The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs finally get underway tonight with four games on tap. Three more series get started on Thursday, while the Predators and Blackhawks have to wait until Friday to kick off.
Players and fans alike are itching to get the games under way. Tweet-Ups are planned in many cities including two big ones in New York City. Most of the playoff participants secured a spot over a week ago and are ready to stop all the media hype and sort things out on the ice.
Tonight's opening night schedule looks like this:
Ottawa at Pittsburgh 6:00 CST - Versus/CBC/RDS/FS-Pittsburgh
Philadelphia at New Jersey 6:30 CDT - RIS/TSN/CSN-Philadelphia/MSG Plus
Detroit at Phoenix 9:00 CDT Versus/RIS/TSN/FS-Detroit/KTVK
Colorado at San Jose 9:30 CDT Versus (IP)/RDS/Altitude/CSN-California
Jackson and I will release our final first round picks later today. If you want to make picks of ever game in the playoffs go to the following link where our friends Chris and Adrian Nadeau run a great playoff pool.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon discusses the Predators breaking into the second round and how they will have to do it. He also has a notes column that include injury info and the potential of Blake Geoffrion signing with the Preds.
David Boclair discusses the need for Dustin Boyd to step up his game.
The Predators have opened up a special section at Predators.com as the Playoff Central.
The Milwaukee Admirals open their playoff series with Chicago tonight and Short Shifts celebrates with their annual awards for the players. Great stuff!
Short Shifts also reported that the Predators signed a couple of prospects to an ATO yesterday so that they could participate in drills with the Milwaukee Admirals. Charles-Olivier Roussel, Nashville's 2nd round draft pick in 2009, and third rounder Michael Latta, will both join the Ads immediately. Both are highly respected by the organization and will get a taste of life in the Pros since their seasons in Junior hockey has ended.
As promised yesterday, Section 303 has the latest edition of the 303:30 podcast with guests Sean Leahy, Jim Diamond, Ryan Porth, and Brian Metzer. They also are planning viewing parties: Game 1 @ Blackstone with 104.5 The Zone, Game 2 and Game 5 will be at Bleachers Sports Grill in Franklin.
Mark Willoughby has been drinking the same Kool-aid as me as he makes his playoff predictions. You have to believe!
Forechecker has five great things about playoff hockey.
Jas Faulkner continues the Newbie education on the Preds at The Hockey Writers.
Paul McCann has big plans for tonight's Hockeybuzz Radio show.
Chris Burton looks at some items from past Pred-Hawks games.
Rachel at What the Puck takes a look at the playoffs.
Barry Trotz talks playoff experience at ESPN.
The AP has a story about Pekka and Niemi - the fantastic Finns.
Ryan at the RLD really doesn't mean it when he picks the Hawks in six.
Around the NHL...
There were no surprises at the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. Edmonton retianed the first pick and the rest went in the same order as their finish.
On Tuesday night at the Glendale City Counsel meeting, Jerry Reinsdorf's bid was chosen over Ice Edge Holdings. Now negotiations will continue.
I joined Ryan Porth, Anthony Curatolo and Dennis Bernstein from The Fourth Period for a Western Conference Preview show. You can listen here.
In followup to yesterday's "Throw The Snake", you can now buy the T-shirt.
The Globe and Mail discusses the four "Cinderellas" in the Western Conference playoffs.
Will the Shark's Tank? Joe Sacco thinks so.
Regulation and overtime will be eliminated and teams will go straight to the shoot-out during this years playoffs. Details at Intent To Blow.
Puck Daddy has the top 10 fights of the year. It's not a surprise that no Preds are involved. I am a little surprised at the ranking of Evander Kane-Matt Cooke.
The entire city of Denver probably choked on Adrian Dater's Cup prediction. No one stirs the pot better.
Dallas announced that they would not re-sign Marty Turco. The team will look different next year and this is the first move. Modano's retirement may be the next.
Pierre Lebrun updated his post-Olympic records standings.
Keith Tkachuk official retired in a speech yesterday and the Blues made it official that Davis Payne will return as head coach next year.
Hockey Wilderness got the jump on us on our NHL Award selections.
EA Sports has their first round game projections.
The Yotes press box will be full since they called up eight prospects from their AHL affiliate in San Antonio.
Gordon Fall looks at how being a good shootout team compares to playoff performance at Hockey Independent.
Odds and Ends...
The old Sulpher Dell stadium site is being pushed as the site for a new stadium for the Nashville Sounds. It will never happen but the article has links to several photo shows of the old stadium that are interesting.
Is the big one coming in California? There's been a whole lotta shakin' going on this year.
So what do you think about ads in your Twitter stream? Personally, if I send anything about a product, I get ten DM's saying I've been hacked.
Need an app for your Blackberry? Here are a bunch of free ones that will do almost anything.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass