Here are the national morning papers:
- The Leafs are only three points ahead of the NHL draft lottery right now, writes Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail.
- Under the radar, the Florida Panthers have moved into playoff contention, writes Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today wonders if Alexander Ovechkin can win the MVP without making the playoffs.
Here are the Northeast Division morning papers:
- Apparently Zdeno Chara's injury status is improving, writes Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe. That being said, more improvement is most likely needed for Chara to return to the lineup.
- The Sabres have some young talent in the NCAA that will be ready to step into the lineup next season, writes Mike Harrington.
- In Montreal, Jaroslav Halak will get the start tonight versus the Blues. Meanwhile, Halak's counterpart Carey Price tells Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette that the NHL should not cut down goaltender padding anymore.
- Chris Neil could return to the Senators lineup as early as next week, according to Bruce Garrioch. As Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen tells us, the referees have sure noticed the change behind the Ottawa bench.
- The Leafs are hoping that Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov will be able to return to the lineup for Friday's game versus the Sabres. While Leafs fans are still hoping for Steve Stamkos, the current Leafs coaches and players are not going to throw in the towel.
Here are the Southeast Division morning papers:
- The Thrashers have lost Erik Christensen to a knee injury, even though the play on which he got hurt looked very innocuous.
- Jeff Hamilton has returned to the NHL, and the Hurricanes are hoping he can replace some of the offense they have lost to injury.
- It looks like Jacques Martin's decision to not play Tomas Vokoun at the start of March has paid dividends, writes Steve Gorten. In other Panthers news, Pete Pellegrin of the Miami Herald profiles David Booth.
- Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post commends Capitals GM George McPhee on his trade deadline acquisitions.
- Andre Roy is happy to be back with his teammates in Tampa, writes Erik Erlendsson.
Here are the Atlantic Division morning papers:
- John Jeansonne of Newsday previews the debut of Kyle Okposo for Islanders fans.
- Long time Devils forward Sergei Brylin is unsure of his future with the Devils, writes Rich Chere.
- The Rangers need to shoot more when they are on the power play, writes Jay Greenbeg of the NY Post.
- The Flyers locker room was given a little makeover yesterday, according to Bob Cooney. As Tim Panaccio explains, the pressure is clearly on John Stevens to turn the Flyers around.
- The Penguins are focusing on winning the Atlantic Division, writes Shelly Anderson. If the Malkin line continues its tremendous play, the division crown will be easier to obtain.
The Western Conference post is soon to follow...
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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