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Hitting the Links: Pre-Postseason Edition

Feb. 26, 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss (9) controls the puck during the third period against eh Montreal Canadiens at the BankAtlantic Center. The Panthers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Feb. 26, 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss (9) controls the puck during the third period against eh Montreal Canadiens at the BankAtlantic Center. The Panthers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 NHL Playoffs are finally upon us, and most of the media "experts" have already dismissed your Florida Panthers out of hand. Meanwhile, around the NHL, 14 teams pack it in, while 15 other teams are gearing up. What's the word around the SB Nation's dedicated hockey blogs? Let's see what everyone else has to say, after the jump.

  • Over at Anaheim Calling, the crew rounds up the offseason activities for the Ducks, and lament a season of almost good enough.
  • With respects to LBC user're not the only one. Stanley Cup of Chowder and Boston Bruin nation mull over mullets, and other facial hair this postseason.
  • It's Garbage Bag Day for the Flames of Calgary, Jarome Iginla is not interested in a Flames rebuild, and Jay Bouwmeester isn't a good interview (shocker).
  • Over at Canes Country, the group goes over the good, the bad, and the ugly involved in again missing the postseason. I won't gloat, but it's just a wee bit bittersweet.
  • Second City Hockey looks ahead at their first ever playoff matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, to include the Winnepeg Jets days. They aren't underestimating Mike Smith.
  • The Colorado Avalanche started bad, got better, got pretty close to a playoff spot, but died at the end and just missed...there but for the grace of God go the Florida Panthers. But we've all been there and done that, and if another NHL teams fans are looking for sympathy, they can look elsewhere.
  • Over at the Cannon, the Columbus Blue Jacket's writers go over the long list of negatives that face the 30th place club.
  • The Dallas Stars are focused on doing a little better after just missing the playoffs for two seasons in a row, over at Defending Big D.
  • In another case of the Panthers not getting any respect, Winging it in Motown handicaps the first round picks.
  • The Copper and Blue look at the interesting number, 0.029004%, and the impact it could have on this seasons lottery, and the Oilers chances of winning it.
  • A great piece from Jewels From the Crown on Ryan Clowe's illicit poke checking history, present and past.
  • With nothing to look forward to this (post)season, the good folks over at Habs Eyes on the Prize recount Maurice "Rocket" Richard's greatest goal.
  • On the Forecheck compares and contrasts this season's Nashville Predators with our very own Miami Marlins, as the Predators stand on the precipice of glory.
  • They're having a parade over at In Lou We Trust, the New Jersey Devil's dedicated SB Nation blog. They're handing out postseason awards, and wonders be - not a dismissive word on the Panthers, other than to list Ryan Carter under the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" award.
  • A Silver Seven guide on how to hate the New York Rangers effectively.
  • Ridiculously in-depth math skills at work over at Broad Street Hockey, showing odds of winning at each seed, the history of seeding, and why the sixth seed is usually the best. I'm kinda happy with the three seed myself, and love that we drew the Devils.
  • Our mirror-twin Western Conference brethren Phoenix Coyotes. They also clinched their division on the final day of the season against a non-playoff team 4-1, and are considered a week three seed. Can you imagine a Coyotes-Panthers final? The entire NHL covering media would explode.
  • Interesting "stat" I never really noticed, every Pittsburgh pro sports team (Penguins, Pirates, Steelers) all feature yellow, black and white as their team colors. And every Pittsburgh fan insists on calling the yellow part gold.
  • A funny little story over on Fear the Fin about the one (and only) highlight reel goal that the San Jose fanbase can count on from Torrey Mitchell every year.
  • The Blues guys over at St. Louis Game Time handicap the eight playoff series, and don't pick the Devils.
  • An open letter to the offseason, by the good folks over at Raw Charge. Tampa Bay was here last season, let's hope we fend off the offseason for just a little bit longer.
  • Over at Pension Plan Puppets, another open letter. This one is from the management of the Maple Leafs, and you can tell from the comments how this one is going over.
  • Nucks Misconduct focuses on Canucks to pay attention to through the playoffs. First on the list? Our dearly departed David Booth, who the crew compares to Charlie O'Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • A Japers Rink diatribe on why it's not always a good idea to just "let 'em play," especially in the playoffs.
  • Take a look at the Arctic Ice Hockey preseason projections for the Southeast Division. Yup, we were picked last. Yup, they'll be watching from the house.