While playoff anticipation is building to a fever pitch (more on that later), there are other events going on in the hockey world this morning, too. After the jump, we've got Columbus losing yet again (this time to Edmonton in the Draft Lottery), Canada bestowing a new honor upon its greatest hockey heroes, and news of a former NHL player over in Kazakhstan landing in hot water...
Nashville Predators News
Every blog/paper in town has a series/game preview post up this morning (too many to list here), so I recommend surfing through the "More Predators Sites" box on the left side of the main page.
While reading this morning's notes, listen in as Brent Peterson joined 102.5 The Game yesterday to talk about the series:
Beyond Thunder 'Drome: Better Know The Predators | Pith in the Wind
Forward this one to the non-diehard Preds fans you know, as a handy guide for bandwagon jumping.
Roman Josi brings international experience to NHL’s postseason - Nashville Predators Examiner
With all due respect, I think this is going to be a big step up from representing Switzerland at World Championships.
Intensity of playoffs suits rookie Gabriel Bourque’s style well - Nashville Predators Examiner
Bourque's blazing speed could be a difference-maker.
Look for unlikely heroes to emerge during NHL playoffs | Nashville City Paper
With pretty much every goal taking on added importance, some of the muckers will enjoy the limelight.
Texas Trip Ends With A Thud; Rampage Defeat Ads 4-1 | Admirals Roundtable
A costly defeat sets Milwaukee up for a critical 3-game weekend set.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Three Straight First Overall Picks: An (Almost) Unprecedented "Victory" - The Copper & Blue
Edmonton won last night's Draft Lottery and will pick first overall for the third straight year. Only the Quebec Nordiques of 89-91 also did so.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Officials - National Hockey League Officials Association
Here's a list of the guys selected to work the playoffs. Unfortunately, local referee Mike Hasenfratz didn't make it.
Living legends among first inductees to Order of Hockey in Canada - The Globe and Mail
Very, very cool stuff. Gordie Howe & Jean Beliveau are just two of the honorees.
This article from the tech magazine Wired pretty much hits all the right notes about the role of fighting in hockey.
Uni Watch " Drop the Puck, Lord Stanley
The popular sports-uniform blog takes on a hockey theme today.
Triumph in the shadow of grief, here.
2012 NHL Playoffs: Fear The Fin's Western Conference Playoff Predictions - Fear The Fin
There are a gazillion preview articles out there, but this one gets bonus points for smartly leveraging advanced stats and its thoroughness.
Two playoff goalies better than one? - The Globe and Mail
They do know you're not allowed to play both at once, right?
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has "clean" MRI but will skip the world championship - Lightning Strikes | Tampa Bay Times
I assume his shoulder is sore from celebrating so many goals.
UPDATED: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Devan Dubnyk to join Jordan Eberle on Team Canada | Edmonton Journal
The Edmonton Oilers will be well-represented at the World Championships, however.
Canadiens GM wanted $1,250 if Michael Cammalleri kept Montreal sweater after trade | Puck Daddy
While this sounds a bit ridiculous, I wonder if it's considered standard protocol. After all, if they just let him walk away with a jersey valued at $1,250, would that be considered salary cap circumvention?
From the Editor: Does Ryan Getzlaf 'Get It'? - Anaheim Calling
Jen isn't buying what the Anaheim captain is selling.