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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - April 8th, 2014

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The OHL is cracking down on hits from behind.

The Ontario Hockey League has suspended Windsor Spitfires forward Josh Ho-Sang for 15 games for his hit from behind on London Knights defenceman Zach Bell.

The suspension will take effect at the start of the 2014-15 season.

The incident took place in the second period of Game 4 of the Western Conference quarter-final between Windsor and London last Tuesday. Ho-Sang tripped up Bell from behind, and the defenceman crashes into the boards.

More love for Roy.

At the start of every NHL season, we are asked to make predictions about what may lie ahead in the coming year, a source of much amusement for readers after the fact when the reality of a 1,230-game season sets in. My inclination is always to play the percentages when it comes to looking ahead into a nebulous and unpredictable season, which is why I anointed Patrick Roy as the future winner of the 2014 Jack Adams award back in September before he had ever coached an NHL game.

NHL.com likes MacKinnon's chances at getting the Calder.

During a close race for the Calder Trophy, Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon often found himself mentioned in the same breath as Wayne Gretzky, even breaking a record held by "The Great One" for 34 years along the way.

Combine that with MacKinnon's standing at or near the top of most major scoring categories and his role in Colorado's stunning turnaround from Western Conference basement dwellers to legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, and the Avalanche forward is NHL.com's pick as the League's top rookie.

So what would the playoffs look like if they started today?

As we draw closer to the end of the NHL regular season, here's a look at which teams would face off in the first round of the playoffs, if they began today, and which teams would be on the outside looking in.
Need a refresher on how the NHL's new playoff format works? See our explainer.