Here are the national morning papers:
- The NHL on NBC has implemented a flex schedule option this season akin to the NFL on NBC, writes William Houston of the Globe & Mail.
- Even with all the humiliation he has had to deal with, don't expect John Ferguson Jr. to resign from his post as GM of the Maple Leafs.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- "I think everyone in this room should be embarrassed," said Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby after last night 10-1 loss at Buffalo.
- The Bruins have been very happy with the play of Zdeno Chara this season, writes Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe. "I don't think he will be back this season," Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said about injured forward Patrice Bergeron.
- The Sabres snapped a ten-game losing streak last night by scoring ten goals in their dominant victory over the Thrashers. The Sabres' top-line was reunited last night with the return of Derek Roy and the unit impressed with a combined twelve point effort.
- Eric Staal led the Hurricanes to a convincing 7-2 victory over the Oilers last night, writes Luke Decock of the News Observer. Meanwhile, after being written off by almost every team in the NHL, Sergei Samsonov has impressed in his short stint in Carolina.
- The Panthers defeated the Devils 2-1 last night and, in the process, gave Jacques Martin his 500th career coaching victory. "I've been real fortunate to work in this league,'' said Martin after the contest.
- Here is Red Fisher's Notebook from this morning's Montreal Gazette.
- "You're up 1-0 in your own building going into the third period. You've got to win the hockey game," Devils coach Brent Sutter said after his team blew a third period lead to the Panthers and lost 2-1. Devils forward John Madden is unsure of whether he will be ready for his team's next game tomorrow against the Leafs.
- If the Ranger want to improve on their recent struggles, they need to improve the 20th ranked powerplay in the NHL, writes Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post.
- It looks like Senators winger Daniel Alfredsson will miss both his team's games this weekend, writes Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun.
- Scott Hartnell loves playing with Mike Richards and Steve Downie, writes Ray Parrillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Only a week before the All-Star Game, Sidney Crosby has been lost to the Penguins for at least four weeks. A lot of streaks came to an end last night in Pittsburgh as the Penguins were defeated 3-0 by the Lightning. In other Penguins news, rookie defenseman Kris Letang is looking forward to playing his first game in his home province tonight at Montreal.
- The Lightning got scoring from unexpected sources last night in their 3-0 road victory at Pittsburgh. In positive news, it appears that Dan Boyle could return from his wrist injury prior to next week's All-Star break.
- A new Leafs line combination has been one of the keys to the team's modest two-game winning streak, writes Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.
- Alexander Semin finally feels healthy and that is the main reason why the sniper has gotten back on the scoring track in the new year.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks' top line of Bertuzzi-Perry-Getzlaf has been on fire as of late, and that success did not slow down last night as the trio combined for nine points to defeat the Wild 4-2.
- Miikka Kiprusoff doesn't seem overly worried about the Flames picking up Curtis Joseph earlier this week.
- Not surprisingly, the Blackhawks game versus the scoring-deprived Avalanche was low scoring with the Hawks winning the game 2-1 in a shootout.
- "It's a good chance for a lot of our young guys to get a chance to play and prove themselves in this league," said Avalanche forward Andrew Brunette about his team's recent string of injuries to its top players.
- Stars winger Loui Eriksson has been a different player since around Christmas time, writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press thinks Henrik Zetterberg would have been a far bigger star if he had played in Detroit ten years ago.
- "I want this hanging over us for a while -- until we can come up with a better consistent effort. I'm in no mood to brush this under the carpet," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said after last night's 7-2 loss at Carolina. The Oilers haven't forgotten their playoff loss to the Hurricanes in 2006 and some of the memories of that series were re-hashed yesterday.
- The Blues have recalled Mike Glumac from Peoria of the AHL so they can have some extra depth at forward.
- John Glennon of the Tennessean tells readers that the Predators are falling short of their attendance goals.
- The Sharks can measure themselves tonight when they host the conference-leading Red Wings, writes David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News.
- Wayne Gretzky is not concerned about his team's bounce-back ability tonight when they host Chicago.
- The Wild didn't get off to a good start last night at home versus Anaheim and it cost them, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. The Wild is hoping the ice surface at the Xcel Center will be back to normal when they return from their upcoming road trip.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.