Here are the national morning papers:
- In his weekly notebook, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail discusses the importance of the NHL Entry Draft, among other things.
- Tim Wharnsby of the Globe & Mail provides readers with details on Fabian Brunnstrom, a player the Leafs may very well have blown their chance to sign last summer.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- "He'll be out this weekend, and we expect him back next week sometime," said Thrashers coach and GM Don Waddell in reference to Ilya Kovalchuk's knee injury he sustained this past week.
- Marc Savard has been steady as a rock for the Bruins all season long, writes Barbara Matson of the Boston Globe. The Bruins have a statement game on their hands tonight, as the best team in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings, comes to town.
- The Sabres blew a 4-3 lead in Atlanta last night with less than twenty seconds remaining in regulation and ended up losing 5-4 in a shootout. Sabres netminder Jocelyn Thibault may be forced into action over the next few games because Ryan Miller injured his leg in last night's contest.
- The Hurricanes are going to be without Matt Cullen for an extended period of time because the forward is having trouble with blurred vision.
- With last night's 3-1 victory over the Devils, the Rangers are now 5-0 versus New Jersey on the season, writes Mark Everson of the NY Post. The Rangers are getting closer to signing Henrik Lundqvist to a contract extension writes John Dellapina of the NY Daily News.
- The Flyers are looking at tonight's game versus the Ducks as a big test to see where they stand in the NHL hierarchy. Flyers winger Joffrey Lupul is expecting to return to the line up next week from post-concussion syndrome.
- After being picked up on waivers three times in three weeks, Kris Beech readily admits that he has had about as unpredictable a season as one could imagine. In other Penguins news, Marc-Andre Fleury is confident he will return before the 10-14 days the team has projected for him.
- Suffice it to say that Alexander Ovechkin is blowing the minds of his Washington teammates.
- Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel thinks Roberto Luongo should have been a Panther for the rest of his career. Even though Luongo may be the best goaltender in the NHL, last night newest Panther goalie Tomas Vokoun demonstrated why he was selected to the All-Star Game as he led the Panthers to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Canucks.
- The Habs have decided to ride Cristobal Huet for as long as he can take them and, as a result, the veteran netminder is probably earning himself a lot of money come this off-season.
- After last night's 3-1 loss to the Rangers, the Devils have now lost ten straight games versus the two New York teams, writes Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune talks about Brad Richards and his case of mono.
- With the Senators facing off against the Leafs tonight, Mark Zwolinkski of the Toronto Star says the match up is not what it used to be. In other Leafs news, the team is not going to get an apology from the NHL for its video review calls on Thursday.
- In Ottawa, Jason Spezza has matured to a point where John Paddock's public call out of him, doesn't shake his confidence.
- Ted Nolan says his team's effort has to improve, writes Erik Boland of Newsday.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks lost 1-0 to the Blues in a shootout as Manny Legace and J.S. Giguere took part in an intense goaltending battle last night in St. Louis, writes Dan Wood of the Orange County Register.
- Not even Craig Conroy the interviewer can get Dion Phaneuf to talk about his possible contract extension, writes Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald. Meanwhile, Steve Macfarlane of the Calgary Sun thinks the Flames may be best off letting Daymong Langkow and Kristian Huselius walk this summer.
- Blackhawks coach Denis Savard let his players vote on who would be the alternating captains in February, writes Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
- Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch takes a closer look at the new fighting trends in the NHL. Reed's colleague Aaron Portzline analyzes the Jackets trade of Curtis Glencross to Edmonto for Dick Tarnstrom. Here are the Jackets' probable lines for tonight's contest versus Minnesota.
- The Stars got Jere Lehtinen back in the line up last night and he helped them defeat the Oilers 4-1 at Rexall Place. Marty Turco was tremendous last night, writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- Dominik Hasek recorded his 80th career shutout last in his team's 2-0 victory over the Avalanche. The Red Wings continue to dominate the NHL and their long-sustained success is no fluke, writes Kevin Allen of USA Today.
- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire is not letting his team get overly excited about their last victory, a 5-1 dominating performance against the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks.
- The Blues defeated the Ducks 1-0 on Friday night, but Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch wonders if the team can sustain its success without consistent scoring output. In other Blues news, rookie David Perron was a healthy scratch last night.
- Newest Sharks forward Jody Shelley is excited to debut with his new team but understands that he has to play within his role to be successful.
- The Coyotes acquired Radim Vrbata from the Blackhawks this off-season in what was an unheralded move, but boy has it paid off.
- John Glennon of the Tennessean provides readers with the details behind J.P. Dumont's newly signed contract extension.
- The Oilers lost to the Stars 4-1 last night but they deserved a better fate, writes Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal. Oilers fans will appreciate this spoof of the newest NHL commercial. (Writer's note: Thanks to Illegal Curve friend Dave Staples of Cult of Hockey for sending this along.)
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.