LTIR as it pertains to the Penguins and Sidney Crosby…Ken Dryden on how sexual predators corrupt hockey…Patrick Kane must step up with Jonathan Toews sidelined…Steven Stamkos tied for scoring lead with Evgeni Malkin…Assessment of the Devils-Wild trade….Can the Hurricanes make the playoffs?…Sabres edge Bruins…Avalanche bury Blue Jackets…Capitals thump Canadiens….Isles down Rangers in shootout.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: How long-term injury reserve works, particularly for the Penguins regarding Sidney Crosby.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: NHL Hall of Famer, author and former MP Ken Dryden on how sexual predators corrupt hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dryden, as usual, offers up a thoughtful opinion on a painful subject, and there’s a lot to be learned from the stories of Theo Fleury, Sheldon Kennedy, Todd Holt and other victims of sexual abuse.  I don’t believe sexual predators are running rampant through minor hockey –  the overwhelming majority of those involved in youth hockey are upstanding folks who have the kids’ best interests at heart –  but it would be naive to think Graham James was the only one. It’s up to everyone to ensure our children are protected from monsters who prey on the innocent and defenseless.

NHL must promote Stamkos & Malkin more.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Steven Stamkos is not only the league’s goalscoring leader, but is also tied with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for the points lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hello, NHL marketing? I think I’ve found you two new posters boys to promote the league. With Crosby sidelined indefinitely and Ovechkin mired in a year-long decline, the league really should be doing more to promote Stamkos and Malkin.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be spending more time at center with Jonathan Toews currently sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll also be looked upon to step into a leadership role while Toews in on the shelf.

NJ.COM: Consensus around the league is the Devils overpaid to land defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild last night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Zidlicky regains his old offensive form and helps the Devils advance deep into the playoffs, nobody will remember or care how much the Devils gave up to land him. If he doesn’t, expect GM Lou Lamoriello’s critics to roast him mercilessly.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: A look at the factors which work in the Hurricanes favor to make the playoffs, as well as those which work against them.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Ryan Miller made 35 saves, plus 3 in a shootout, as the Sabres edged the Boston Bruins 2-1.

DENVER POST: Semyon Varlamov earned the shutout and David Jones scored twice and set up another, as the Avalanche buried the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it’s a cliche to write the Avalanche “buried” an opponent when they get a lopsided win, but it’s still fun to write.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers overcame two separate two-goal deficits, but fell to the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals cruised to an easy 4-1 win over the hapless Montreal Canadiens.