Giant Stanley Cup to be unveiled tomorrow: Tuesday afternoon notes

Workers prepare a 21.5 foot replica of the Stanley Cup which will be installed at Times Square in New York City.

In a nice tribute to the opening of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs tomorrow, the NBC Sports Group is getting ready to unveil a gigantic replica of the Stanley Cup in New York City at Times Square. According to a spokesman for NBC Sports,

An unveiling ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 11th. The real Stanley Cup will be there, along with Rangers legend Adam Graves, member of the 1994 NY Rangers Stanley Cup Champions, Clark Gillies, four-time Stanley Cup Champion with the NY Islanders, and Grant Marshall, a member of the 2003 NJ Devils Stanley Cup Championship team, will join NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus who will unveil the giant-sized replica, which will be on display for three days.
...

Its commanding presence is highlighted with 12 industrial fountain jets in the upper bowl, which shoot water six feet above the top of the cup. Visitors can drink from sanitized spouts at the base of the fountain, provided by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with its NYC Water program.

All in all, you have to like the commitment which NBC Sports is showing to the NHL this spring, as they're putting a ton of hockey on NBC Sports, CNBC, and NBC over the next several weeks.

The first puck drops in 27.5 hours from now... are you ready?

Nashville Predators News

NHL Playoffs 2012: Nashville Predators Try To Take Another Step Forward - SBNation.com
Travis asked me to chime in on Nashville's chances this spring.

5 Burning Questions: Red Wings vs Predators - Winging It In Motown
Similarly, here are the answers to similar questions posed to the Wings bloggers.

Driving Play: The Driving Play Podcast Playoff Previews - Predators v. Red Wings
J.J. & I joined Chase, Jared and the gang to preview Preds vs. Red Wings.

Nashville Predators get most bang for buck: BMO - Montreal Gazette
A different spin on a line of analysis we've seen before.

Paul McCann - SlapShot Radio Watch Party Announced and My Take on the East
Paul announces plans for a Game 3 viewing party coming up on Sunday.

Report: Radulov offered 4 year/36 Million by Preds. | The Predatorial
James ruminates over a report out of Russia (apply appropriately-sized grain of salt) about a contract offer by the Preds to Radulov, and what that might mean for the team's future.

Francis Bouillon unveils new playoff haircut - Nashville Predators Examiner
Well now...

Smashville 24/7 - Preds’ power play to have role in series outcome
As I wrote a couple days ago, this and Pekka Rinne's play are key to Nashville's chances.

Smashville 24/7 - Blogger roundtable: Will Nashville beat Detroit?
Ryan conducts a brief Q&A with a six-pack of other Preds bloggers.

NHL experts and Preds bloggers predict the Preds and Red Wings series… | Section 303
The Preds are a popular pick, but pretty much everyone expects this to be extremely close.

Nashville's tall goalie Pekka Rinne presents sizable challenge for Red Wings | Detroit Free Press
More perspective from Detroit, this time on Pekka.

A Day in the Life of an Admiral (Scott Ford) - JSOnline
Follow along for a look at the Milwaukee defenseman's day.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Daniel Sedin's status for Game 1 unclear - The Globe and Mail
The goal-scoring twin skated on his own after the Canucks' practice today as he continues his recovery from a concussion.

SCH's Playoff Beard Growing Guide (V 4.0) & Beard Of The Day - Second City Hockey
Personally, I don't know where this idea of fans growing playoff beards came from over the last couple years, but here's a handy guide for you.

Down Goes Brown: Round one Eastern Conference playoff preview
You've got to love DGB's breakdown of Panthers vs. Devils: "In an unfortunate break for Panther fans, they get a matchup with a team full of guys who live in New Jersey and won't find it distracting to be surrounded by rats."

The Clarence Fund: A Final Update - St. Louis Game Time
Just a wonderful bit of news here.

Final wagering odds for 2012 Stanley Cup champs, Conn Smythe winner, prop bets | Puck Daddy
Here you go, gambling die-hards. Peks is your MVP favorite from Nashville, at 25/1.

Sterling Archer Reviews The LA Kings - Nucks Misconduct
Somewhat NSFW but still hilarious.

Brian Burke: ‘The Pittsburgh model? My ass’; Toronto Maple Leafs stuck in hockey limbo | Puck Daddy
The one area Toronto does dominate is in the entertainment value of their GM's press conferences.

This Sorry Season - The Spin
GM's around the NHL are apologizing for not making the playoffs, but especially in Toronto, the message isn't going over well.

2011-2012 Season In Review: The Positives - The Cannon
It takes a true hockey fan to write an article this long about what went right in Columbus.

The NHL's Most Interesting Name Final Bracket: (3) Peanuts O'Flaherty vs. (6) Orland Kurtenbach - Arctic Ice Hockey
Now we're really going to find out... is Larry Goodenough?

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