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Java on Ice | NHL must-reads for April 21

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(Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire)

Monday through Friday, we are going to do our absolute best to bring you the top NHL reads from around the web.

The goal will be to sort through dozens of posts to find the good stuff so you don’t have to. If you are looking for something fresh, unique or interesting, odds are good that you’ll find something here. If you like what these people do then give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter, and share the content that you love.

Hockey fans make up one of the best communities around, and in a lot of ways, we’re all in it together.Without further delay… your top NHL posts for April 21, 2017.

Wondering whether or not the Nashville Predators are the real deal or not? Scott Burnside of ESPN.com has five reasons why they aren’t just a flash in the pan.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, might just be a fading dynasty after bowing out to the Preds in four games this year. From Pat Iversen at SBNation.com.

While the ‘Hawks might be dealing with some regression, the Buffalo Sabres can’t seem to get out of the NHL’s cellar. In his latest for USA Today, Kevin Allen writes that this dysfunction starts with ownership.

Jack Eichel has become a series focal point since the Sabres cleaned house earlier this week, and Tom Ley reasons that he is somewhat responsible for the firings. From Deadspin.com.

Whether it was intended or not, Iversen of SBNation.com thinks that Eichel has now become the de facto voice of the Sabres. Interesting stuff coming out of Buffalo, to say the least.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are still picking up the pieces after getting beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games. Andy Newman of JacketsCannon.com writes that the team learned lessons that they should have known all along.

Most pundits believe that the Calgary Flames still need an upgrade in goal if they are going to do any damage in the Western Conference. Over at Sportsnet.ca, Eric Francis opines that signing Ben Bishop will be at the top of the team’s to-do list this summer.

The San Jose Sharks could bow out of the playoffs if they lose another game to the Edmonton Oilers. As such, this could be the last go-around for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in San Jose. From Mark Purdy at the San Jose Mercury News.

At the Boston Herald, Stephen Harris explains that the Ottawa Senators are beating the Boston Bruins in what he calls “the right way.”

Interesting thought from Eric K. at JewelsFromTheCrown.com: the Los Angeles Kings could win the NHL draft lottery. It’s not likely, but what could the team’s draft look like?

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