Wednesday's Links and NHL Open Thread

Since the season's end, Brent Sutter and Dave Lowry's respective departures, and Jay Feaster's press conference, you could probably hear a pin drop at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

While Flames fans wring their hands over issues like what direction the team will choose to go in this summer and who is really making those decisions, other team's fans are grappling with the sting of playoff defeat, nerves associated with a do-or-die game seven, or analyzing their prospects in the conference semi-finals.

But all is not doom and gloom where the Flames are concerned, as hockey's second season is treating some of the organization's young prospects quite well, which is always a good sign prior to an impending rebuild, right Ken King? RIGHT?!?!?1?

Links and a preview of tonight's playoff action after the jump.

It's game day in Abbotsford as the Heat head back to the AESC with a 2-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Admirals. The Heat have outscored the Admirals 10-4 and look to close out the series with a win on home ice tonight. Krys Kolanos leads the Heat with four post-season goals and six points thus far while Greg Nemisz and Jon Rheault are tied with two a piece. [theahl.com] [The Vancouver Sun]

In his first year with the Heat, Flames rookie Paul Byron ranks #12 in the Flames Fifteen [Flames Nation]

2011 first rounder Sven Baertschi has six goals and 24 points in 13 games with the Portland Winterhawks so far this post-season, as the 'Hawks prepare to take on the Tri-City Americans tonight boasting a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Final [whl.ca]

Jonathan Willis takes a look at Canada's World Championships team [Flames Nation]

Where will Roberto Luongo end up? [The Province]

The finalists for the Vezina Trophy have been announced [SBN.com]

An advanced stats look at the Nashville Predator's stanley cup chances [On the Forecheck]

Playoff predictions in review [Jewels From The Crown]

And lastly, in case you have yet to read it, Ryan Lambert's Canucks eulogy [Puck Daddy]

***

Tonight's games:

Game 7--Bruins (2) vs. Capitals (7): 5:30 PM MST/7:30 EST (CBC, RDS)

The defending cup champs took game six in overtime on Sunday to force a final and deciding game on home ice. The Bruins have won four of their past five in game seven situations, including last year's Stanley Cup final; can they come through again tonight?

Enjoy the game everyone and happy Wednesday!

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