Greg Wyshynski

  • How to make the Presidents' Trophy worth a damn

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 55 mins ago

    If you were asked to name the last 15 Stanley Cup champions, we’d wager most of you could meet the challenge. The images fly through your mind like the Cup Raise commercial. They’re indelible.

    If you were asked to name the last 15 Presidents' Trophy winners, we’d wager you’d get, like, three or four, mostly because you said “the Red Wings” a few times; and then you’d cross your arms and leave in a huff muttering things about the regular season meaning nothing and “there’s a trophy curse anyway.“

    To wit: Only eight teams since the award was handed out for the first time in 1985 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup, and two of them were the Red Wings (2001-02, 2007-08). Only 15 of the 28 teams managed to reach the conference final.

    Which is to say that finishing first overall is a nice accolade that means absolutely nothing in the end, outside of the requisite home ice advantage bestowed upon a high seed.

    Damien Cox of Sportsnet noticed this and wondered: In a year in which finishing No. 30 has been treated with some semblance of accomplishment, shouldn’t there be greatest incentive to finish No. 1?

    That’s a gloriously nasty concept.

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

  • Detroit Red Wings face serious headache in goal

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    I’ve generally been supportive of Jimmy Howard, probably because he’s an American (George Washington, James Brown and John Cena) but mostly because I have sympathy for him. 

    He only played three seasons as a starter behind a Nicklas Lidstrom-led Detroit Red Wings team, including an awesome rookie season in 2009-10 that saw him finish second for the Calder. Which is to say Howard’s now played in as many post-Lidstrom “transition” seasons as with the Perfect Human on those great Red Wings teams.

    So I sorta feel for him, because instead of back-stopping the kinds of teams that hilariously have Chris Osgood in the Hall of Fame conversation, Jimmy Howard backstops teams with lineup holes and veteran stars who are in and out of the lineup with frequency of a McRib.

    But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to defend, with confidence, Howard as a Stanley Cup caliber goalie this season. His .911 even strength save percentage is brutal … although better than his .910 EV save percentage last season.

    He’d probably be out of a job now if 23-year-old Petr Mrazek wasn’t that yippy puppy that keeps slipping his leash.

    MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS

     

  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: Has the East bubble burst?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    Flat tire? Rain during a picnic? Had Northeastern in the Final Four?

    No matter how bad your weekend was, it was probably better than that of the Ottawa Senators.

    The Sens dropped an overtime loss to the lowly Maple Leafs, blowing a third-period lead on Saturday. Then they lost in regulation to Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

    Four points on the table, one point gained … and that’s why the Boston Bruins have a 72-percent chance of making the playoffs and the Senators have a 25-percent chance.

    Meanwhile in the West … well, this is going to become a familiar dance. The Blackhawks win, moving from the wild card to No. 3 in the Central, and the idle Wild go back to the wild card, and the Flames win to jump back into the No. 3 seed in the Pacific and the idle Kings tumble down to ninth behind the Jets, who lost and have 90 points to the Kings’ 88, but LA has a game in-hand and 35 ROW.

    Fun times!

    Also: RIP New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. Enjoy your diminished lottery odds.

    Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

  • Shane Doan won't be suspended by NHL for Kris Letang hit

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago

    As the Pittsburgh Penguins reveal that defenseman Kris Letang will be out indefinitely with a concussion, the NHL tells Yahoo Sports that there will be no supplemental discipline for Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan for the hit that put him out. 

    Letang left the game with 4:45 left in the second period after taking a shove from Doan away from the puck. He fell against the boards, hitting his head. He was taken to the hospital for observation, and was released on Sunday.

    “We have decided not to assess any supplemental discipline to Shane Doan. After reviewing the play carefully and from all angles, we have determined that this was an unfortunate result from a hockey play,” said the NHL in a statement.

    “It is not boarding, it is not charging, he doesn't hit him in the head. He finishes his check by shoving Letang and unfortunately, he falls awkwardly. It wasn't really even a violent hit, although resulted in an unfortunate injury.”

    Doan was contrite after the game:

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

  • Penguins’ Kris Letang out with (another) concussion after Doan hit

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering concussion at the hands of Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan in a game on Saturday. 

    From the Penguins, via coach Mike Johnston:

    Johnston confirmed that defenseman Kris Letang has a concussion. He's been released from the hospital, but will not be in the lineup tonight. "Like anything else, we’ll just take it as a day-to-day thing and we’ll see how he reacts and recovers from it," Johnston said.

    Johnston said the team will go with five defensemen for the game and, if need be, Daniel Winnik could drop back to defense if needed.

    The Winnik shift to defense is due to the fact that Christian Ehrhoff is also out of the lineup with an upper body injury. Said Winnik, with regard to shifting to defense:

    The Penguins have seven games left on the season.  

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: Chicago Blackhawks, wild card team?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    Two big developments on the playoff bubble on Saturday.

    In the East, the Boston Bruins snuck ahead of the Ottawa Senators thanks to their regulation win over the Rangers and the Senators’ embarrassing overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, blowing a third-period lead.

    Boston (87 points) is at Carolina on Sunday; Ottawa (86 points) hosts the Florida Panthers, whose season is on the line in the next two games. The Panthers have 83 points and visit the Sens and Boston. Ottawa has a game in-hand on both teams.

    The Capitals’ loss to the Predators left them with 90 points and seven games left. That’s four in front of the Senators, who have a game with the Caps on the schedule and a game in-hand. But the Caps have the ROW tiebreaker, 36-32.

    Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

    Meanwhile, in the West …

  • Game of Thrones Night left hockey fans feeling flushed (Photo)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The iconic Iron Throne from the HBO series “Game of Thrones” has been much parodied, using materials like carrots

    The Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League created their own Iron Throne on “Game of Thrones Night” … and took the “Throne” part quite seriously.

    We guess actually having this as King Joffery’s throne would have been way too appropriate, given what a little … king he was.

    “Game of Thrones” Night was held on Saturday, before the junior league team’s game against rival Cedar Rapids. The team said that there was a local tie to the fantasy book series, as creator George R.R. Martin used to live in Dubuque and has said “the harsh winters in Iowa were part of the inspiration for the fringed temperatures the books and show are set in,” according to KWWL.

    So good news, local shelters of Dubuque: Wiping is coming …

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

  • NHL Three Stars: In which Tyler Bozak tallies a hat trick vs. Ottawa

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    No. 1 Star: Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs 

    Oh, you know, just a Tyler Bozak four-point night against a team in desperate need of points on the playoff bubble. Bozak scored a third-period hat trick and had the primary helper on Eric Brewer’s overtime game-winner in the Leafs’ 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. No wonder Connor McDavid wants to be him!

    No. 2 Star: Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings

    The Red Wings goalie made things interesting between the pipes as Detroit pushes towards the playoffs, shutting out the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-0. He made 23 saves.

    No. 3 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

    Crosby, who is totally having an off year, increased his hold on the Art Ross by scoring a goal and assisting on two others in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

    Did You Know? Iginla had three assists, giving him 1,222 NHL points to pass Jean Beliveau into 40th place all time.

  • Craig Anderson makes ridiculous blocker saves, somehow blamed for loss (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson made his first start since March 10, and just his third appearance since Jan. 21, on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was a start he had to make, with sensation Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond unable to go due to a “lower body injury.” 

    As usual, Anderson did some things that boggle the mind, like on this sequence above. Guess that blocker hand is feeling better …

    But Anderson also did something Hammond hasn’t done much of during his time as the starter: He lost a game, and gave up four goals in the process. Eric Brewer’s overtime goal for the Leafs gave them the 4-3 win; the Senators dropped a point behind the Boston Bruins, who defeated the New York Rangers earlier in the day.

    A check of social media found some Senators fansless than enthused with Anderson, who stopped 27 of 31 shots for a .871 save percentage. (Three of the goals came at even strength.)

    It continued a rather putrid run for Anderson, who has given up three or more goals in his last six appearances.

  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: Which teams can clinch tonight?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    Huge night of action in the playoffs races on Saturday night, and there are a few teams that can end any uncertainty about their participation in the postseason.

    * The Canadiens would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Panthers in any fashion  OR if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion  OR  if they get one point against the Panthers  AND  the Bruins defeat the Rangers in a shootout.   * The Ducks would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Islanders in any fashion  OR  if they lose to the Islanders in overtime or a shootout.   * The Lightning would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Red Wings in any fashion OR  if they get one point against the Red Wings  AND  the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion  OR  if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in regulation.   * The Predators would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Capitals in any fashion.

    The St. Louis Blues can clinch with a win over the Blue Jackets.

    Meanwhile, in the West …