Here are the national morning papers:
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail examines the possibility of the NHL returning to ESPN.
- Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail says that last night's game in San Jose was the first game of the Flames' make-or-break road trip.
- Cam Cole of the National Post says that teams should avoid signing Peter Forsberg.
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tells readers all about the revitalized Washington Capitals organization.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers face-off against the Capitals tonight, pitting the only two teams who have fired their coach this season against each other, for first place in the Southeast Division.
- After last night's 3-2 loss to Carolina, the Bruins slipped into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, meaning the team's playoffs are probably already underway. Of note, both of the Bruins goals came off the stick of fighter Shawn Thornton.
- "Overall, I don't know if we can play better," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff after his team dominated Ottawa by a score of 5-1 and moved into eighth place in the Eastern Conference. In other Sabres news, GM Darcy Regier continues to meet with the agent for Brian Campbell to try and workout a contract agreement past the end of this season.
- Carolina winger Andrew Ladd benefitted from the Cory Stillman trade by moving up to the team's second line and he didn't disappoint last night with two goals in the Hurricanes 3-2 win at Boston.
- John Dellapina of the NY Daily News is reporting that the Rangers have agreed to a six year contract extension with Henrik Lundqvist at around $6.5 million per season.
- The Flyers lost again last night, this time to the Islanders by a score of 4-3, as coach John Stevens says the team isn't doing itself any favors.
- The Penguins have produced 12 of the past 19 Art Ross Trophy winners in the NHL and Evgeni Malkin is trying to make that 13 of the past 20. In positive news, Sidney Crosby says his ankle is improving.
- The Capitals will have their dads with them on their upcoming road trip, writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
- Here are some interviews with Panthers players about the Richard Zednik incident. In other Panthers news, winger Rostislav Olesz is expecting to return to the line-up on Friday.
- The Habs have now lost three straight games after last night's 3-2 loss in Tampa. The struggling Canadiens will attempt to salvage their road trip tonight in Sunrise, Florida when they take on the Panthers.
- The Devils are expecting activity at the trade deadline since the Senators started off the action two days ago, writes Mark Everson of the NY Post.
- The Islanders recorded their first win since January 22nd yesterday with a 4-3 win over the Flyers at the Nassau Coliseum.
- The Senators played horribly in the debut game of Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore, losing 5-1 to the Sabres. Apparently Joe Corvo's agent had asked for a trade prior to Monday's deal because his client couldn't handle the pressure in Ottawa. (Writer's note: If you are Bryan Murray and get that call, how fast are you looking to peddle Corvo? Who wants someone on your team who can't deal with the pressure of the Ottawa media? The Sens should have just traded him to Montreal. That's pressure.)
- Vinny Prospal had some interesting things to say after his two goal effort on Tuesday versus Montreal, writes Erik Erelendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- Even with all the trade talk surrounding him, the newly 37 yr old Mats Sundin has not slowed down one bit, writes Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun. Much of the Leafs' recent success can be attributed to the play of backstop Vesa Toskala, writes Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Ducks made it five wins in a row last night, with a 2-1 hard-fought victory over the Avalanche in Denver.
- One look at the shot differential in San Jose last night and there was no doubt that Miikka Kiprusoff was the first star in his team's 4-3 comeback overtime victory over the Sharks. The Flames are hoping Kiprusoff can string a few performances like last night's together as they have four more road games left on their current trip.
- "(H)e's in a position where we need more from him. After a while, after 35 or 40 games, it's up to the player. It's up to them to do more," said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock about the ever-slumping David Vyborny. Of interest to hockey fans, Ken Hitchcock is in favor of mandating the use of neck guards. Here are the probable lines for the Jackets' game tonight versus Chicago.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News profiles Stars pest Steve Ott.
- "We just left him out there by himself," said Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom about his team's performance in front of Chris Osgood in their 4-2 loss to the Predators on Tuesday.
- The Kings blew a one-goal lead at St. Louis last night, and came away with a 4-2 loss.
- Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom was not happy after he was pulled with his team down only 2-1 in Edmonton last night. The Wild lost the game 4-2.
- The Predators got off to a tremendous start yesterday scoring three first period goals on the Red Wings and eventually winning the contest 4-2. Here are some notes about the Predators.
- The Sharks suffered a tough loss last night by blowing a 3-2 lead with under a minute remaining in the third period, then losing in overtime on a Jarome Iginla goal. The Sharks played last night's game without Patrick Marleau who missed the game with a minor groin tweak.
- The Blues received offensive contributions from some unlikely sources last night, but they will take it, as they defeated the Kings 4-2 at home. With the Blues actually becoming respectable once again, they did the respectful thing to fans--raise ticket prices! (Writer's note: This is why the NHL loses fans.)
- The Canucks received some great news yesterday, learning that rock-solid defenseman Willie Mitchell will return to the line-up on Thursday.
- The Coyotes have made coach Wayne Gretzky proud with their commitment, writes Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
- Sometimes you win when you don't deserve to, and the Oilers can thank Mathieu Garon for last night's victory.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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