Greg Wyshynski

  • Sweden outthinks itself in stunning World Cup loss to Europe

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 mins 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.


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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs 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.





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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs 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.


  • Brad Marchand coy about playing with Sidney Crosby on Penguins

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs 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.


  • Ovechkin tried his best, regrets mistakes in Canada loss

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs 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.


  • Canada overpowers Russia, makes World Cup final

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    TORONTO – For two periods, Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky single-handedly kept his team in the hunt for the World Cup.

    But in the third period, Canada skated out and decided — to paraphrase another great Russian athlete — ‘We Must Break You.’

    Using an overwhelming offensive barrage, Canada advanced to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey final with a 5-3 victory over Russia on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, setting up both of linemate Brad Marchand’s two goals.

    In total, Canada had 47 shots on goal and 75 shot attempts. Their goalie Carey Price, meanwhile, made 31 saves.

    Crosby got the Canadians on the board by absolutely embarrassing Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov:

    ref cam view of the goal

    — Stephanie (@myregularface) September 24, 2016

    It remained that way into the intermission, with Bobrovsky making 16 saves, helping Russia kill off three Canadian power plays they earned in a 5-minute and 24-second span.

    Then the Russians struck.

    It was short-lived.


  • Canada vs. Russia: 5 keys to World Cup of Hockey showdown

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago

    TORONTO – Contrary to perceptions, Canada occasionally loses international hockey tournaments. Like the 2008 IIHF world championships in Quebec City, when Alex Ovechkin and Russia defeated Jonathan Toews’s Team Canada in overtime.

    “Yeah, I remember the celebration. That was not fun to watch. Especially on home ice,” said Toews. “At the same time, it was a good learning experience. I think the guys that were a part of that team were definitely ready for the opportunity in [the Vancouver Olympics]. We came out flying in that tournament. But yeah, you can’t win them all I guess.”

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    Here are five keys to the Canada vs. Russia showdown in Toronto, with a trip to the World Cup finals against either Sweden or Team Europe on the line:

    Sid Vs. Ovie

    Yeah, this again.

    The Pace

    ‘The Bob’

    The Atmosphere

  • For Team Europe, in Halak they trust

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – He’s faced 111 shots and only let six pucks fly by him in three games, including contests against the NHL stars of Canada and the United States. Now, as the backbone of the ragtag World Cup of Hockey squad collectively known as Team Europe, goalie Jaroslav Halak is expecting to face a few dozen more against Sweden.

    Only a little earlier than he’s used to.

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    Sweden and Team Europe faceoff in a single-elimination semifinal, with the winner advancing to the best-of-three World Cup final against either Canada or Russia. Their game on Sunday is at 1 p.m. ET, the earliest start for any game of the two-week tournament.

    What Team Europe is playing for a chance to do what few of its players have the opportunity to do in international competition: Play for a championship.

  • Matt Murray out up to six weeks after World Cup injury

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without goalie Matt Murray, who led them to the Stanley Cup championship last postseason, after he suffered a broken hand during the World Cup of Hockey.

    GM Jim Rutherford said Murray, who was playing for the under-23 Team North America, will miss “three to six weeks.”

    Murray was pulled from North America’s 4-3 loss against Russia on Sept. 19, playing 27 minutes and 24 seconds, giving up four goals on 19 shots. Initially, coach Todd McLellan said Murray had “jammed his thumb” but was “very capable of playing” in their next game. Murray wasn’t dressed for their game against Sweden to complete pool play on Sept. 21.

    After playing 13 games in the regular season for Pittsburgh, Murray was given the crease during the Penguins’ first-round series against the New York Rangers due to an injury to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He won his first three appearances, and ended up with 15-6-0 record in their playoff run to the Stanley Cup championship, posting a 2.08 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

    Well, at least Mike Sullivan won’t have to stress over naming a start for opening night.


  • NHL not concerned about World Cup revenues, attendance

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – The atmospheric differences were stark.

    At 8 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto would come alive for the World Cup of Hockey. Nearly every seat was filled; the ones that weren’t had their tickets lingering on the secondary market at high prices. The fans were loud and engaged. It was everything you’d expect from a tournament featuring NHL stars, held in the center of the hockey universe.

    But at 3 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre was less than two-thirds capacity, and tickets for games like Sweden vs. Finland could be had for as little as $6 on the secondary market. The atmosphere was sedate. It’s not exactly what you expected from the World Cup of Hockey, although Wednesday’s game between Connor McDavid’s Team North America and Sweden was better attended and much louder.

    Was the NHL happy with the turnout for its round-robin games?

    “The answer to that is that we sold the tickets exactly right: In strips,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, at a hockey technology summit held during the World Cup.

    Bettman wasn’t concerned with the unused tickets.