Here are the national morning papers:
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail is critical of CBC's Hockey Day in Canada coverage, in this morning's paper.
- There was a scary incident involving Richard Zednik last night in Buffalo, as the winger had his neck cut by the skate of a teammate and was taken to a local hospital to have emergency surgery.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today has the recap of the Red Wings/Ducks match-up from Sunday afternoon.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Since the All-Star break, Kari Lehtonen is finally starting to display the form that made the Thrashes draft him second overall in the NHL Entry Draft, writes Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Even after undergoing surgery on his left knee, Manny Fernandez may not be done for the season just yet, writes Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe. With the trade deadline just over two weeks away, Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald says fans should hope the Bruins don't sacrifice the future for a quick fix.
- The Sabres' 5-3 win over the Panthers was put into perspective last night after Richard Zednik was cut with a skate blade on his neck and was taken immediately to the hospital.
- After yesterday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Capitals, the Rangers now have the week to come together at practice before their next game on Saturday, writes Larry Brooks of the NY Post.
- After yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Penguins, the Flyers are now 0-for-3 in February, and to make matters worse, they lost Simon Gagne to a mild concussion. (Writer's note: I think it is time to shutdown Gagne for the season. He has suffered far too many head injuries in one season.) On the Forsberg front, the Flyers announced that his agent Don Baizley told them that the Swedish center wouldn't make a decision on his comeback for another week.
- Evgeni Malkin is vying for the NHL's MVP with his recent play, and last night was no exception, as the talented Russian had four points in his team's 4-3 victory over the Flyers. Meanwhile, Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has been sent down to Wilkes-Barre on a conditioning stint.
- Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Green made sure to fix the Capitals powerplay yesterday, as they led Washington to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Rangers.
- The result of their game with Buffalo was secondary last night, as the entire Panthers team and fan-base was more concerned about the status of Richard Zednik after he took a skate blade to the neck. In positive news, the winger is listed as being in stable condition.
- Canadiens defenseman Ryan O'Byrne has been recalled from his conditioning stint in Hamilton. Mark Streit has become one of the Habs' most valuable players, writes Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette.
- The salary cap won't get in the way of the Devils' attempts to make a trade at the deadline, writes Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- The Islanders won't be looking for a short-term fix this season as they did last season, writes Greg Logan of Newsday.
- The Senators are only three points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the Eastern Conference, writes Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun. Here are the results from the Senators' skills competition.
- The Maple Leafs were happy to have Chad Kilger back with the team, and he didn't take long to make a good impression by winning the team's hardest shot contest. Big-time prospect Steve Stamkos wants to be a Maple Leaf, so someone has to tell the Leafs to go back to losing, writes Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.
- Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune has the month-by-month story of the Lightning's difficult season.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Mathieu Schneider made the Red Wings pay for letting him go yesterday, tallying a goal and an assist in the Ducks' 3-2 victory in Motown.
- "The thing that's been our nemesis all year is haunting us right now, and that's our inability to garner more than a couple goals a game," said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock after his team's 3-2 shootout loss to the last-place Kings at home. Last night was the Columbus debut of Dick Tarnstrom, as the former Oiler registered one assist in his team's loss.
- J.J. Taylor of the Dallas Morning News says the Stars are flourishing this season, in large part due to their balanced scoring. Even though Marty Turco is now back to 100% and the unquestioned starting netminder in Dallas, it doesn't mean Dave Tippett will forget about impressive back-up Michael Smith.
- The Wings were unhappy with Nicklas Lidstrom's disallowed goal with under a minute remaining in the game as they lost 3-2 to the defending Cup champion Ducks. Yesterday's game may very well have been a preview of the Western Conference Finals, writes Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press. In injury news, the Wings will be without Dan Cleary for the next 6-8 weeks because of a broken jaw.
- The Wild continues to be impressed with the play of youngster Brent Burns as the defenseman scored the shootout winner last night in his team's 2-1 victory over the Blues. Even though Wes Walz has retired from hockey, that doesn't mean he won't be a part of the Wild organization.
- Many of the Blues had the flu yesterday, but even so, the team had an opportunity to defeat the Wild in a shootout; unfortunately for Blues fans they came up empty, writes Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Flames are the definition of mediocre so far this season, writes Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald.
- Even with the return of Jonathan Toews to their line-up, the Blackhawks continued their free-fall from playoff contention last night with a 3-2 shootout loss at Vancouver. While his team is struggling, youngster Cam Barker finally seems to be finding his way in the NHL.
- Brett Clark is second place in the entire NHL in blocked shots, writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
- Ladislav Smid is more aggressive than some people may think, writes Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
- "This team is built on being resilient," said Predators coach Barry Trotz after his team scored three period goals at Phoenix to defeat the Coyotes 6-3. If you listen to coach Trotz all the internet rumors about Kevin Klein being traded seem even more far-fetched.
- The Coyotes continued their poor play at home with a 6-3 loss to the Predators last night. In other news, coach Wayne Gretzky is growing tired of these one-piece sticks. (Writer's note: I agree with Gretz on this one. It is time to go back to wooden sticks. )
- The Canucks were victorious last night, but it wasn't without controversy on the shootout winner, writes Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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