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Daily Links for Thursday, April 15

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Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, the NHL playoffs are finally here for Buffalo, and I know I couldn't be more excited! We've got a metric ton of links again today, so check after the break for more Sabres info, shots from around the league, and, of course, beards.

Hecht Not Looking Good For Game One - WGR 550
Time Connolly will play, and Stafford is skating on his own, and will be out for a few more games.

With Gaustad, Vanek battling Chara, Sabres take best shot - The Buffalo News
Thomas Vanek and Paul Gaustad have a tall task. A wide one, too. Whenever the Buffalo Sabres get a power play, it's up to them to stand in front, screen the goaltender and absorb punishment from a defenseman.

The Bandwagoner’s Guide to the Sabres, Part Three: The Forwards - The Willful Caboose
The very excellent series from The Willful Caboose continues with Kate taking a look at the forwards. Find part 2 about the defensemen right here.

Buffalo Sabres Post Season Media Guide - Buffalo Sabres
The official media guide of the Buffalo Sabres, available to you, for free!

More Sabres-Bruins News:

Breaking down the Bruins-Sabres series - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Preview of first round playoff matchup between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres, including the Bruins lines.

Sabres-Bruins scouting report - The Buffalo News
"Win the Chess Match". It's one of Ryan Miller's favorite phrases and it will mean everything in this series.

Miller turns attention to playoffs as Sabres prepare to open against Bruins -
Having led Buffalo back to the playoffs for the first time in three years, the Sabres goaltender politely apologized for being in no mood to assess what he's accomplished this season.

Rivet: "You Have To Be A Little Nervous" - WGR 550
Yesterday, Sabres captain Craig Rivet joined Mike Schopp and the Bulldog and revealed that he's a little nervous. Full transcript is here as well as audio in the audio vault.

Tim Thomas Sings Rookie Tuukka Rask's Praises as His Playoff Debut Approaches -
Times have changed in Boston, and former starter Tim Thomas sings the praises of Tuuka Rask.

Rookie defenseman Myers comes up big for Sabres - Yahoo! Sports
Tyler Myers long ago became accustomed to all the jokes and string bean nicknames that go with being the tallest player on just about every hockey team he's played on.

Sabres notebook: Rookie Ennis enjoying playoff scene - The Buffalo News
Most members of the Buffalo Sabres have been waiting three long years for another playoff game. Tyler Ennis? He's been waiting a whole three weeks.

Falling In Love All Over Again - Top Shelf
A lovely post from Heather about falling in love with the Sabres and what it means to her to have the boys back in the playoffs.

Enthusiasm Emanating From Bruins as Sabres Lie in Wait -
The Bruins are riding some momentum heading into tonight's game.

How the Sabres made their points - The Buffalo News
A regular season in review, in case you've forgotten.


Around the NHL:

2010 NHL Playoffs Preview: What To Love, Hate And Expect From Every Cup Contender - SB Nation
SB Nation's Travis Hughes runs through each team: what you should love, what you should hate, and what you should expect from each of the 16 Cup contenders. Lengthy.

Playoff Picks - The Globe and Mail
A whole bunch of G&M writers make their first round picks. This is doubly awesome because the very smart James Mirtle tweeted today that he has Buffalo making it to the Cup Finals!

Special teams play big role in two early upsets by Senators, Flyers - The Hockey News
As the Flyers and Senators took Game 1 on the road, special teams proved to play a big role in the unexpected victories.

ECQF Game 1: Boucher silences critics, Flyers frustrate Kovalchuk in 2-1 victory - Broad Street Hockey
A recap of the game from Broad Street Hockey.

Senators stun Penguins 5-4 -
Chris Kelly recorded a goal and two assists leading the underdog Senators to a 5-4 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins in Game 1 of the Quarterfinals.

Red Wings fall to Coyotes 3-2 -
Derek Morris scored at 2:19 of the third period to put Phoenix in front, and the Coyotes held on for a 3-2 win over the Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Avalanche stun Sharks 2-1 -
Chris Stewart banked in a shot off Sharks defenseman Rob Blake's skate with just :49 seconds remaining in the game, and the Avalanche knocked off top-seeded San Jose, 2-1, to open their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Great moments in slithery: Fans throw snakes on Coyotes ice - Puck Daddy
#throwthesnake comes to a suitable conclusion last night.

Gretzky shares playoff thoughts and memories -
Gretzky shares playoff thoughts and memories

What Sort of GM will Rick Dudley Be? - Bird Watchers Anonymous
We explore how the Thrashers might benefit from today's promotion of Rick Dudley.

NHL engages with record fans in 2009-10 -
Lots of good news for the NHL in this post.



Patrick Kane rejects playoff beard in favor of 'trashy' mullet - Puck Daddy
Some absolutely critical breaking news.

Hockey fans invited to 'Grow one for the team' -
This season, hockey fans across the United States will be sporting their very own playoffs beards. In addition to participating in a great hockey tradition, they will also be raising money for charities across the county.