Thursday's notes: Game On!

It's only been four days since Sunday's clincher over Anaheim, but it does seem like forever since we've gotten to watch the Preds fire shots in anger, right? Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Central (to be shown on Versus), they'll drop the puck in Vancouver and get this Western Conference Semifinal under way. Last night the NHL finally released the second round Predators/Canucks series schedule, but the times for the games in Nashville haven't been set yet.

For now, follow after the jump for a heaping helping of articles about this series, as well as items from around the league...

2011 NHL Playoffs Gear at Shop.NHL.com!

Nashville Predators News

Here Come The Preds: A Vancouver-Nashville Series Q&A - Orland Kurtenblog
The good folks at The Province's hockey blog asked me for input on how the Preds made it into this matchup. I think you may enjoy my prediction.

Preds On The Glass: Game One Preview: Predators Head to Vancouver with Nothing to Lose
Buddy sees a business-like Preds team that is ready to get back to work.

The View from 111: Predators-Canucks Second Round Preview
There seems to be a consistent theme in Mark's preview - he wants the Preds to put pressure on Vancouver right from the start.

Cody Franson will have a new look for Game 1 - Nashville Predators Examiner
Is this Preds blueliner engaging in the use of performance enhancing substances?

Tootoo’s Playoff Success Attracting National Attention - Predlines
#22's generating a lot of buzz with his breakout performance against Anaheim.

Game 1 section303.com Viewing Party announced… | Section 303
Get thee to The Beer Sellar tonight... (or Cozy Mel's in Cool Springs, were 104.5 is hosting a viewing party).

Vancouver VS Nashville – An Epic War For The Ages | The Predatorial
Holy Hyperbole, Batman!

Canuck - Predators Third Line Match Up - Nucks Misconduct
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the yeomen in this series.

Second-round breakdown: Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators - ESPN
Pierre LeBrun makes his call.

Trotz is liking where this is going - The Province
Finally, Barry Trotz is going to get some well-deserved time in the spotlight.

Former Predator Dan Hamhuis lists Nashville’s strengths - The Province
...and I'm sure Shane O'Brien could offer the same for Vancouver.

Mike Fisher is a player from a bygone era - The Globe and Mail
Roy MacGregor provides the outsider's perspective on Fish's transition to Nashville.

Nashville Predators' Shane O'Brien still holds grudge against Vancouver Canucks - The Tennessean
Instead, the Mighty SOB wants nothing better than to eliminate his former team, especially head coach Alain Vigneault.

Predators finally give fans everything they wanted and more - The Tennessean
I'm not sure who Will Borthick is, but Game 6 against Anaheim clearly struck a nerve with him.

Breaking Down the West Division Finals: Milwaukee vs. Houston | Admirals Roundtable
Jason looks at the key issues for the Admirals as they prepare for their 2nd-round series.

Around the NHL

NHL's long-term business plan pays off - SportsBusiness Daily
A look inside the process which led to the NHL's new TV contract with NBC/Versus.

Au Revoir!: Nathan Horton's OT goal lifts Bruins to 4-3 victory in Game 7 - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Patrice Bergeron almost blew this one for the Bruins, taking a bad penalty late in regulation which allowed the Habs to tie the game, but Nathan Horton let him off the hook.

ECQF Finale recap: Tampa Bay Lightning (5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (4) - Raw Charge
The Lightning had to overcome a late penalty while holding a one-goal lead as well, but their PK did the job and they closed out the Penguins.

Still waiting for second-round opponent, Capitals ‘getting a little antsy’ - Capitals Insider
Have the Washington Capitals been sitting around for too long?

An Irrational Narrative - JibbleScribbits
Sportswriters love a good storyline, but at what point do they follow the facts at hand instead?

Canucks GM Gillis fined for comments about officiating - TSN
Are the GM's whiny this year, or what?

Do not stare directly into Don Cherry’s new suit jacket - Puck Daddy
Put your sunglasses on before clicking that link...

Hawks Are Finished Now Bowman Is On The Clock | Hockey Independent
The post-mortems are underway after the Blackhawks were eliminated.

Toews Not Deserving of the Selke - TheScore.com
Kent Wilson dares to defy orthodoxy. He's right, too.

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