Greg Wyshynski

  • Swagger wins: How the Tampa Bay Lightning grew into champions

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 48 mins ago

    NEW YORK – After the Tampa Bay Lightning couldn’t clinch the Eastern Conference title at home in Game 6, palpable doubt from outsiders was the ambient noise in Steven Stamkos’s life.

    “That might have been a little motivating, watching all the different networks talk about how the Rangers are this unbeatable force in Game 7. And give them credit, they’re a good team. But we believed in ourselves. You win three games in a building like this at this time of year, you deserve to move on,” he said after their 2-0 Game 7 victory over goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

    “All the talk was on Lundqvist and his record in these games. But we said it before the game: We believe in our team. In ourselves. We had that confidence coming in. No one probably thought we were going to win this game. Not that we took it personally, but we had a little bit of an attitude coming in here.”

    “You shine the light bright on our guys, and they'll just put on sunglasses and walk right through it,” said coach Jon Cooper.

    That’s the essence of the Lightning, the essence of their “our kung-fu is stronger than yours” attitude:

    Be confident. Don’t panic.

  • Ben Bishop over King in Game 7, as Lightning feed off goalie’s effort

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    NEW YORK – Going by the numbers, sticking to the trends and acknowledging the history, Ben Bishop was not expected to be the goaltender raising his arms in the air in victory at the end of Game 7, having pitched a shutout and propelled his team to the Stanley Cup Final. 

    Not the guy who gave up five goals on three separate occasions in the series. Not the guy that wasn’t named Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers netminder that had given up five goals in his last six Games 7, all of them wins.

    “He's much-maligned,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Bishop, who made 22 saves in the 2-0 Lightning win at MSG, “but the two pivotal games that we've needed to win in this building, he shut the door.”

    For a lot of fans, great goaltending means a high number of shots turned aside, or a collection of acrobatic saves one can point to as examples of stellar play. Bishop had neither of those in Game 7 -- outside of a three-save sequence in the third period -- and his team arguably played its most structurally sound game of the postseason in front of him.

    Bishop has given up more than three goals on nine occasions this season, including three times in the Eastern Conference Final.

  • Rangers fan gives amazing Game 7 interview, bought $4.5K tickets 'in hundreds only' (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    Tickets for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final were the highest selling of the playoffs on the secondary market. So Scott Oake of CBC decided to ask a fan at Friday night’s Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers final what his seats cost, considering he was against the glass in prime real estate.

    Needless to say, he picked the right fan.

    Here’s the surreal conversation between Oake and Will Rouse, the chilliest Ranger fan in the history of chillin’.

    WILL: “My man, I paid forty-five hundred dollars.”

    OAKE: “Yesterday on the secondary market, they were asking 19,200 bucks for these seats. Did you think about selling them?”

    [At this point, Will grabs his gold necklace with both hands and puts it on display.]

    WILL: “That would have been cool, but you know what? I gotta see the Rangers win. I could have blown all that money on water. I don’t really drink alcohol. It’s cool.”

    OAKE: “Tell me again what you paid for this seat?”

    WILL: “Four thousand, five hundred dollars. Hundreds only. Benjamin-Franklin-is-killin’-the-gaaaaame.”

    Three reactions to this:

     

     

     

  • Henrik Lundqvist makes awesome glove-tip save in Game 7

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    Henrik Lundqvist has only given up five goals in his last six Games 7, all of them victories.

    Why? Because he does things like this: 

    In the first period of Friday night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, the New York Rangers goalie faced a defected shot from the point from Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman.

    The puck bounced high in the air and Lundqvist made a reflexive lunge with his glove …just nudging the puck over the cross-bar and on top of the net.

    Here's a look in GIF form: 

    Lundqvist save pic.twitter.com/75pzaft0dE

    The Rangers are trying to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season.

    Lundqvist, with a win, will have more Game 7 victories than any other goalie in NHL history with seven. 

  • Puck Daddy's Game 7 live chat: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. NY Rangers

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    It's Game 7 between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning from Madison Square Garden, and we're live chatting it tonight!

    Will the New York Rangers continue thieir domination of Game 7s? Will the Tampa Bay Lightning find a way to close out this series? Will Canadian writers get a chance to vacation in Florida like every other Canadian not at their cabin?

    The fun begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. You bring the funny; we bring the insight, odd football photo on the template and the Hamburger Women.

  • Seven keys to the Lightning vs. Rangers in Game 7

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    The Eastern Conference Final will be decided in Game 7 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

    Here are seven keys to Game 7:

    1. First Goal Wins

    “Is it only one game that the team that's scored first didn't win?” asked Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “That's going to help you in your mindset and how you're going to play.  I think you look at the teams in the series when they haven't had the lead, they've tried to chase it a little bit.  Maybe it pulls you out of your comfort zone.  When you do have the lead, you're in your comfort zone.”

    The Rangers are 8-3 when they score first, and with the way Lundqvist plays in a Game 7, that might be enough.

    The Lightning are 8-0 when they score first. So if you wanna win, score first, m’kay?

    2. Embracing History vs. Ignoring It

    Hey, did you guys hear that the Rangers are pretty good in Game 7s? Like the fact that they’ve won six straight of them? That players like Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Rick Nash have never lost one? That Henrik Lundqvist has only allowed five goals in six straight Game 7 wins?

    3. The Nash Line

    4. The Triplets

  • Why are NHL Stanley Cup Final trailers parked outside MSG?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning is Friday night. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is scheduled for next Wednesday. And yet, via Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, the NHL already has trailers for staff with permits for the Stanley Cup Final parked outside of Madison Square Garden: 

    NHL trailers already set up outside Garden in anticipation of Stanley Cup Final, which would start Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/fuaoZTBx0S

    THE HUBRIS! Obviously the NHL expects the Rangers to Game 7, this being evidence that the fix is in so they can have all the ratings of a New York team in the Final! 

    Or maybe it’s just procedural. Gulitti notes the same setup was found in Ottawa in 2003 before their Game 7 against Mike Rupp and the New Jersey Devils.

    The NHL reached out and explained the early set up, via a spokesperson:

    We also have trailers parked outside Amalie Arena right now and will park them outside Honda Center tomorrow.

    True to form, here are the trailers in Tampa: 

  • Awesome new Stanley Cup commercial feeds your Liev Schreiber addiction

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago

    Ah, the dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber. Like a warm blanket, bringing us back to those halcyon days when the NHL’s ‘24/7 Road to the blah blah blah’ franchise wasn’t so self-aware and actually had willing participants. 

    This is the latest Stanley Cup Playoffs commercial from the NHL, celebrating the many names that have hoisted the Cup and contributed to their teams’ Cup victories. All of it leads to the perfect symbol of what’s at stake in this marathon test of mental and physical endurance: Getting your name etched on the Holy Grail!

    It’s the greatest honor for hockey’s true legends as well as Basil Pocklington.

    As expected, this ad is garnering praise for its stirring visuals and heartfelt narration, and the NHL does few things better than this kind of commercial.

    We’ve also seen references to this being a “goosebumps-inducing” ad, and maybe it is for you, but for us it’s hard to have goosebumps when “Cup Raise” was like having liquid goosebumps mainlined into your cerebral cortex.  

    Chills. Tears. Chilly tears. 

  • Alexei Kovalev, 42, eyes NHL comeback if he’s wanted

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago

    When we last saw Alexei Kovalev, he was playing for a second-tier Swiss team called EHC Visp and had 70 points in 59 games in leading them to the National League B championship. 

    And then he retired at age 41, after 24 years of personifying the “enigmatic Russian” stereotype while scoring 430 goals in 1,316 NHL games. “I’d have loved to play until I’m 50 but the injuries from the last few seasons don’t let me continue my career,” he said.

    Well, he’s feeling better. He plays 3-on-3 hockey once a week, and trains and plays tennis three times a week.

    “I'm not the guy who likes to sit around and drink beer. It is fattening!” he told Journal de Montreal.

    Another thing he told the paper: He’d play again in the NHL at age 42 if someone offered him a contract. Because why not!

    From the Journal (via Google Translate):

    Do you think you could have been playing a few more seasons in the National League?

    You still believe that?

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  • Dan Bylsma all about Sabres’ success, not shaming Penguins

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The last time Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray worked with new coach Dan Bylsma was around 11 years ago, when both were with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

    “I was the director of player personnel. Danny was near the end of his career as a player. So I complained about him. A lot. That’s about all I remember,” said Murray, drawing a laugh from Bylsma. 

    They’ve both come a long way since then, although Murray is quick to note only one of them has hoisted the Stanley Cup. And that’s why Bylsma is an essential choice to coach a Buffalo Sabres team that's trying to claw its way up from a self-imposed descent to the bottom of the standings.

    “He’s been through it. He’s a winner. He knows what it takes to get there, and how to perform when he gets there,” said Murray.

    Getting there has never been the issue for Bylsma. He made the playoffs all six years he coached the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 – his first season as an NHL head coach – and advancing to the second round four times; including in 2013-14, after which he was fired along with general manager Ray Shero because they failed to put a second ring on Sidney Crosby’s hand.

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