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Bird Droppings: Your Links For Tuesday, April 19th

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Apologies for the tardiness of this. I'm sick - again - and went to bed early. But since I'm at home, I can still do the links. Woo!

Thrashers News:

Andrew Ladd, like all of us, is a glutton for punishment. He wants to stick it out here for the long haul - I just hope this isn't the usual "captain who wants to leave" lipservice. The last one who didn't pull that BS was Scott Mellanby.

Speaking of optimism, Buff's got it too. Honestly, after dealing with what they had to deal with in CHI - which was way worse than anything we've had to deal with here - can you blame Buff & Ladd for having hope?

Around the NHL:

The nominees for the Calder were released today: Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture, and Michael Grabner. Lots and lots of worthy nominees this year, but this is probably the cream of the crop. My money's on Skinner.

Phoenix is about to get swept, maybe out of existence. I'm convinced that they're playing like they don't care because bad news is around the bend, but at least give the fans one last good thing to remember..

Speaking of teams about to get swept, the Blackhawks have to win tonight at home, or else Vancouver gets its revenge for the past two seasons.

The Hawks will have Dave Bolland in tonight as Brent Seabrook's out with an "upper body injury." That was a nasty hit by Raffi Torres, but to say that Seabrook wasn't about to receive the puck to play it is completely wrong. Keep your head up, Seabs, and this doesn't happen.

After insinuating that the Canucks' success is fake, Blackhawks' captain Jonathan Toews is now saying that the Hawks are just "playing for pride."

More potential discipline, this time from last night's Penguins/Lightning game. Both Chris Kunitz and Steve Downie'll have hearings with the league.

NBC and Versus'll continue to air NHL games. A $2 billion deal was announced today, possibly for the next decade. Great that the league has a broadcasting partner so dedicated. If they could just get that "national exposure" thing down next...

Generally I'm not a fan of trolling the opposition - it's more fun to give and go at a game. Sharks beat-writer Mark Purdy really needs to learn when to poke at another team and when not to. Or, better yet, learn basic facts before he does so. His column is the writing equivalent of an opposition fan yelling "Hey , number 33! You SUCK!" because they're too lazy to learn that player's Buff.