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Quick Strikes for Wednesday, April 15

The 2015 NHL playoffs start today... on tax day? Oh well, they alleviate our grief. So will today's colleciton of reads and multimedia bits.

The most interesting man in hockey....
The most interesting man in hockey....
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
  • Ah, the playoffs and actual ESPN coverage of hockey. Oh, wait, it's not on Sportscenter. All right, well, Steven Stamkos gets the radio treatment on Hockey Today. []
  • Here's another multimedia experience - the story of Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper:

  • Perhaps you caught the news D Luke Witkowski was being returned to the Syracuse Crunch? Yeah, about that, it's because another defenseman is coming back to the game. One Mr. Braydon Conutn. At least that's his intention. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • "Mentally, it's like anything in life: When you have done it before it's a little easier to do it when you go through a second time. I guess it is just something of a comfort level that you know what to expect.'' - Asst. Coach Rick Bowness on playoff experience. [Tampa Tribune]
  • More experienced? Sure, but starting netminder Ben Bishop is a playoff rookie. And he's being counted on. [Lightning Shout]
  • The Syracuse Crunch playoff seeding is still in a state of flux, and the club faces a new challenge as captain Mike Angelidis is out as is defenseman Joey Mormina. [The Post-Standard]
  • Speaking of Syracuse, the Crunch have honored recently the Syracuse Nationals of NBA lore. [The Pink Puck]
  • A little factoid that brings Tampacuse together morning into the NHL playoffs:

  • That Lightning ticketing plan you've heard about? Ottawa tried applying the same tactics. It backfired. Badly. [The Hockey News]
  • ...and StubHub is gonna' go all Capone and try to smuggle in Blackhawks fans to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville [DNAinfo]
  • The New York Islanders will be tasked with stopping the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. Brian Erni on NYI Point Blank points to the penalty box needing to be no-man's land for the Isles to stop Alex Ovechkin. That'll help limit opportunities for Ovi, but not genuinely stop him. [NYI Point Blank]
  • On the west coast, Ron Wilson may be kicked upstairs with the San Jose Sharks, or at least a report suggests it. [Fear the Fin]
  • The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames get underway tonight and... Oooh! Numbers! Fancy stats! Analytical people rejoice at this preview! [Nucks Misconduct]
  • And while we're looking at Canucks/Flames, both of SB Nation's sites answer each other's five questions. [Nucks Misconduct, Matchsticks & Gasoline]
  • Outside of the playoffs, here's a story line for later today to keep an eye out for and the drama it creates: