Here are the national morning papers:
- Globe & Mail statistical guru Alan Ryder examines whether the Senators have been unlucky this season.
- Wayne Scanlan of the National Post tells us that the Senators' success usually hinges on whether Dany Heatley scores.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today thinks the Flames made the right decision last off-season when they hired Mike Keenan to coach their squad.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Leafs continued to stick around the Eastern Conference playoff race last night, with a 3-2 victory over the eighth place Flyers, writes Mark Zwolinksi. The Leafs' effort was even more impressive considering the fact that captain Mats Sundin had to leave the game early with a slight groin issue.
- The Capitals rode the backs of both Alexander Ovechkin and Olaf Kolzig to pull out a 3-2 victory over the visiting Flames on Wednesday.
- Since the trade deadline, the Lightning have seen quite the increase in production from their second line, writes Carter Gaddis.
- The Penguins played last night's game without Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa and still managed to score seven times in their victory over Buffalo, writes Dave Molinari. The Penguins coaches have done a good job listening to their players regarding aches and pains, writes Shelly Anderson.
- The Flyers were defeated 3-2 by Toronto yesterday at home and part of their problem appears to be poor starts. Don McKee of the Philadelphia Inquirer tells readers that the Flyers are in a free-fall. As a reward to their fans for being so loyal, the Flyers have raised their season ticket prices for next season! (Writer's note: That's the way to win more fans guys. Honestly, how can these teams continue to raise ticket prices? Are the Flyers a must-see act in Philadelphia? I don't think so. And by raising the ticket prices, you only give the casual fan another excuse to find something else to do with their time.)
- The Senators face-off against the Habs tonight in a battle for first place, writes Don Brennan. Meanwhile, injured Senators forward Chris Neil can't wait to get back into the lineup and cause trouble. Martin Gerber will be in between the pipes for tonight's game.
- The Islanders continued their slide in the standings last night by losing 4-2 at Florida, writes Greg Logan.
- With the Devils paying a rare visit to Minnesota, the Jacques Lemaire interviews are in full-force.
- Here is the only Rangers article of the day. (Writer's note: The link was giving me trouble, so I wasn't able to read the article.)
- Lots of the Habs success can be attributed to the performances of their youngsters who have been called up from Hamilton, writes Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette.
- The Panthers have quietly strung together five straight victories, making the idea of a playoff spot far more realistic than it was two weeks ago.
- The Hurricanes came into Chicago last night and came away with a 3-0 victory, writes Luke Decock.
- If the Sabres are fighting for a playoff spot, you sure couldn't tell by the way they played last night in Pittsburgh, writes Mike Harrington.
- One of the reasons for the Bruins' recent slide is the team's inability to score with the man-advantage, writes Fluto Shinwaza.
- With the Thrashers out of the playoff hunt, coach/GM Don Waddell has said he will start playing more youngsters.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- With the team on the fringe for a playoff spot, the Canucks sure did not give the Ducks much of a game last night, writes Iain McIntyre.
- The Coyotes have not given up on their playoff chances, writes Jim Gintonio.
- Andrew Cogliano still can't believe he has scored three overtime winners in a row, writes Jim Matheson. Not surprisingly, the Oilers' nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy is Fernando Pisani.
- The Avalanche had injury news on some players but not others yesterday. Here is Adrian Dater of the Denver Post answering reader questions.
- With last night's 3-0 shutout loss at home, the Blackhawks may very well have kissed their slim playoff hopes goodbye, writes Chris Kuc. In injury news, Martin Havlat is set to undergo yet another shoulder surgery and is out for the season.
- The Ducks easily disposed of the Canucks on Wednesday, making it eight straight home victories, writes Dan Wood.
- The Flames made mistakes at inopportune times (is there ever a right time?), and ended up on the losing end of a 3-2 score at Washington.
- Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch believes the Jackets' naming of Rick Nash as team captain was the right move. Apparently Ken Hitchcock is a dreamer, as the coach still believes his team has a chance to make the playoffs.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News does not understand why NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell did not provide fans with the reasoning behind his Steve Ott suspension.
- With the Stars facing off against the Red Wings tonight, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press says the acquisition of Brad Richards makes Dallas much deeper on offense. Chris Osgood will get the call in net tonight over the injured Dominik Hasek.
- With the Devils in town, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune has a feature on Minnesota native Zach Parise.
- David Legwand has more serious off-ice issues to deal with right now than just worry about his injured foot, writes Jessica Hopp.
- With the Blues in a complete tailspin, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch examines whether Andy Murray coached teams always fade at the end of the season.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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