Greg Wyshynski

  • Lightning flunked their Stanley Cup test in Game 6

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago

    TAMPA – Game 6 was a test for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they failed it. 

    They had a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 11 years and eliminate the New York Rangers, avoiding a grand finale in a building where the Rangers have never lost a Game 7. They earned this chance by playing three near-perfect periods in Game 5, and then two more effective periods in Game 6.

    But the third period was putrid. It was embarrassing. Fans left early and chants of “Let’s Go Rangers!” echoed in the upper deck.

    It was one of only a handful of times in this postseason where the Lightning looked outclassed by a veteran opponent, their young players competing to see who could make the most bad decisions and ill-fated plays in the span of 20 minutes.

    The Rangers won 7-3. Five of those goals were scored in the third period.

    “That third period,” lamented goalie Ben Bishop, “you’ve like a redo of that third period.”

    Thanks, Captain Understatement.

    Was it a case of a young team not being able to close the deal?

    “I think so. It was kind of similar to that Game 4 against Montreal,” said Bishop.

    That lesson? That the game isn’t 40 minutes long.

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  • NY Rangers rout Lightning, chase Bishop in Game 6 to avoid elimination

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago

    TAMPA – The New York Rangers faced elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday night, so they did what they do best in the playoffs: 

    Force a Game 7.

    The Rangers thumped the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena, 7-3, chasing starter Ben Bishop in the third period and humbling the Bolts. Derick Brassard had a 5-point night, with three goals and two assists. J.T. Miller, playing up with Brassard and Rick Nash, had a goal and two assists.

    Henrik Lundqvist was good when he needed to be, making 36 saves.

    "In the third period, with our season on the line, we probably played our best period of this series so far. So we wanted a chance, and we got a chance," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. 

    New York improved to 14-3 when facing playoff elimination since 2012. Game 7 is Friday night at Madison Square Garden, where they’re 7-0 in Game 7s.

    It'll be the second Game 7 of the playoffs for both the Rangers and the Bolts. 

    He made a move and tucked it through Bishop’s wickets for his seventh of the season. 

    Twenty-seven seconds after that power play ended, the Rangers went up 2-0, thanks in part to Brassard.

    Those rends continued. 

  • NY Rangers fight to survive, but has Tampa learned how to close?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    TAMPA BAY -- On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to do what they’ve done in their two previous rounds of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is close out their opponents on their Amalie Arena ice.

    Well, eventually they did: The Lightning had a chance to go up 3-2 against the Detroit Red Wings, but lost Game 5 of that series in a 4-0 shutout. They needed wins at the Joe in Game 6 and then at home in Game 7, which they obviously they received.

    They sprinted out to a 3-0 lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals, with defenseman Jason Garrison talking about a “killer instinct” for Game 4 at home. They were blown out, 6-2, then lost again at Bell Centre before closing out the Canadiens at home in Game 6.

    “This was our Game 7, we were talking and referring to it as our Game 7, we just kept looking back at the way we played, especially in the later half of the Game 7 against Detroit and we wanted that same mentality, and we had it,” said Steven Stamkos at the time.

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  • Sucking the joy out of hockey: NHL playoff narratives vs. analytics

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    Wyatt Arndt’s piece on VanCityBuzz about advanced stats vs. narratives will likely ring true to anyone that doesn’t always appreciate when the facts get in the way of romanticism, hyperbole and archetypes in hockey. 

    My first bout with this collision between reality and escapism was when the salary cap was instituted and every trade proposal made on NHL message boards, going forward, had to pass a financial litmus test.

    The first response was no longer “why in the hell would Team X make this trade?” but “why in the hell would Team X make this trade, considering their cap situation makes it literally impossible without several other dominos falling and a brief fit of insanity from their trading partner?”

    The only rejoinder would be a half-hearted “well let’s say they find a way to make it work” before that’s shot down faster than the ‘NHL 94’ A.I. could say “TRADE DENIED.”

    With the acknowledgement that, yes, they can sometimes undeniably suck the joy out of discussing this game.

    Rick Nash is a good example of this.

    From Arndt:

    ***

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    A universal language … with different dialects. 

  • Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: 'If there are sun spots we're screwed' edition

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

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

    It's a Tuesday 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: No one! Just your boys. Over the phone. For the best sound quality available. 

    • The Conference Final coverage!

    • Hitchcock stays, Bylsma to Buffalo?

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: What's your prediciton for Game 6 tonight? 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!

    ***

    BUY THE MvsW T-SHIRTS! SUPPORT HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER!

  • What the heck happened to Tom Sestito?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago

    In 2013-14, Tom Sestito had his best season in the NHL. He played 77 games, he had nine points (a career high!) and amassed 213 penalty minutes, which was of course why he was in the employ of the Vancouver Canucks. 

    That was the season when he picked up 27 PIMs in one second of ice time, which is a hell of a thing.

    But then John Tortorella was fired along with GM Mike Gillis. A completely new regime took over, and suddenly Sestito wasn’t in the plans any longer. He was a frequent healthy scratch this season, before being demoted to AHL Utica.

    “I haven’t been given a fair shake here yet. It’s [head coach Willie Desjardins’] team, he’s the coach,” he said.

    His AHL stint didn’t last all that long, as the Canucks announced in February “that forward Tom Sestito will not play for either club for the remainder of this season. Sestito will workout on his own and will continue to receive his salary while the Canucks work to identify a new club where he can continue his career.”

    All the better to bump into the Canucks a few times.

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  • Dan Bylsma’s seemingly inevitable marriage to the Buffalo Sabres

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago

    Dan Bylsma wants to coach again in the NHL. 

    He nearly took over the Florida Panthers last season, but ultimately it wasn’t a match. (Money was a factor, as Bylsma wanted upwards of $2.5 million per season.)

    The Pittsburgh Penguins, still paying him after his firing last year, have granted permission for him to interview with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and the San Jose Sharks about their coaching gigs.

    The Sharks are apparently interviewing anyone that’s ever had the word “coach” as a prefix to their name. Among the suspected San Jose candidates: Bylsma, former Devils coach Peter DeBoer, current Devils (tri-? co-?) coach Adam Oates, 2016 Canada world junior coach Dave Lowry, Boston University coach Dan Quinn, potentially Trent Yawney of the Ducks and Kevin Dineen of the Blackhawks, and potentially Randy Carlyle.

    So that’s a rather crowded field.

    Don't get carried away on the Bylsma thing. Shero talked to him already while at world championships. Things could change but don't expect Bylsma and Shero to reunite in NJ. Buffalo seems far more likely.

  • NY Rangers frustrated by Tampa’s sudden shot-blocking ways

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    NEW YORK – There was a time, not so long ago, when playing the New York Rangers meant having a good portion of your shots blocked. That was back when the Rangers had John Tortorella, a volcano that had taken on human form, as their head coach. 

    But times have changed. The current incarnation of the Rangers was 18th in blocked shots in the 2014-15 regular season. Their opponents in the Eastern Conference Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning, were 20th, blocking an average of 13.4 shots per game.

    The Lightning’s highest total of the Final was 17 blocks, which they achieved in Games 1 and 2 at the Garden. But in their 2-0 Game 5 victory, they dropped down and blocked 24 Rangers shots, helping to slow down an offense that had tallied 10 goals in their last two games against goalie Ben Bishop.

    For Lightning winger Brian Boyle, who played on those Tortorella teams in New York , blocked shots are the catalyst for offensive frustration.

    And it kept the puck out in Game 5, to the Rangers’ chagrin.

    “They did a great job of defending, blocking lanes and blocking shots, and it made it really challenging for us,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.

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  • NHL Three Stars: Ben Bishop, Bolts win Game 5

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning 

    The Lightning goalie made 26 saves for the shutout, as Tampa defeated the Rangers 2-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, taking a 3-2 series lead.

    No. 2 Star: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Stamkos scored a goal for the fourth straight game and added an assist on Valtteri Filppula’s goal. He now has seven points in his last four games.

    No. 3 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

    The Rangers goalie made 20 saves in the loss, doing what he could as his offense dried up.

    Honorable Mention: Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov had the assists on Stamkos’s goal. Anton Stralman had the big pass to set up the Filppula goal.    

    Did You Know? Bishopimproved to 11-2-0 with 3 shutouts in 13 career decisions vs. the Rangers.

    Dishonorable Mention: The Rangers were 0-for-4 on the power play despite having scored two goals on the man advantage in each of the previous three games. … Marc Staal took two minor penalties and was a minus-1.

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  • Puck to groin and sickness on bench in Tampa’s disgustingly good win

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    NEW YORK – After shutting out the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was asked about a significantly more painful moment before the Sunday night contest at MSG. 

    Did he take a puck to a “delicate region” during warm-ups?

    “You hit the nail on the head there,” he told Scott Oake of Hockey Night In Canada, as millions of fans wince simultaneously.

    Bishop took a Nikita Nesterov shot to the lower extremities, crumpled to the ice and left warm-ups. What di Nesterov say after seeing Bishop in pain? "Sorry bro."

    “His close ones, that he’s close to in life, were probably a little nervous,” said coach Jon Cooper.

    But his starting the pivotal game was in never in doubt, and Bishop shut out a Rangers team that hung 10 goals on him in the last two games. Which naturally means someone else will have to smack a puck at his under carriage before Game 6, because hockey is nothing if not a superstitious sport.

    Beyond Bishop’s warm-up mishap, the Lightning were dealing with another awkwardly stomach churning issue on their bench.

    Injury? Discipline?