Greg Wyshynski

  • Brad Marchand coy about playing with Sidney Crosby on Penguins

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr 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.

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  • Ovechkin tried his best, regrets mistakes in Canada loss

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 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.

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  • Canada overpowers Russia, makes World Cup final

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 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 pic.twitter.com/htS8t5hHdU

    — 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.

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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 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.”

    [Sign up to play Yahoo Fantasy Hockey for free | Mock Draft | Latest news]

    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 8 hrs 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.

    [Sign up to play Yahoo Fantasy Hockey for free | Mock Draft | Latest news]

    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 13 hrs 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.

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  • NHL not concerned about World Cup revenues, attendance

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs 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.

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  • Puck Daddy’s 2016-17 NHL Preview: Detroit Red Wings

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The Detroit Red Wings

    Last Season

    After Mike Babcock followed the money all the way to Toronto, it was expected that the Detroit Red Wings would enter into a new era under head coach Jeff Blashill – a post-playoff streak era.

    Think again: The Red Wings extended their playoff qualification streak to 25 seasons with a 41-30-11 (93 points) record and a third-place finish in the Atlantic Division. They were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but still: playoffs! Again!

    Now, the Red Wings enter yet another new era: The post-Pavel Datsyuk one, as the Russian hockey legend left for the KHL.

    Can the Red Wings keep the streak going for another season?

    2015-16 Season, In One Picture

     

    Did They Get Better, Worse, Or Are They About The Same?

    Worse.

    While it’s true that Pavel Datsyuk isn’t the player he once was, he was far from a liability. He was still a driver of possession and a quality defensive player. He’ll be an asset to the Arizona Coyotes.

    Frans Nielsen, 32, is an underrated two-way forward that could thrive in the Red Wings’ system and as a linemate with Henrik Zetterberg. Five years is a bit of term for him, but in the short term, he helps.

  • How ESPN, Rogers virtual board ads are changing hockey on TV

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TORONTO – Nathan MacKinnon skated in on Henrik Lundqvist. The goalie lunged, MacKinnon dangled and eventually tucked the puck under crossbar. He celebrated the overtime goal for Team North America, getting mobbed by teammates along the boards, in-between ads for Honda and Pizza Pizza.

    At least, that’s what the fans inside the arena saw.

    For those watching on Sportsnet, MacKinnon scored and started skating towards boards that were covered by Molson beer advertisements, which, as the goal horn blared, suddenly morphed into an exploding “NORTH AMERICA” name and logo as the team celebrated its win.

    The digital advertisements and messaging that’s wrapped around the rink boards are one of the most interesting, and potentially revolutionary, advancements on display at the World Cup of Hockey.

    They allow broadcasters to sell new real estate to sponsors and send messages to fans. They’re not nearly as hideous as those floating logos CGI’d on the glass and safety netting behind the goals. And the technology has the potential to enhance the fan experience on television … if it’s used correctly.

    Moore wasn’t exactly sure the technology would transfer over to hockey.

  • Tortorella: Don’t lose your mind over Team USA World Cup failure

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    TORONTO – It’s nights like this when you miss the old John Tortorella, the fiery guy who wouldn’t have showered his winless World Cup of Hockey team with platitudes.

    Instead, the guy at the podium after Team USA’s 4-3 loss to the lowly Czech Republic on Thursday night praised many aspects of his team’s game and cautioned the hockey world not to put the plunger down and blow up the program after its flop in Toronto.

    “I thought we played hard. For most of that game, I thought we did the things we needed to do. We developed some scoring chances. Just couldn’t score enough,” he said.

    “I’ll take the hits. I like the team. I liked how they were before the game. I liked them on the bench tonight.”

    Some of the players who spoke after the game defended their coach and coaching staff as well.

    And by calls, we also mean concerns, like this one from a certain USA Hockey legend:

    I have great respect for USA hockey but not win a game is very disappointing and makes me wonder where we are heading

    — MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) September 23, 2016

    What things need to change?

    Yeah, we miss the old John Tortorella.

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