With no games scheduled the last couple of nights, there haven’t been many game-specific stories and topics to discuss. But we’re just a day away from the start of the most grueling tournament in professional sports, and there are always headlines and talking points to touch on this time of year.

So without further ado, here are some links for you to feast on this morning:

  • Daniel Sedin was back on the ice on Monday (theScore.com).
  • The Canucks say bring on the Kings (Calgary Herald).
  • Are the Senators built to upset the Rangers? (Wall Street Journal). An overachieving team may be vulnerable for a crash back to earth in the postseason, but their nothing-to-lose mentality also gives them the advantage of being one of few teams playing without pressure in the Spring. And to me, that makes for a dangerous team.
  • The Maple Leafs apologize to fans for an “unacceptable” season (Puck Daddy). I’m as big a Leafs fan as they come, and maybe years ago, when playoff memories were still fresh enough in my mind, something like this would have resonated with me. Now? Now most in Leafs Nation see this as a steaming hot pile of…well, you know.
  • Better yet, here’s how most of Leafs Nation really sees this apology letter (Pension Plan Puppets). I don’t know why, but I personally never saw Larry Tanenbaum as the villain and always directed my frustration at Richard Peddie.
  • Is Jim Treliving a potential buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes? (TheHockeyWriters.com). Treliving is one of the stars of CBC’s “Dragon’s Den,” and is known for his role as head of Boston Pizza. But who knew his son was an assistant GM with the Coyotes?
  • The Capitals are prepared to start Braden Holtby (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Tomas Vokoun and Michael Neuvirth both missed practice on Monday.
  • The Panthers will wait to name a Game 1 goalie against the Devils (Sports Illustrated).
  • Evgeni Malkin deserves the Hart Trophy (Calgary Herald). As I’ve said before, if the Lightning were just in the hunt for a playoff spot, Steven Stamkos would be an easy pick as one of only two 60-goal scorers in the last 16 years. But since Tampa was pretty much playing meaningless hockey all season, and since Malkin was the key player keeping the Penguins not only afloat, but in contender status without the team’s other stars, he’d be my pick too.
  • The Flyers crumble when Sidney Crosby is at his best (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). To be fair, which teams in which leagues wouldn’t crumble when facing the best player in the world when he’s at his very best?
  • Brad Marchand: Let the playoff ride begin (ESPN/Brad Marchand).
  • Here are five reasons for the Red Wings to fear the Predators (The Detroit News). I was shocked to learn that the Predators are the only team in the NHL to post 23 home victories or more in each of the last seven seasons. It’s far from a traditional hockey market, but perhaps Nashville doesn’t get its fair share of credit as a tough place for opponents to play.
  • So far this season, the Sharks haven’t been able to find a cure for the Blues (The Sacramento Bee). The Blues swept the four-game season series with the Sharks, outscoring San Jose 11-3.