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Daily Links for Friday, March 12

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Happy Friday everyone! We've got a boatload of reading material today, just in time for a back-to-back homestand against some Western Conference foes - tonight it's the Minnesota Wild at 7:30. Hope ya'll have a great weekend.

NOTEBOOK: THE STRETCH - Buffalo Sabres
Head Coach Lindy Ruff is officially entering playoff mode.

Tuneup day puts Vanek back in synch - The Buffalo News
Jerry Sullivan might go in for a maintenance day himself after the good it did for Thomas Vanek (personally, I wouldn't mind if he did that during Bills season - say for four months or so)

Miller And Lalime To Split The Weekend - WGR 550 SportsRadio
Hear about the goalies, Gaustad, and what Lindy learned from his Olympic experience.

Fans rise to the challenge issued by Kaleta - The Buffalo News
Totally agree with Mike Harrington that Patty Kaleta's fight and subsequent waving/wooing was a vintage Rob Ray type of play. Kaleta is asking the fans to get more into the game, and doing his best to help them.

Sabres Extend Affiliation Agreement with Pirates - Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres have extended their partnership with the Portland Pirates for an unknown amount of time.

Washington Capitals clinch Southeast Division - NHL.com
Wow do they have a boatload of points.

Contender questions opens door for Cinderellas - The Hockey News
The NHL playoffs are never hard to get excited about, but when you inject the fallibility factor into this year’s pending series of best-of-seven showdowns, the layers of intrigue multiply like San Jose springtime failures.

Babcock's success rooted in hard work - CBC
Mike Babcock is both business-like and lucky, which is why he is the first hockey coach to win an Olympic gold medal, a world championship and a Stanley Cup.

ESPN: wrong and bad with small sample sizes, too - Behind The Net
A nice read for anyone who's read Outliers by the (fantastic) Malcolm Gladwell.

Video: Minnesota high school player wipes out in opening intros - Puck Daddy
There are a lot of eyes on the MSHSL Tourney ... which means plenty of puckheads witnessed Alexandria defenseman Zach Van Orsdel stumble into one of the most memorable pregame intros we've seen.