes that their current goaltending situation is creating healthy competition writes Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette. Jack Todd of the Gazette opines that Mike Komisarek has been the Habs' MVP so far this season. In other news about the Habs, winger Michael Ryder has been moved to the team's third line.
- Panthers' leader and captain Olli Jokinen has called on his entire team to be better and raise their expectations as the Panthers move forward. One of the reasons for the Panthers' recent struggles have to do with taking too many penalties. "The first 15 games of the season we were much more even penalties for and against. We have to be more disciplined to stay out of the box," said coach Jacques Martin after practice yesterday.
- The Hurricanes have now been dominated twice by the Lightning this season writes Lorenzo Perez of the News Observer. The Canes held both Erik Cole and Andrew Ladd off the ice last night.
- The Sabres will attempt to begin to turnaround their season tonight versus the top team in the Eastern Conference.
- The Thrashers' new first-line is working wonders for Don Waddell writes Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Steve Weeks has been put in charge of getting Kari Lehtonen back into game shape.
- The Bruins need to improve both aspects of their special teams play if they hope to gain ground on their Northeast counterparts.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.