Here are the Central Division morning papers:
- The long-awaited return of Darren McCarty to the Red Wings line up is going to take place on Friday. In more roster news, Dallas Drake (sternum) is a maybe for Friday, and Dominik Hasek (flu) is still expected to be out.
- The Blue Jackets responded to Ken Hitchcock last night with a 4-0 shutout of the Blackhawks. "To me, he's not a relevant player," said Hitchcock in reference to Jordin Tootoo and his antics on Tuesday versus the Jackets.
- There will be no cruising into the playoffs this season for the Predators, writes John Glennon.
- With no morning articles in the Post-Dispatch, I ventured over to beat writer Jeremy Rutherford's blog to find out that Scott Young was the last Blues player to score 40 goals. (Writer's note: How bored is Jeremy Rutherford???)
- In Chicago, it looks like any talk of a miracle run to the playoffs has fallen by the wayside, writes Chris Kuc.
Here are the Pacific Division morning papers:
- Shane Doan does a lot of things that fans may not notice, but his teammates sure do.
- With last night's 2-1 shootout victory over the lowly Kings, the Ducks clinched a playoff spot.
- Jonas Hiller saved the game last night for the Ducks, as he robbed Alexander Frolov on a breakaway with fifteen seconds remaining in the third period.
- People may think Christian Ehrhoff is having an off season, however, his point totals do not tell the whole story, writes David Pollak.
- While it may sound strange, the struggling Stars are looking forward to their visit to the HP Pavilion tonight, writes Mike Heika.
Here are the Northwest Division morning papers:
- "Today, we made sure we didn't give them any chances for free," said Wild defenseman Martin Skoula after his team's 3-1 bounce back victory over the visiting Oilers. If you thought Jacques Lemaire was kidding when he said he'd take away the "optional" skate, he wasn't, writes Michael Russo.
- The Oilers felt like they deserved better last night in Minnesota, but they did not dwell on the loss, and are now looking ahead. The Oilers are heading to Denver next, and the last thing they can do is feel bad for themselves.
- The Avalanche line of Stastny-Hejduk-Forsberg found instant chemistry, and led the team to a 6-3 dominating victory over the rival Canucks.
- Vancouver was handed their lunch last night in Denver, writes Iain McIntyre. The Canucks' playoff chances are not very secure right now, writes Ben Kuzma.
- The Calgary Herald does its best to hype Dion Phaneuf for the Norris Trophy. Meanwhile, one of the Flames' more unheralded players, Stephane Yelle, has more of an effect on his teammates than you might think. Finally, Bruce Dowbiggen figures it is time to stir the pot again, telling readers that this year's version of the Flames should have won the division in a walk.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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