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Wednesday's Dump & Chase: Place Your Bets

Finalize your brackets. The 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight.

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey News & Notes

Predators face stiff test vs. Chicago Blackhawks - The Tennessean
The Predators will have to leave everything they have on the ice every game if they want to make it through the first round. If last year proved anything, it's that this team works well when their backs are against the wall.

Six X-factors that may decide the Blackhawks-Predators series | Chicago Sun-Times
Mark might be the beat writer for the Blackhawks but he definitely gives the Predators credit where credit is due. There's going to be a lot of focus on Pekka Rinne, and regardless of the stats I'm rolling with Rinne over Crawford any day. As pointed out here, the Preds almost cost Crawford his job two years ago, and Nashville will never forget that.

Artem Anisimov of Blackhawks will be ready for Game 1 - NHL.com
Anisimov will return to the Blackhawks for the playoffs. He's a bit overshadowed by the powerhouse that is Artemi Panarin but he's still been a young driving force in Chicago and makes that Panarin-Kane line even more dangerous.

Ranking the NHL's opening-round playoff series based on watchability | FOX Sports
I'm betting the only reason the Predators and the Blackhawks ranked number two is because of the spectacle these two put on two years ago. It's definitely a match-up that people are wanting to see, but honestly there are some other match-up on to keep your eyes on. Seriously, the Leafs, Oilers, and Blue Jackets are all in. What a time to be alive!

NHL makes draft lottery date official: April 29 | ProHockeyTalk
It's still very odd to see Vegas on a list for anything hockey related. It's going to take some getting used to. Otherwise, here's a glance at all the teams that will be hitting the back nine this weekend.

2017 NHL playoffs: Senators and Penguins are on upset alert - The Washington Post
I can't imagine being Sidney Crosby and being a defending Stanley Cup campion and having people ask me what I'd do if I lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wouldn't that be something? Sid might never recover if that happens.

Attending an NHL playoff game in Canada might dent your wallet - NHL on CBC Sports
Some of these prices are outrageous. Like on a scale of an Uber from Broadway to Franklin to a down payment on a Kia. I mean, what are you doing Canada?

Calgary Flames NHL playoffs experience | Calgary Herald
Apparently the Flames veterans are grumpy. But are they like Seven Dwarves grumpy or Grumpy Old Men grumpy?

Ranking the five available NHL coaching jobs after Kings fire Darryl Sutter - USA Today
It's tough to be a coach in the NHL these days. But hey on the bright side, Vegas is hiring!

The 2017 NHL award underdogs you should be rooting for - SBNation.com
Everyone loves a good underdog, and believe it or not I wouldn't mind seeing someone like Brad Marchand winning the Hart Trophy over someone like Connor McDavid. (ducks)

NHL Stanley Cup playoffs 2017: First-round predictions - USA Today
I searched the depths of Google (alright the second search page) to find someone who said the Predators would take the Blackhawks in the first round. It's not pretty but there's hope!