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Thursday's notes: Game On!

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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!

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 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 -
Kent Wilson dares to defy orthodoxy. He's right, too.