- Bob Ford, a respectable Inquirer columnist, talks about Marty Biron keeping up his recent play. There's also some interesting talk at the end of the article, including a quote from Marty, about the Continental plane crash in Buffalo last week. Biron played in Buffalo for 11 seasons, and his wife has relatives that live in the area of the crash.
- Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon looks at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and why several Flyers are forcing the Canadians to make some tough decisions.
- Inky beat writer Sam Carchidi writes how John Stevens doesn't believe the Flyers need a change on defense. He's happy the way things are (re: Randy Jones is staying at the deadline, doh!).
- Daily News beat writer Ed Moran on the...... ridiculously... looooooooong.... laaaaay...oooofffff... in the schedule.
- NHL.com staff writer Mike Morreale tells us how the Flyers learned from the 10-game February losing streak last season.
- Tim Panaccio at CSN Philly gets prepped for Briere's return, and also chronicles a guy many are comparing to Briere -- current Sabre rookie (just got sent back down, though) Nathan Gerbe. I'm just gonna come out and say it: Gerbe's not a wuss.
- Chuck Gormley at the Courier-Post is all over the trade rumors
- And finally, Wayne Fish of the Bucks County Courier Times hopes the Flyers don't experience the same four-day layoff blues they did against Ottawa last Thursday.
- You can win the 1979 Barry Ashbee Award... on eBay. Also, would you like some Bob Clarke Cabernet while you're wearing your Bully Cologne? [The 700 Level]
- Alexei Kovalev should probably pack his bags. He's all but gone in Montreal. [TSN.ca]
- Despite rumors, it doesn't look like Penn State is getting Division 1 ice hockey just yet. College Hockey News has the scoop. Also, Western College Hockey Blog has a great read on PSU's situation and the possibilites of a new Big 10 hockey conference. [WCH Partt 1, Part 2]
- Mats Sundin prepares for a media onslaught when he visits Toronto on Saturday night. [The Globe and Mail]
- The Columbus Dispatch profiles former Flyer head coach Ken Hitchcock.
- The playoff chances for the Ducks don't look promising. [Orange County Register]
- As mentioned in yesterday's bits, the Coyotes have received sale offers. Five for Howling takes a look at what those offers mean for the team.
- Mirtle talks goalie tandems. Are they on the rise?
- The Falconer thinks Ilya Kovalchuk is playing like a superstar.
- Canes Country has a great look at the Hurricanes needs at the deadline.
- In Lou We Trust on Martin Brodeur's impending return.
- The Pensblog breaks down what Pittsburgh needs to do to make the playoffs, week-by-week for the remainder of the season. Puts their plight under a microscope.
- Not really NHL related, but it's a slow news day unless you really care about Montreal sucking: ESPN is moving its late night SportsCenter editions from Connecticut to LA.
After the jump, a look at last night around the league and the current playoff picture.
There were five games in the NHL last night but only two affected the Eastern Conference playoff race. Before we get into those games, let's take a look at the standings as of this morning.
standings as of Thursday morning
The gap between playoff teams and non-playoff teams is widening by the day it seems. Pittsburgh and Carolina need to get their acts together quickly if they want in on the fun.
(5) New York Rangers 3, (15) New York Islanders 1 - The Rangers finally won, after dropping three straight and eight of their last nine. They came into the evening in the 8th seed (how funny is that?) and their big win over the worst team in hockey will certainly be a beacon of pride for the Rangers hockey club for decades to come. The win puts them a point behind the Flyers with the good guys holding about 18,000 games in hand.
(2) Washington Capitals 4, (6) Montreal Canadiens 3 - I love seeing Montreal in pain. It looked like they were going to get a reprieve from their suicidal hopes, but then the Washington Capitals happened. David Steckel scored with 2:39 remaining in the third, and then Alexander Semin got the game winner in the shootout. hahaha. Also, catch AO's highlight reel goal, posted by Shagg over in the FanShots. Montreal has won just three of it's last 14 games.