Here are the national morning papers:
- David Naylor of the Globe & Mail wonders whether all these Ray Emery controversies are distracting the Senators.
- In the National Post, Allen Panzeri discusses the small amount of trash talk that has taken place between the Canadian and United States junior hockey players prior to their semi-final game today in the Czech Republic.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today has an interesting article comparing this year's version of the New England Patriots with the 1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides readers with his second quarter report on the Thrashers. Tiller's colleague Craig Custance says the Thrashers are in the perfect division to make a playoff push.
- The Bruins rode a 31 save performance by Tim Thomas last night and defeated the Capitals 2-0. The Bruins got exactly what they expected from Shane Hnidy in the veteran's first game with his new club.
- With only one assist in his last nineteen games, Thomas Vanek has been demoted to the Sabres' second line and the Austrian will now play alongside Tim Connolly and Ales Kotalik.
- With consistent goaltending problems, the Hurricanes have recalled Michael Leighton from the AHL and have waived John Grahame.
- Jassen Cullimore was the unlikely overtime scorer, but the Panthers will take it, as they put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime victory at Long Island.
- The Habs knew the Lightning would be desperate last night, and still weathered the storm with a 6-3 home victory writes Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette.
- Those who were doubting Martin Brodeur early in the season don't look so smart now writes Bridget Wentworth of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- The Rangers were shutout by Roberto Luongo on Thursday night in what was a winnable game writes Jay Greenberg. John Dellapina of the New York Daily News tells readers that the Rangers' Achilles heel last night was their inept powerplay.
- It was quite a bizarre situation Thursday on Long Island, where it appears Rick DiPietro will now be suspended for two games for using goalie pads that were not examined by the league before being used.
- Senators coach John Paddock has yet to name a starting netminder for tonight's game versus the Sabres.
- Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that the Flyers have something very special in 22 year old Mike Richards. Meanwhile, the Flyers waived both Jim Dowd and Rory Fitzpatrick on Thursday.
- The Penguins had no trouble disposing of Toronto 6-2 last night writes Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It appears that Penguins forward Maxim Talbot is close to returning from an ankle sprain.
- The Lightning received terrific performances from their top line of Lecavalier, Prospal and St. Louis, but the rest of the team failed to show up in the Bolts' 6-3 loss at Montreal on Thursday.
- "We're halfway through the season and we still haven't found that consistency in terms of our efforts night in and night out," said Leafs captain Mats Sundin after last night's embarrassing 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh.
- The Capitals couldn't crack the scoresheet on Thursday night as they were shutout by Tim Thomas and the Bruins writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Curtis Zupke of the Orange County Register provides Ducks fans with some information on newcomer Brandon Bochenski.
- Jarome Iginla popped the overtime winner last night as the Flames made sure that the Sharks' home struggles continued with a 3-2 victory at the Shark Tank. (Writer's note: I watched this game and it was one of the more enjoyable games I've seen all season.)
- The Blackhawks didn't lose 9-2 again, but they still came out on the losing end of a 4-2 final last night at Phoenix.
- The Avalanche received another huge blow to their lineup yesterday when they got word that rugged winger Ryan Smyth will be lost to the team for up to eight weeks with a fractured ankle.
- The Blue Jackets rebounded from a 2-1 loss to the Ducks with a 4-3 victory over the lowly Kings. Even though he has been injured a number of times this season, that doesn't mean Mike Peca is going to change the way he plays writes Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
- After being handily defeated 6-3 by the Wild, Stars coach Dave Tippett believes every part of his team's game needs work right now.
- There are really no flaws to the Red Wings' game right now writes Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. In other Wings news, Tomas Holmstrom is hoping to return this Sunday versus Chicago from a sore right knee.
- The Oilers' defense wasn't ready for the speed of the Nashville forwards last night writes Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal.
- The Kings three-game winning streak sure didn't last long as they were beaten by the Blue Jackets 4-3 on home-ice last night.
- The Wild were able to get revenge last night over the Stars after being embarrassed in Dallas a little over a week ago.
- The Predators easily defeated the Oilers 5-2 on Thursday on the back of a two-goal effort from Alexander Radulov. (Writer's note: I'm still wondering why Radulov isn't playing more on this squad????)
- "We're playing hard, good, solid hockey, and are doing a lot of good things," said Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky after his team defeated the Blackhawks by a score of 4-2 on home-ice.
- Even though the Sharks lost in overtime last night to Calgary, the one point they received for the loss moved them into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with Dallas.
- Blues coach Andy Murray is confident in his team's talent-level on the powerplay, and that is why he just can't figure out why his team has such problems with the man-advantage.
- Roberto Luongo was single-handedly responsible for his team's victory over the Rangers last night.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.