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Ah, Playoff Hockey!

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There are a lot of links today; three just from James Mirtle, four games recaps (for those who couldn't see any hockey last night), and a few Leafs articles from the usual suspects. A bit of league news emerged yesterday as Joe Niewendyk fired Mark Crawford, but most of the links today are playoff-centric.

Jump for more.

Leafs Links:

Hunting Down A Unicorn
John S at Puckin' Eh has a list of desirables.

Phil Kessel declines an invite: alarm bells or "keep moving, no story here"?
Michael Langlois mulls it over.

Vintage Leafs: The Legendary Johnny Bower
This, and more, over at Vintage Leafs.

Thanks Leafs & Thanks Readers
Jeffler at Leafs HQ with a few (late) thoughts on the Leafs' season.

Game Recaps:

Canucks again the best in Game 1
Roberto Luongo the star in 2-0 victory over Blackhawks. Story from Matthew Sekeres at the Globe.

Predators only visiting team to win on opening night of NHL playoffs
Ducks have a habit of collectively losing their cool and taking bad penalties when things don’t go their way. Recap from Eric Duhatschek.

Red Wings top Coyotes.
Jimmy Howard makes 26 saves for the third-seeded Red Wings. Recap from AP at the Globe.

Pittsburgh breaks through late
Fleury tops goaltending duel with Roloson as Pens write up playoff-opening victory. Dave Shoalts with the recap.

Other Hockey Links:

The NHL’s top defensive defencemen
Canucks blueliner Dan Hamhuis comes up as the best blueliner in his own end, statistically, this season. James Mirtle uses Behind the Net to make the list.

The NHL’s top defensive forwards
The companion piece to Mritle's list of defencemen.

Revealing my ballot for the NHL awards
James Mirtle puts his cards on the table.

American Hockey League reduces schedule
Teams will play 76 games - down from 80 - next season. Wonder if it's at the behest of the NHL as a trial run?

An NHL defence never rests
Philosophically, the days of picking up your man in the zone are over. Story from Eric Duhatschek.

Stars fire coach Marc Crawford
"We have a lot of good things in place," Nieuwendyk said. "The hardest thing for Marc to probably accept (is) that I don't feel he's the guy going forward that takes us to the next level."

The Sample Size War: How long is a typical NHL career?
Behind the Net user SnarkSD has a look.


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