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From the Branches: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first day TV schedule and news

The NHL playoffs start tonight with three games on tap. Here's how to watch.

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PHIL!
PHIL!
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I hope you finished your bracket. The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight.

Three games are on tap tonight, starting at 7:00 EST with the Red Wings @ Lightning. This game will be broadcast on CBC, however, according to their website, CBC will not be airing the pre-game show. If you want to listen to Kypreos and MacLean arguing about something inane you will have to tune in to Sportsnet at 6:30. The game will be on NBCSN in the US.

Note that Sportsnet will be airing the Rangers @ Penguins game, but that doesn't start until 8pm. Yes, this means there will be 90 minutes of Hockey Central on Sportsnet to drive you insane for you to enjoy. I suggest you just tune in when the games start. This game will be on the USA Network in the US.

The late game is Blackhawks @ Blues at 9:30 on Sportsnet 360. It will probably be on CBC and NBCSN too when the early game ends.

Don't forget the Marlies season roles on this week with a school day game today at 11:00AM. I will be there to keep you updated as the roster starts to look a lot more like it will for the AHL playoffs.

ICYMI Yesterday

What kind of analytics do the Maple Leafs track? - PPP
Analytics are all the rage nowadays, and like any responsible organization, the Leafs are in on them.

The grass is always greener in Toronto - PPP
Mike Babcock dreams of a day where he can shop for superstars without having to look at the price tag. But hasn't he already got it pretty good?

NHL Central Scouting releases final draft rankings - PPP
A strong year for Europe-based skaters sees them dominate the top of the CSS NHL draft rankings.

Signings

Rangers Agree To Terms With Malte Stromwall - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers have added to their prospect pool by signing 21-year-old Malte Stromwall to a two-year entry-level contract.

Flyers a front-runner for Frozen Four MOP Caggiula - Broad Street Hockey
CALIGULA!

Blackhawks among 'front-runners' to land college free agent Drake Caggiula, per report - Second City Hockey
CALIGULA!

The Reality Checks

Melnyk Speaks: Dave Cameron, Pierre Dorion and Spending for a New Coach - Silver Seven
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk joined TSN's Ian Mendes as they discussed an array of topics.

What happened to "No Excuses?" - Eyes On The Prize
For an organization that boasts "NO EXCUSES" as it's motto, management sure seems content to ignore it.

More pain to come before the Vancouver Canucks can gain - The Globe and Mail
There is hope in the coming NHL draft and the team has a reasonable amount of salary cap space, but management hasn’t offered much tangible hope for a swift rebound

Other News

The best social media responses to Rob Rossi's latest embarrassing article - PensBurgh
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review decided to publish a pile of garbage column by Rob Rossi and the internet's reaction was glorious.

Rogers feeling the sting of Canadian teams missing NHL playoffs - The Globe and Mail
Overnight estimates for last Saturday’s "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast — a Canadian tradition that for decades routinely averaged more than two million viewers — were just 721,000.

Riveters' Top Pick Carpenter to do Reddit AMA on 4/12 at 1PM ET - Blueshirt Banter
[Species: This is over, but you can go to Reddit and read it]