Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago
Joe Maddon coached the Tampa Bay Rays for nine seasons before becoming the manager of the Chicago Cubs. During that time, his team did its part to support the other local sports clubs, including the Tampa Bay Lightning.
So where do Maddon’s loyalties lie for the Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks? To the surprise of no one that understands the joyous “with us or against us” mantra of Chicago sports, he’s staying neutral.
“I hate to say ‘may the best team win’ but may the best team win,” he said over the weekend, when asked about the series by reporters. “Coach Coop was down at Ava with his wife down in Tampa Bay, and he’s been texting me a little bit.”
[Ava is the Italian eatery co-owned by Maddon. Three and a half stars on Yelp!)
Maddon said he caught the Chicago Blackhawks’ Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks.
“I am really excited about watching the whole thing,” Maddon said. “It should be a very powerful series.”
You know, the antithesis of the Blackhawks.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago
The Tampa Bay Lightning are playing another round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means it’s time for another round of visiting teams discovering their unique dress code for high-end tickets buyers.
The Bolts' ticket policy is two-fold. They restrict their ticket sales to certain Floridian zip codes, but this is a practice that’s been adopted by several other thin-skinned teams in the NHL that are apparently allergic to raucous, chaotic, entertaining atmospheres at their home games. (Looking at you, Nashville and Washington.)
But the ticket policy that’s raised the most eyebrows is this one:
Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2015 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning apparel (or neutral) will be permitted in these club and adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team apparel will be asked to remove them while in these areas.
If a Chicago Blackhawks fan refuses to doff their fan gear at the suites, they’ll be moved to another seat outside the premium area. And, uh, there really aren’t many of those during the Stanley Cup Final.
That said, what say you:
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
It's a (we don't like) Monday 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: Dave Mishkin, Tampa play by play voice! Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune Blackhawks writer!
• The Stanley Cup Final!
• The Devils coaching chase!
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: Who is your Conn Smythe favorite right now? Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago
The latest odds for the Conn Smythe Trophy are out ahead of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
How does Bovada have this thing handicapped?
Jonathan Toews (CHI) 7/2
Tyler Johnson (TB) 4/1
Patrick Kane (CHI) 9/2
Ben Bishop (TB) 5/1
Duncan Keith (CHI) 5/1
Steven Stamkos (TB) 8/1
Corey Crawford (CHI) 12/1
Nikita Kucherov (TB) 15/1
Marian Hossa (CHI) 25/1
Patrick Sharp (CHI) 25/1
Victor Hedman (TB) 35/1
Valtteri Filppula (TB) 40/1
Alex Killorn (TB) 40/1
Ondrej Palat (TB) 40/1
Brent Seabrook (CHI) 40/1
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
The Stanley Cup Final begins this week in Tampa. Which means that Florida gets the best ... air conditioning ... EVER in June, along with the seeing the two best teams in the NHL battling for the Holy Grail of hockey.
Is this the best championship round in all of sports?
Yes, says the unbiased opinion of Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski, who presents this list of 5 Reasons The Stanley Cup Final Is Better Than Your Team's Championship Round in the latest edition of the Wysh List.
And while booing Gary Bettman might not be the best look for hockey, it's without question one of the NHL's most, uh, memorable annual traditions.
What do you like best about the Stanley Cup Final?
The Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning is about as perfect a matchup as you could ask for in the Stanley Cup Final this postseason. Well, save for the Capitals and the Ducks, in a battle to see how could blow four games first.
The Lightning are at peak swagger right now. They’ve gone through the two best goalies currently drawing oxygen on this planet to get here. With due respect to Corey Crawford’s strong play in the conference final, they’re going to look down the ice and mutter, ‘that guy? Really?’.
Then their eyes are going to glance up and catch the stoic glare of Jonathan Toews. They’ll see Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, torching their stick blades; they’ll see Marian Hossa and a revitalized Brad Richards, for whom is this not their first rodeo; they’ll see a tireless Duncan Keith and a big-game Brent Seabrook, still skating around and never tiring.
The last two games of the Western Conference Final reminds us that the NHL is split up into two kinds of players: The ones that are at their best when championships are on the line, and the ones that do not. Which is to say “the Chicago Blackhawks and nearly everyone else.”
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The Chicago Blackhawks captured their third Western Conference title in six years with a 5-3 win at the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 at Saturday night.
They’ll face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa on Wednesday night.
Simply put: The Blackhawks stars were the difference in the last two games of the series.
Jonathan Toews had the first two goals in Game 7, after going plus-2 in Game 6 and scoring two more goals in a losing effort in Game 5. Patrick Kane, his linemate, had three assists in Game 7 after a goal and an assist in Game 6. Duncan Keith, the tireless defenseman, had two assists. Marian Hossa had a critical goal. Corey Crawford, Chicago’s goalie, made 35 saves.
In contrast, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were held scoreless in five of six periods in the Ducks’ Games 6 and 7 losses, before connecting for a late goal in the third period. Frederik Andersen made only 21 saves on 26 shots.
Bruce Boudreau dropped to 1-6 in Games 7 with the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. Joel Quenneville moved to 3-4 all-time in Game 7.
Ryan Kesler finally got one back for Anaheim at 18:51 of the second to cut it to 4-1.
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Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks scored a critical goal in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final in the second period on a play that the NHL determined was not a kicked puck into the goal.
After Brad Richards’ shot was saved by Anaheim Ducks goalie Freddie Anderson – who then left yet another rebound in front of him – Hossa followed by angling his skate into the puck and knocking it into the net for what was a 4-0 lead at the time for Chicago.
From the NHL:
At 13:45 of the second period in the Chicago Blackhawks/Anaheim Ducks game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Marian Hossa's skate and into the Anaheim net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Chicago.
Look, the rule’s a joke. It’s always been a joke. The NHL has several criteria for what constitutes a kicked puck, and here they are:
Did you watch all seven minutes? Great.
It was close, but by the letter of the law the NHL has defined it as a good goal.
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It's Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks, and we're live chatting it tonight!
Will Ryan Getzlaf not be terrible? Will Bruce Boudreau make his first Cup Final? Will Johnny Toews smile again? Are the Blackhawks destined for glory?
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.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days 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.