Greg Wyshynski

  • Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks’ unstoppable freak

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    TAMPA – In a sport where a coach’s platitudes towards his players float by on wings of homogeny, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s admiration of defenseman Duncan Keith was capriciously definitive. 

    “He's kind of a freak,” said Quenneville, “as far as his metabolism and conditioning level.”

    In 17 games, The Freak has taken 16 more shifts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs than any other player. He’s averaged more ice time per game – 31 minutes, 35 seconds – than any other player. He’s played a total of 537 minutes and 4 seconds, which is already more than 10 minutes greater than his total ice time in 19 games last postseason.

    He’s on pace for more than 600 minutes played, and potentially the highest average ice time since the NHL began tracking the stat in 1998.

    In context, maybe it shouldn’t.

    But he’s also doing what Duncan Keith does, and what his teammates expect him to do: Play nearly half the game, and play it more effectively than nearly any other defenseman in the league.

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    Does Keith sometimes get that rap?

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  • Jason Garrison reveals the worst playoff beard on Lightning

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago

    TAMPA – Jason Garrison’s beard looks like a steel wool scouring pad mated with a small black bear.

    “This is the longest I’ve gone with it. It’s not too bad,” he said on Tuesday, stroking his whiskers, tempting fate he might lose a finger.

    Garrison’s beard was flagged in the Eastern Conference Final Beard Watch as the one “that could win the whole thing.” He claims, for the most part, the thicket remains untouched.

    “I’ve just trimmed around the lips. That’s about it,” he said.

    Garrison also relies on his friends to help with the upkeep. And by that we mean, ‘Yo, dude, you totally have guacamole in your beard. And we didn’t even eat that tonight.’

    “I have good support from my buddies when we go out to eat. They always tell me if there’s anything stuck in there,” he said.

    Has he cheated at all with the growing of this beard?

    “No dye. No Just For Men,” said Garrison.

    C’mon, Jason – have you cheated at all with this beard?

    OK, that’s fine. Sometimes you need a little more runway before takeoff.

    Captain Steven Stamkos?

    OK, so someone else then?

     

  • Jonathan Toews better player than Steve Yzerman, says Steve Yzerman

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    TAMPA – Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks has earned comparisons to Hockey Hall of Famer and Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman since he entered the NHL. 

    “Well, we [both] wore No. 19,” quipped Yzerman, now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    It goes well beyond that, of course. They wereboth young captains. By the end of Yzerman’s career, he personified the kind of dominant two-way center that Toews has been defined as being since he joined the league in 2007. And then there’s the winning thing: Yzerman won three Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, and Toews could win his third with the Blackhawks against Yzerman’s Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.

    All that said … who’s the better player?

    Yzerman said it’s no contest.

    It’s Toews. 

    “The reality is that Jon is bigger, stronger … better. He just is. Tremendous all-around player, great person,” he said, pumping tires mightily before the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa.

    Toews was asked what he thought of all the praise. 

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  • Joe Maddon pretends he’s not Lightning fan for sake of Chicago

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs 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.

  • Pass or Fail: Tampa Bay Lightning’s anti-visiting fan dress code

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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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  • Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Dave Mishkin on Bolts, Chris Kuc on Blackhawks, Conn Smythe

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

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

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

  • Conn Smythe odds: Jonathan Toews the MVP leader?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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      

  • Five reasons why Stanley Cup Final is better than your sport's championship (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days 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?

  • Blackhawks vs. Lightning: How much do you love this Stanley Cup Final matchup?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    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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  • Blackhawks advance to Stanley Cup Final, Toews leads Game 7 win

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    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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