Quick Hits: And So It Begins...

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

Red Wings News

Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to start skating Thursday, but first-round return unlikely | MLive.com
Ericsson seems to be in the same boat as Zetterberg. Both do not expect to play in the first-round, although there is a small chance that they may return in an eventual game 6/7.

Daniel Alfredsson will again be counted on to play key role as Red Wings pursue Stanley Cup | MLive.com
While money may have been the underlying reason for his decision to leave Ottawa, Alfie chose Detroit because he believed that this team could contend for a cup. He didn't head to the Motor City to be a part of a first-round exit. Expect him to be playing at the highest level he can.

2 official viewing parties planned for Red Wings playoff road games | Click On Detroit
Hockeytown Cafe and Ciccarelli's Sports Bar & Theatre will be hosting viewing parties.

Helene St. James: My NHL award ballot choices for 2013-14 | Detroit Free Press

Helene, who I was praising yesterday, did not nominate a single Red Wings for ANY award. And while she doesn't vote for the Jack Adams, she wrote that she would have chosen Patrick Roy over Mike Babcock. Ansar, welcome back to being my favorite beat writer.

NHL News

Penguins outlast Blue Jackets, take Game 1 | ProHockeyTalk
The Blue Jackets did not go down without a fight yesterday. Pittsburgh did end up winning 4-3.

Weise gives Canadiens 1-0 series lead with overtime win | ProHockeyTalk

Overtime in game 1? Yeah, this is going to be a good series.

Ducks hold off spirited Stars comeback, take 1-0 series lead | ProHockeyTalk

The Ducks had a 4-0 lead on the Stars, but ended up nearly losing. The final score was 4-3 in favor of Anaheim.

Maurice, Jets agree to multi-year extension - Sportsnet.ca
Paul Maurice was hired by the Jets as interim head coach in January after they fired Claude Noel.

NHL Caucus: Who faces the most playoff pressure? | USA Today

Out of any player, I feel that Marc-Andre Fleury has the most pressure on his shoulders. Fleury is a notorious playoff choker, everyone knows that. The question becomes how much longer the Penguins can hold onto Fleury if he has yet another poor postseason.

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2013-14 NHL Award Picks: Hart, Vezina and Norris picks | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
What? Gustav Nyquist is not a Hart candidate? At least he should be nominated for the Heart. Am I right?

Oilers' Belov signs four-year deal to return to KHL | TSN
Anton Belov came over to the NHL prior to this season to join the Oilers. What a terrible first impression.

Playoff hockey in Tampa Bay will give you a seizure - SBNation.com
I see that Tampa Bay is taking the "give your opponents epilepsy" approach.

Sabre rattling: Buffalo overhauls Nolan’s coaching staff | ProHockeyTalk
The Sabres had a coach named Corsi and yet they still probably never took a look at the stat.

Five questions heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs | Post-to-Post

The playoffs may have started yesterday, but they have only begun. There a still lots of questions that remain unanswered.

Sochi Problems: Olympics hurt NHL teams that sent several players to Games | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Hey, we made the playoffs. No harm, no foul, eh?

NHL Playoff 2014 - Imgur
This is really neat, check it out!

Ducks remain quiet on goalie, Frederik Anderson likely favorite - CBSSports.com
Bruce Boudreau is making a risky choice by picking Anderson over Jonas Hiller and John Gibson.

Pressing question: Could this be the year of the upset? | ProHockeyTalk
Detroit has a legitimate chance of beating Boston. And that begins tomorrow...

The Jack Adams Award Voting is Flawed | The Hockey Writers

I agree and disagree with this article. Unlike the author, I do agree with the notion that over-achievement is a good indicator of good coaching, but it shouldn't be used as the only factor in determining the Jack Adams winner. The author did mention something interesting though. Only seven President Trophy winning coaches have won the Jack Adams over the past 40 years.

Watch Hockey Night In Canada’s awesome Metallica fueled playoff opener (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
This is a phenomenal opener. Hockey Night In Canada does it again.

PHOTO: Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad bring back playoff mullets - CBSSports.com
Great. Yet another reason to despise Kane and the Blackhawks.

NHL Playoffs map shows who North Americans are rooting for - SBNation.com
Michigan obviously roots for the Wings, but apparently so does Alaska, Washington, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana.

Let's Go Red Wings!