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Quick Strikes for Thursday, April 9

NHL prospects, Midwestern NHL teams, and Midwestern prospects all in today's Quick Strikes!

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
  • The final prospect rankings are out from NHL Central Scouting, and there are no surprises here. You know him, I know him - he's almost like family to us all, at this point. That's right, Connor McDavid is ranked the top prospect in this year's NHL draft. []
  • Speaking of prospects, here's a guy that the Tampa Bay Lightning could be targeting late in the first round in the draft in June. []
  • Speaking of prospects, here's a feature on Lightning prospect Brendan O'Donnell . He's a forward that was taken in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL draft. And, incidentally, he's also a senior at the University of North Dakota playing in the Frozen Four in Boston this weekend. [Grand Forks Herald]
  • A brief overview of the five teams that are vying for the last four spots in the Eastern Conference, ordered by who the Bolts would be most likely to meet. Or, perhaps, who this blogger would like for them to play against. Either way, it's a list. [en-Lightning NHL Perspective]
  • Speaking of playoffs, the Boston Bruins played the first half of a back-to-back series last night, losing to the Washington Capitals 3-0. They're in the final wild card spot and tied in points with the Ottawa Senators in the standings. The B's face the Florida Panthers tonight and the Senators will contend against the New York Rangers. Oh, here's the recap from the Caps side of things. [Japer's Rink]
  • Maybe people do think about defensemen wrong, I don't know. For me, I tend to judge by how well they can strip the puck from a player before they can get a shot off, no matter where they are on the ice. Then I think about what a friend of mine wanted the defense to do in front of her - she's a goalie - and that's the defense takes the man, while the goalie takes the puck. So lots of interpretations to go around, I guess. [Rangers Unlimited]
  • The last Subban brother may be getting his own NHL contract soon. It's probably for the best that he'll end up with the Vancouver Canucks. Having two sons in the same division, and on rival teams, is probably hard enough on their parents. [Canucks Army]
  • Speaking of the Boston Bruins...they lost to the Washington Capitals last night 3-0, putting their playoff hopes on the line. Okay, okay. After you stop laughing, you can read this - which still applies even though it was written before that game. [Big Bad Blog]
  • On the same vein, the Detroit Red Wings have lost a key cog in their machine. Erik Cole is gone not just for the rest of the regular season, such as it is, but also for playoffs. He has a "spinal contusion", which sounds pretty ugly, and has been out since the end of March. [Winging It In Motown]
  • And keeping it in the Midwest, here's something from the Chicago Blackhawks. Scott Darling has a new mask, and it's so much Chicago that it wants to believe that this might be the Cubs' year, but just can't quite believe it. So it'll naturally try to bury its angst in a deep dish pizza. [In Goal Magazine]