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From the Branches: CHL Playoffs are here!

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It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Regina Pats v Calgary Hitmen Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Good Morning hockey fans!

While there is technically one more game to play, Sudbury and Mississauga need to make up a postponed game from earlier in the season on Tuesday, the teams are in and we’re heading for some playoffs!

Almost all of the Maple Leafs prospects in the CHL have at least 4 playoff games in their future, Keaton Middleton with Saginaw is the only one not in the playoffs this year. The prospect report is coming out soon (I pre-wrote the previews and one series changed over the weekend, dammit), but here’s a quick rundown of where the kids stand:

Nikita Korostelev - Peterborough Petes: #1 seed in the OHL hosts #8 the Niagara IceDogs. This should wrap up quickly, but you never know with Niagara.

Stephen Desrocher - Kingston Frontenacs: Fronts finished 5th so they’ll take on the Hamilton Bulldogs. An older Fronts team take son a young and hungry Bulldogs. This most likely won’t go in Kingston’s favour.

Jeremy Bracco - Windsor Spitfires vs Nicolas Mattinen / JJ Piccinch - London Knights: Three prospects go head to head. Windsor is hosting the Memorial Cup so they need a good showing to not embarrass themselves, while the Knights want to try to go back to back as OHL Champions.

Martins Dzierkals - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: The defending QMJHL Champions and 2016 Memorial Cup runners-up host the rebuilding Halifax Mooseheads. The first round or two should be a walk in the park for the Huskies.

Adam Brooks - Regina Pats: The runaway best team in the country will make quick work of the Calgary Hitmen in round one. The Pats are favourites to win the WHL and many predict an Erie-Regina Memorial Cup final.

Jack Walker / Vladimir Bobylyov - Victoria Royals: The Royals are very streaky, so their playoff length against Everett depends on which team shows up - the one that won 8 in a row to secure a playoff spot, or the one that lost most of the games after that.

It’s going to be a fun spring. Here are your links.

Tip of the Tower whats to know if Josh Leivo is getting another shot on the ice this year.

Editor in Leaf asks if it’s time to shake up the Leafs offense.

Last Word on Sports predicts the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Pensburgh brags about making the playoffs 10 straight years.

Matthew Tkachuk is, and always will be, a shitweasel.

The Buffalo Beauts did an amazing job of keeping the Boston Pride out of the net to capture the Isobell Cup.

And finally, Toronto Sports Media takes Sportsnet590 to task. It’s great.

Enjoy the day!