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Preparing you for the playoffs

by Paul Kukla
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin a week from tomorrow, April 14, and we have some teams that are making their first appearance in quite some time.

You may not have followed some of these teams, so I am going to give you the scoop on who to follow to keep up to date regarding the teams I am about to mention.

The Phoenix Coyotes have one beat writer, a fellow named Jim Gintonio. Jim has a blog at the Arizona Republic called Ice Chips. You can also follow Jim on Twitter @jimgintonio.

The Los Angeles Kings' person to follow is Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. Rich does a great job, updates his blog numerous times a day and responds to fan inquiries too. You can also follow Rich on Twitter @lakingsinsider.

Another person to follow regarding the Kings is LA Times columnist Helene Elliott. You will find Helene's stories on the LA Times Kings page and on the LA Times columnist section. Helene also has a Twitter account @helenenothelen.

The Orange County Register provides Kings news too.

Adrian Dater is the Colorado Avalanche beat writer for the Denver Post and also has a popular blog called All Things Avs, also located at the Denver Post. You can follow Adrian on Twitter @adater, but be warned -- your Twitter notifications will be going off constantly during Avs games.

One other person to follow at the Denver Post is columnist Terry Frei.

John Glennon covers the Nashville Predators for The Tennessean and also has a blog located there too called Preds Insider. You can also find John on Twitter @glennonsports.

Now let me present to you some of the names you may be a bit more familiar with.

Tarik El-Bashir does a great job covering the Washington Capitals for the Washington Post and also maintains a blog called Capitals Insider. Tarik also is very active on Twitter @TarikElBashir.

Tom Gulitti is all over the New Jersey Devils at his blog Fire & Ice. Tom updates via Twitter numerous times per day and during games and can be found @TGfireandice.

Habs Inside/Out is a must-stop blog if you are a Montreal Canadiens fan. Reports from morning skates, audio interviews are some of the features they run on a regular basis.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins? Then you must visit Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Seth Rorabaugh does a great job following the Pens and his daily Empty Netters Assists posts are a must read.

Jason Botchford covers the Vancouver Canucks at his blog The White Towel at the Vancouver Province and also updates on a regular basis via Twitter @BotchonCanucks.

Of course, you can follow all the folks here.

Names have been left out I am sure, so feel free to list your favorite stops below or email me at or follow me on Twitter.

Next week the second season starts and yes, my predictions will too.

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