Here are the Southeast Division morning papers:
- The Hurricanes lost last night to the Lightning, making Tuesday's showdown versus Washington that much more important. With Bret Hedican ailing, Canes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was happy to get back into the line up. Meanwhile, it looks like two of the Staal brothers could very well be meeting in the first round of the playoffs.
- "We can only do what we can do. But if we keep winning, something good is going to happen. If we continue to play like we're playing, someone is going to falter once, and we're going to be there to jump on it," said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau after his team's 3-0 victory over the Panthers on Saturday.
- Karri Ramo was terrific last night as he turned aside 38 shots and led the Lightning to defeat the Hurricanes 2-1.
- The Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night but, as evidenced by their play, the Panthers had accepted their fate prior to last night's game. Off the ice, Steve Mondator's contract is over at season's end but the versatile defenseman wants to return to the Panthers next season.
**There were no Atlanta Thrashers articles this morning**
Here are the Atlantic Division morning papers:
- The Flyers were admittedly scoreboard watching last night and understood that they needed to beat the Islanders to keep a small playoff cushion, writes Tim Panaccio. Also in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer, Panaccio takes a look around the NHL.
- Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tells readers that some Penguins believe Sergei Gonchar is the team's MVP. In positive news, Marian Hossa's injuries are not serious and he will be in the line up this afternoon versus the Rangers.
- If today is Jaromir Jagr's last game in Pittsburgh, he sure does not seem overly emotional, writes Larry Brooks. If you think that Sean Avery's reported off-ice exploits are going to distract the Rangers, the players say it won't.
- A couple of Islanders players were playing their fourth game in four nights on Saturday, writes Greg Logan.
- The Devils were given the weekend off by coach Brent Sutter, writes Rich Chere.
Here are the Northeast Division morning papers:
- After yesterday's embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Bruins, the Senators held a fifteen minute players-only meeting. "We haven't played well for some time here," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson after yesterday's game.
- The Canadiens not only lost the game last night to Toronto, but they may also have lost captain Saku Koivu for an extended period of time, writes Pat Hickey. Meanwhile, rookie defenseman Ryan O'Byrne wants to do his best to become very much like Mike Komisarek.
- Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star was happy to see the youngest members of the Leafs come to play last night. While Damien Cox of the Star wonders if the Leafs' whole GM search is just a PR stunt.
- Even though the Sabres have a "must-win" game today, for all intents and purposes the team cannot make the playoffs. At least there is some positive news around the Sabres as Teppo Numminen is scheduled to return to the line up for the final week of the season.
- With the absence of Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins have extremely impressed with the play of David Krejci. Here is Kevin Paul Dupont's weekly Sunday article.
The Western Conference morning papers are soon to follow...
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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