Greg Wyshynski

  • Lightning shock Rangers in Game 5, one win away from Cup Final

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Lightning finally shut down the New York Rangers’ offense, got another star performance from Steven Stamkos and are now one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup for the first time since winning it in 2004.

    The Bolts won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, 2-0, on Sunday night at MSG, taking a 3-2 series lead. Goalie Ben Bishop, who had surrendered 10 goals in his last two games, rebounded with a strong 26- save effort. Part of that effort was as the last line of defense on a penalty kill that shutout the Rangers on four power plays, after New York had entered the game red hot with the man advantage.

    Stamkos has a goal and an assist, giving the captain seven points in his last four games.

    Yet for the most part, the Lightning played a sloppy and ineffective game before finally breaking through with the game’s first goal at 13:29 of the second period. They were getting outshot, turning the puck over in their own zone. They handed the Rangers four power plays, including two in a 4:32 span; but they managed to kill them all despite New York’s man advantage having gone four for its last eight.

    They capitalized, in spectacular fashion.

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  • Watch emotional return of John Amirante to MSG for Game 5 anthem (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    For 35 years, John Amirante was an institution at New York Rangers games. The lifelong Rangers fan belted the national anthem at home games, his voice cutting through the bellowing cheers from the crowd during the pregame performances. 

    Now 80 years old, Amirante had his work scaled back this season dramatically, and as part of that deal it appeared that Game 2 of their first-round series against Pittsburgh would be the last time he’d sing the anthem at MSG. 

    But then there was a groundswell of affection and support from Rangers fans, and the team vowed he’d return again in the postseason for another performance.

    From Newsday:

    The team had invited him to sing earlier in the playoffs for Game 7 against the Capitals, but he had to pass because of a case of bronchitis that since has cleared.

    "I thank all the fans for their support, believe me. Fantastic people."

  • Keith Yandle thrives in the chaos in Rangers vs. Lightning

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    Keith Yandle isn’t what you’d call a defensive stopper. There are times he doesn’t exactly play what you’d call “defense.”

    But luckily, the New York Rangers’ Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning has produced 25 goals in the last three games, which means this is a decidedly more comfortable style for Keith Yandle than the one that had him looking out of place for the last several weeks.

    “I think in this series I've felt probably at my best and most comfortable, and I kind of feel like it's coming together,” said Yandle on Saturday, ahead of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday night.

    “I think against a team like this we know everyone has to be a key part and a big part of our offense.  To get chances everyone has to be able to make them play. I think for me it's just using my legs and trying to get up in the play as much as possible.”

    Yandle had a goal and two assists in the Rangers’ 5-1 rout in Game 4, to go along with two helpers in Game 3. He previously had two points in his last 11 games.

    Two of this points in the last two games have come on the power play, which has scored on four of its last eight chances.

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  • Antoine Vermette plays hero as Blackhawks beat Ducks in double-OT

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago

    Antoine Vermette went from a healthy scratch in Game 3 to the double-overtime hero of Game 4 in the Western Conference Final.

    The Chicago Blackhawks forward netted his second goal of the playoffs at 5:37 of double-OT to win a wild battle with the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4, on Saturday night, to even the series at 2-2. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday night in Anaheim. 

    “It’s not the ideal situation. You make sure you come prepared, keep a good attitude,” said Vermette, who was held out of Game 3 by coach Joel Quenneville.

    The game-winning play began with Vermette keeping the puck in the attacking zone, and sending it deep behind the net to Patrick Sharp. All five Ducks converged around the goal, watching Sharp; that left Vermette wide open in the slot to receive his pass from behind the net.

    His shot was blocked in front of the crease by a diving Rickard Rakell, but it rebounded to Vermette who beat Fredrik Andersen (35 saves) at 5:37 of the second overtime.

    The Blackhawks struck first with a shorthanded goal.

    Beauchemin atoned for that unintentional mishap in the second period to set up Kyle Palmieri for the equalizer. 

    Then came the Anaheim shooting gallery.

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  • Ducks score second-fastest three goals in NHL playoff history (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    In the third period of their Western Conference Final Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks were feeling, well, ducky.

    They had extended out to a 3-1 lead, and it looked like the Blackhawks would cruise to a win on home ice.

    Then the Anaheim Ducks embarked on the second-fastest three goals scored in a Stanley Cup Playoff game in NHL history.

    Center Ryan Kesler went to the net, banging his stick on the ice asking for the puck. It was Jakob Silfverberg that eventually found him, as Kesler snapped the puck past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to cut the lead to 3-2 at 8:42.

    Then it was Matt Beleskey, making a mockery of the Blackhawks’ trade deadline acquisitions to tie the game. He stripped Antoine Vermette of the puck, and then scored around Kimmo Timonen to knot the game at 3-3 at 9:05 of the third period. It was his sixth of the playoffs.

    Fourteen seconds later, Ducks star Corey Perry scored his ninth of the postseason, sneaking behind Duncan Keith to collect the rebound of a Ryan Getzlaf shot and tuck it past Crawford for the 4-3 lead.

    So at least he knows these things happen. 

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  • Brandon Saad’s sick kick-pass sets up Blackhawks goal in Game 4 (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Sometimes the best passes in hockey aren’t made with one’s stick.

    Witness Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks making a glorious kick-pass to Marian Hossa that eventually led to Jonathan Toews’ goal in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.

    In the third period, Duncan Keith made a brilliant play to keep the puck in the Anaheim Ducks zone, and passed it on the left wing boards to Saad. He immediately kicked it over with this right skate to Hossa, who fed Toews to the right of the Anaheim goal, patiently waiting before scoring the goal at 2:38.

    Here's another look:

    another look at Toews goal, including Saad kicking puck to Hossa http://t.co/U0nP4rPC8s

    Saad earlier had a great shorthanded breakaway goal for the game’s first tally.

    Best kick-pass of the postseason? Well, most effective. But it’s still hard to beat Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning throwing a check and kicked the puck to Steven Stamkos without a stick in Game 2. That was greasy.  

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  • Coyotes hire 25-year-old analytics wiz John Chayka as assistant GM

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Unlike many analytics gurus, John Chayka has an Internet Hockey Database player page. It’s not exactly a storied career – 101 games with the Woodstock Slammers of the junior Maritime Hockey League – but it’s something. 

    Perhaps that made the world safe for a guy with no previous front office experience to land an assistant general manager gig with in NHL: He’s not just a stats nerd, he’s a former jock that became a stats nerd!

    According to Aaron Ward of TSN, Chayka has been hired by the Arizona Coyotes as their new AGM to general manager Don Maloney.

    Chayka is co-founder of Stathletes, a Canadian firm that uses video analysis to offer a complete picture of a player’s game and has “over 100-times the statistical resolution of typical tracking methods.”

    Speaking of young players: Shane Doan is 13 years older than John Chayka. When they meet, it’s totally that scene between James Bond and ‘Q’ in SKYFALL in the art museum. 

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  • Lightning banking on bad luck to explain Game 4 blowout

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    “How did you see it play out?” 

    Any time a coach answers a question with a question it’s squirmy. And it rarely ever happens when the query and the response are grounded in happy feelings and optimism.

    As it was, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked how he saw the second period of their 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday, where the Bolts gave up two late goals in backbreaking fashion.

    Sarcastic and exasperated as the reponse was, he answered the question with a question, and then was questioned again.

    “Maybe some tough luck?” responded Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.

    “OK, I’ll start there: Maybe some tough luck,” said Cooper. “I'll go beyond the second period. I thought for 45 minutes, we did everything but put the puck in the net. We had some really good looks. It's tough to have a period like we did in the second period. Nine times out of 10, you're coming out with the lead probably by multiple goals. Instead you come out of that, like you lose the period.  It doesn't happen very often.”

    The second goal of that Rangers rally was scored by Keith Yandle, off the leg of Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman.

  • Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Mike Harrington on Babcock; Andrew Gross on Rangers; Game Show Friday!

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a (gettin' down on) Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record on Rangers/Lightning! Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News on Mike Babcock! 

    • The Conference Final coverage!

    • Game Show Friday!

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: How much trouble are the Blackhawks in? Email puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarekClick here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!

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  • Conn Smythe Watch: Tyler Johnson, Ryan Getzlaf lead MVP pack

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Welcome to the first edition of our Conn Smythe Watch, which chronicles the ever-changing race for playoff MVP. This one is a just a glimpse at the current picture; we’ll make it a daily feature when Round 2 begins. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.  

    1. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (3)

    The Triplets Line has taken over the Lightning’s series against the Rangers, led by Johnson and his 12 goals in the playoffs. He’s the postseason leader in goals and points (18), and tied for the lead with seven power-play points. 

    2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (7)

    The heart, soul and muscle of the Ducks. He had two assists in their Game 3 win, including a great pass to set up Simon Despres for the game winner. He now has 16 points, with 14 assists.

    3. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (4)

    Kane’s whirling back-hander in Game 3 was his eighth goal of the playoffs and his 14th point in 13 games. He’s credited with two game-winners.

    4. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks (2)

    5. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (1)

    6. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (6)

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