Greg Wyshynski

  • Is heavy favorite Canada taking Team Europe seriously?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    TORONTO – It takes an average of 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text message. It takes 90 seconds to watch a typical advertisement during the Super Bowl. It takes 90 seconds to make a bag of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice.

    Canada has trailed in the World Cup of Hockey for 89 seconds. Canada has faced four teams, and has trailed for less time than it takes to text a friend, watch a commercial or make microwave rice.

    Don’t they wish they were challenged even a little bit before reaching the final against Team Europe?

    “Not at all!” laughed general manager Doug Armstrong. “I like it just the way it’s going.”

    Canada’s a juggernaut. They’ve looked unbeatable in the tournament, rarely being pushed and certainly never panicked. They’ve scored 14 goals and given up just three. They have the NHL equivalent of four first lines and three defensive top pairings. Carey Price, their goaltender, has never lost an international game, going 14-0-0.

    Bovada currently has them at 1-to-10 favorites against Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey final; in other words, you’d have to spend $10 on a wager in order to win $1.

     

  • Marian Gaborik out 8 weeks after World Cup injury

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    TORONTO – One of Team Europe’s top offensive weapons won’t be available for the World Cup of Hockey final against Canada.

    Marian Gaborik will miss the best-of-three series with a foot injury, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. The injury will also have him out for the beginning of the regular season for the Los Angeles Kings, as Kings GM Dean Lombardi said that Gaborik will miss “eight weeks” with the foot injury.

    Gaborik has two goals in four World Cup games for Europe, including the opening goal in their semifinal upset win against Sweden. He played 17:58 in the overtime victory on Sunday.

    Gaborik was spotted leaving the Air Canada Centre after Team Europe’s practice on Monday on crutches, his foot in a cast. Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said Gaborik had “a lower body injury that we’re still managing” and said he couldn’t diagnose the injury after practice.

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  • Marek Vs. Wyshynski: World Cup of Hockey, from USA flop to Canada final (Podcast)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago

    In this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:

    – The World Cup of Hockey in all its glory.

    – The mysteries of Team Europe.

    – The epic fail from Team USA.

    – What we can expect from Team Canada in Final.

    – Legacy of Team North America.

    – The Jacob Trouba controversy in Winnipeg.

    – Reader mail

    – News and notes from around the NHL.

    The  Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast  is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world.  MvsW  streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn’t work, try here.]

    GET MAREK VS. WYSHYNSKI T-SHIRTS HERE! PROCEEDS GO TO HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER!

  • Pass or Fail: Edmonton Oilers’ new mascot Hunter, The Nightmare Cat

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

     

    When an NHL team introduces a new mascot, it’s truly a glorious occasion.

    While many go on to become beloved facets of the franchise – giving out free hugs at the arena and helping to sell thousands of plush effigies to young fans – others end up on the ever-growing pile of bad ideas this League has produced. Like, for example, the Columbus Blue Jackets attempt to phase out an adorable googly-eyed bug in favor of a Civil War cannon that looked like a penis.

    So into which category will the Edmonton Oilers’ new mascot Hunter fall?

    The Oilers introduced Hunter on Monday, with the following explanation:

    The Edmonton Oilers revealed the newest member of the Oilers family, introducing their official mascot, “Hunter” the Canadian Lynx. The mascot is named Hunter as a tribute to “Wild Bill” Hunter, the original owner of the Edmonton Oilers who founded the team in 1972. As such, Hunter will also don #72 on his Oilers jersey.

    So, in essence, one might say “Edmonton Oilers playoff appearances” are the Canadian Lynx of playoff appearances.

  • Jaroslav Halak earns World Cup showdown with ex-teammate Carey Price

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – Of all the potential storylines for the World Cup of Hockey’s best-of-three final round, revisiting the epic Jaroslav Halak vs. Carey Price goaltending controversy didn’t seem to be a likely one.

    Not with Halak’s Team Europe starting at a 33-to-1 longshot before the tournament. And yet, here we are, with Canada and Europe set to battle for the Cup beginning on Tuesday, after Halak led his team to a semifinal win over Sweden and Price led his over Russia.

    So let’s revisit it, shall we?

    Before Price became an MVP, a Vezina winner and Team Canada’s gold-medal winning goaltender, he was embroiled in one of the NHL’s most contentious goaltending controversies in recent memory.

    In Montreal, in 2010, you were either “Team Price” or “Team Halak.”

    To reset the scene: Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak shared the crease in Montreal. Halak was a ninth-round pick from Slovakia in 2003, the 25th goalie taken in that draft. Price was selected fifth overall from British Columbia in 2005. Price was the golden boy, seen as the next heir to the throne previously occupied by the likes of Dryden and Roy. Halak got fewer starts but was effective in them.

    Fans like this guy:

    It was ugly.

  • Sweden outthinks itself in stunning World Cup loss to Europe

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – Mindset has been a key factor in the World Cup of Hockey.

    We’ve seen a Canadian team trail for less than three minutes in the tournament, with the confidence they’re better than seven other teams. We’ve seen an under-23 team dazzle the hockey world by putting the pedal down offensively without recourse or repercussions. We’ve seen an American team overlook a seemingly beatable opponent in Team Europe, and then exhibit a defeatist attitude when things went south against the Canadians (before losing a meaningless game to the Czechs).

    Sweden entered its semifinal game against Europe on Sunday afternoon in Toronto with one thing on its mind: Don’t screw up.

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    They lost the mind game.

    They lost the hockey game, 3-2, in overtime.

    Henrik Sedin echoed that.

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  • Sweden vs. Europe: When national tradition meets a made-up team

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger says when he walks into their locker room, “I don’t see any flags.” Just members of several different nations, playing together in an international hockey tournament for a common goal.

    This is, of course, in stark contrast with their opponents in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals on Sunday afternoon, whose locker room is adorned with a large Swedish flag and whose players proudly wear the Tre Kronor, even as they strive for the same goal.

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    Where the differences end is in the World Cup standings: Despite their disparate pedigrees, Sweden and Team Europe are both one win away from facing Canada in the best-of-three final round next week.

    And, in a roundabout way, they have each other to thank for that opportunity.

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  • In praise of Sergei Bobrovsky, who was basically Team Russia

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – I’ve still never forgiven Evgeni Nabokov.

    Six years before their showdown at the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday night in Toronto, Russia and Canada had a more critical one in Vancouver, at the 2010 Winter Olympics. And, by comparison, the hype for that game made the anticipation for this one tantamount to that for a new Adam Sandler film on Netflix.

    For context: Russia had eliminated Canada in the previous Olympics in 2006, in the quarterfinals. They had gotten the better of them at worlds, including an overtime win in Quebec City for the gold medal in 2008. In its quest to win gold on its home ice, Canada also had a chance to vanquish its greatest foe for the first time in the Olympics since 1960 – back when it was the Soviet Union.

    So the world was watching. Canada vs. Russia. Crosby vs. Ovechkin. The hosts vs. the uninvited guests. It was going to be awesome.

    And then Evgeni Nabokov [expletived] the bed.

    “Bob saved us too many times and I think today we had to help him,” said Evgeny Kuznetsov, “but we didn’t.”

    He nearly dragged them there.

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  • Brad Marchand coy about playing with Sidney Crosby on Penguins

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    TORONTO – Brad Marchand might not be “Brad Marchand” anymore.

    There was a time his name carried an undeniable connotation. He was a pest. He was a injurious sneak. The President of the United States called him a “little ball of hate.” Not so much now, after 37 goals last season with the Boston Bruins and a starring role on Team Canada’s top line at the World Cup of Hockey. 

    “I think the pest role, the agitator role, has been pushed by the media more than anything,” Marchand said. “If you talk to my coaches, and the way I view it, is trying to be a player more than being that. It’s been that way for a while now. The pest role was what got me in the league, got me here, and now it’s about improving and being a better player.”

    Marchand, a left wing, has three goals and two assists in the World Cup of Hockey, scoring twice in Canada’s 5-3 semifinal win over Russia that propelled them to the best-of-three championship round next week. His linemates are Patrice Bergeron, with whom he plays in Boston, and Sidney Crosby, who is leading the tournament with seven points in four games and the best player in the world at this moment.

    For now.

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  • Ovechkin tried his best, regrets mistakes in Canada loss

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    TORONTO – After they eliminated his Russian team on Saturday night, Alex Ovechkin was asked how any team in the World Cup of Hockey could hope to defeat the juggernaut that is Team Canada.

    “Don’t be afraid to play against them,” he said, “play smart and don’t make mistakes.”

    Ovechkin and Team Russia fulfilled that first obligation: They tried going toe-to-toe with Canada, despite their opponents controlling play to the tune of 75 shot attempts in their 5-3 win. The Russians used their speed and skill to hang with Canada, and even gave the host team a scare with two second-period goals for a 2-1 lead.

    A brief 2-1 lead: Just like Canada trailed the U.S. for only 89 seconds in their preliminary round win, it only trailed Russia for 72 seconds in their semifinal win on Saturday night. Brad Marchand’s first goal of the game tied the scored at 2-2 with less than three minutes left in the period.

    This is where Russia failed that second obligation, according to Ovechkin. After Sidney Crosby forced a turnover by Dmitry Kulikov on Canada’s opening goal, Evgeny Kutznetsov’s inability to clear the zone led to Marchand’s tally for their second.

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