Ah, Playoffs!

April 11, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad (28) faces off against Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader (8) during the third period in game one of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators beat the Red Wings 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

It's true that the Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer at the dance, but the first round of the NHL playoffs is still one of the most wonderful times of the year.

Jump for links and chatter.

Brian Burke Cares
Our very own PPP with a quick post at The Leafs Nation.

Phil Dupuis: Smiling as a Member of the Marlies
Kyle Cicerella with the story.

Gary Bettman Q&A
Roy MacGregor with a transcription at the Globe.

Bettman vows officiating and discipline standards will not slacken as playoffs progress
Again from Roy MacGregor.

Round one Western Conference playoff preview
Down Goes Brown's latest instalment.

Guide To Picking Your 2012 NHL Playoff Team
The latest from Dirty Dangle.

Playoff Predictions
Curtis S from Bleeding Blue And White has predictions from himself, myself, and BCapp.

Your 2012 NHL Playoff Bandwagon Guide
OK, so The Active Stick is a Habs fan. She's fun, though.

Pre-playoff stuff and things
The lovely The Active Stick has a few thoughts on the burgeoning playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (OT)
Recap and commentary from Chris Lund at Backhand Shelf.

Backhand Shelf Podcast
More banter from Justin Bourne and Rob Pizzo.

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