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Wednesday's notes: Predators prospects prospering

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While the Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and Nashville Predators fans are excited about what these next few weeks might bring, we should also take a look further down the road, and appreciate the talent that is bubbling up through the system.

RADIO ALERT: I'm glad to say that we'll have some extended hockey talk on the Nashville airwaves this afternoon. I've been invited to join Brent Dougherty and Blaine Bishop on 104.5 "The Zone"s 3-Hour Lunch show from 2:00-3:00 today. We'll be talking Preds and taking phone calls, so tune in (or listen online) and spread the word!

This morning we have loads of hockey news for you - besides teams locking up (or getting locked out of) playoff spots, there are updates on Preds prospects both in North America and in Europe. While you're reading, you can also listen to this interview that Blake Geoffrion gave on the Thom Abraham Show yesterday as he prepares for the Frozen Four this weekend in Detroit:

Blake Geoffrion on Thom Abraham Show 20100406

So hop over the boards and enjoy!

Predators News

The Odd Man Rush: Playoff Preview Part 2: Vancouver Canucks
A detailed look at what to expect if the Preds tangle with Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals...

Predators defensemen drawing rave reviews -
Detroit coach Mike Babcock and analyst Pierre McGuire rave about Nashville's homegrown defensemen.

Who Is The NHL's Greatest Unsung Hero? - From The Rink
Derek Zona includes a Nashville Predator in his nominees for a "Butch Goring Award".

Nashville goalie prospect getting his chance to shine -
Lindsay Kramer provides an update on Jeremy Smith's season in Cincinnati.

The Hockey News: The Hot List: The Hot List: Raising the stakes
Ryan Kennedy lists 10 young players he can't wait to see in the NHL, with two Predators prospects as #2 and #3.

Predators European prospects 2009-10 review - Hockey's Future
Connor Jennings brings us up to date on guys like Roman Josi and Anders Lindback.

Preds On The Glass: First Round Preview? and Wednesday Wrap-Up
Buddy's morning post includes a look at those Stanley Cup Finals tickets...

Admirals Clinch Playoff Berth; Sutty Makes Recap Debut - JSOnline
Kudos to the Ads for making the AHL postseason, but I love this part of the game recap: "There was one fight in the game and it was between Jessiman and Love. Jessiman felt the Love then pummeled the love out of Love. There was no Love lost for he would return. The crowd loved seeing Love get no love from the loveless Jessiman. Jessiman has vowed never to love Love again."

Steve Sullivan feels urgency for NHL playoff run - The Tennessean
It's been four years since Sully skated in the playoffs, and he's rarin' to go!

Around the NHL

Suck it Corsi: The Avalanche Make The Playoffs - Mile High Hockey
Despite being 29th in Shots For, and 25th in Shots Against, Colorado has made the playoffs.

Flames snuffed out of playoffs - The Globe and Mail
That's about the easiest headline ever, isn't it?

Thrashers Eliminated by Devils Shutout - Bird Watchers Anonymous
My condolences go out to Atlanta fans, I was really pulling for the Thrashers in the East.

Ilya Kovalchuk's future again uncertain, but he has playoff stage to show his worth - ESPN
...and Ilya Kovalchuk's going to the playoffs with New Jersey. But after that... ?

Leafs hoping to put history behind them - The Globe and Mail
Normally you don't see this sort of optimism until training camp opens, but David Shoalts writes that the Maple Leafs could/should return to the playoffs next season.

Sabres 5 NY Rangers 2: Sabres Clinch Northeast Division Title - Die By The Blade
Congratulations to Buffalo, for wrapping up their division last night.

Boll Nominated For Masterton Trophy (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Really? The Columbus nominee for the Masterton is Jared Boll? I thought April Fools Day was last week...

Down Goes Brown: The NHL's most memorable comebacks
DGB looks at some remarkable stories from the hockey world, in light of Tiger Woods' return to golf this weekend.

GOAT (Er, Giving Out Awards Time) - Anaheim Calling
Daniel and Arthur dissect a disappointing Ducks season.

Down Goes Brown: The NHL's most memorable comebacks
DGB looks at some remarkable stories from the hockey world, in light of Tiger Woods' return to golf this weekend.

Lastly, check out the continuing misadventures of Florida defenseman Keith Ballard. Earlier this year he clubbed Tomas Vokoun in the head with his stick, and last night he threw a puck into his own net: