Here are the national morning papers:
- According to Roy MacGregor of the Globe & Mail, Chris Simon thinks his suspension was unfair.
- The National Post has an interesting article on the Chris Simon incident from the perspective of other players in the NHL.
- USA Today provides readers with an insightful article on prospective prospects for the 2008 entry draft.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Thrashers defenseman Steve McCarthy is trying to work his way out of being a minus +/- player writes Craig Custance.
- It wasn't an intense workout, but Patrice Bergeron appears to be making positive steps towards a comeback some time this season writes Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe.
- The Sabres are only going to go as far as Ryan Miller can take them, and the top goaltender was terrific last night leading the team to a 2-1 victory over the Islanders.
- With John Grahame having won two straight contests, no one in Carolina knows who will start between the pipes tonight when the Canes face off against the Panthers.
- The Panthers are hoping to carry the success of their road trip onto home ice tonight when they host Carolina. Jozef Stumpel was relieved to finally put his slump behind him in Montreal on Tuesday writes George Richards of the Miami Herald.
- Habs coach Guy Carbonneau doesn't understand why his team doesn't stick to his fairly simple system and battle hard all the time.
- The Devils aren't accustomed to travelling out of the Eastern time zone and that was easily reflected in their game on Tuesday night against the Canucks.
- Rangers defenseman Marek Malik is obviously unhappy about being a healthy scratch but understands that it is part of the game and intends to work his way out of it. For all the names on Broadway, it is a little known pair of defenseman who are playing the most and the hardest minutes on the Rangers blueline writes John Dellapina of the New York Daily News.
- The Islanders outshot the Sabres 43-17 but came out on the losing end of a 2-1 score thanks in large part to the play of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
- Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun has a fun article about brushes with greatness after he saw Denzel Washington in Boston's Logan Airport. Meanwhile, Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen has a very interesting article about home-ice advantage, or lack thereof, of teams who have very few fans actually showing up to the games.
- Sam Donnellon gives readers an inside look at the Flyers' power structure and the rise of Peter Luukko in owner Ed Snider's crew.
- The Penguins' offensive statistics are top heavy and if they want to make a move up the standings they are going to need scoring contributions from the entire roster writes Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There are no indications as to when Ryan Malone will return to the Pens lineup with an infected cut on his leg.
- The Lightning have called up prospect Karri Ramo to try and solve their long-standing goaltending woes.
- After an embarrassing loss on Tuesday, the Leafs have the opportunity to quiet their critics tonight as they take on Tamba Bay tonight. As Mike Zeisberger points out in this morning's Toronto Sun, it wasn't the choice of the players on the ice at the end of Tuesday's game but how those players executed that cost the team the game.
- Capitals rookie Nicklas Backstrom is finally starting to get settled into the NHL game and it is paying dividends for the Capitals organization.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Having lost four straight games, the Blues are hoping to crack out of their slump against the powerhouse Red Wings tonight.
- The Canucks' top line realizes they will have to pump up their contributions with the injury to Brendan Morrison killing the teams secondary scoring.
- The Ducks continued their strong defensive play last night as they beat the Avalanche 2-1 in overtime thanks to Schneider's glove-side goal 2:29 into the extra frame. Since Neidermayer's return on Sunday, the Ducks have only allowed 2 goals in 3 games.
- After winning 6 in a row on the road, the Flames are looking to improve upon their 7-7-4 home record when they host the Stars tomorrow night. Despite their win streak, the Flames are still in fourth in the crowded Northeast Division. As well, Mike Keenan has rediscovered his passion for coaching with Calgary being his 8th coaching job in the NHL
- The Blackhawks did not let up after jumping ahead 3-0 in the first period as they beat the Predators 5-2. This was only their 2nd win in 8 games in December.
- Without the services of Ryan Smith and Jordan Leopold and despite only registering 12 shots on goal, the Avs still managed to walk away with a point from last night's overtime loss to the Ducks. The Ducks completely dominated in all aspects of the game but Peter Budaj was sensational stopping 36 of 38 shots.
- Blue Jacket's forward, Dave Vyborny, is anxious to return to the lineup on Friday after missing the last 8 games with a groin injury.
- Mike Ribiero, who is on pace for a career high 42 goals and 87 points, is looking to help the Stars beat the Canucks tonight in Vancouver.
- The Red Wings had goals from six different players last night against the Kings with Kronwall chipping in a career-high 4 assists as the NHL's best team beat the NHL's worst 6-2.
- Since arriving in Minnesota 2 year's ago, Brian Rolston has been a catalyst for the team's success. As Rolston is beginning to heat up expect the Wild to follow suit writes Minnesota Tribune's Kent Youngblood.
- The Pred's inability to score has found them losers of 5 in a row and sitting 14th place in the Western conference. After last night's lack lustre 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks, Pred's captain, Jason Arnott, led a players-only meeting to try to find a way to turn the season around.
- The Coyotes recent success can be attributed to the "VHS Line", featuring Vrbata, Hanzel and Sjostrom, writes Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
- The Sharks play host to the suddenly resurgent Coyotes tonight. The Sharks have won all 4 meetings with the Coyotes this season.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock. (Illegal Curve's Adam Gutkin contributed the Western Conference papers this morning.)