Greg Wyshynski

  • Dan Bylsma all about Sabres’ success, not shaming Penguins

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    The last time Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray worked with new coach Dan Bylsma was around 11 years ago, when both were with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

    “I was the director of player personnel. Danny was near the end of his career as a player. So I complained about him. A lot. That’s about all I remember,” said Murray, drawing a laugh from Bylsma. 

    They’ve both come a long way since then, although Murray is quick to note only one of them has hoisted the Stanley Cup. And that’s why Bylsma is an essential choice to coach a Buffalo Sabres team that's trying to claw its way up from a self-imposed descent to the bottom of the standings.

    “He’s been through it. He’s a winner. He knows what it takes to get there, and how to perform when he gets there,” said Murray.

    Getting there has never been the issue for Bylsma. He made the playoffs all six years he coached the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 – his first season as an NHL head coach – and advancing to the second round four times; including in 2013-14, after which he was fired along with general manager Ray Shero because they failed to put a second ring on Sidney Crosby’s hand.

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  • Stanley Cup Final schedule released; Game 7 set for June 17

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago

    Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final will take place on Wednesday, June 3, with a potential Game 7 taking place on Wednesday, June 17. 

    In other words: The NHL will have played two conference final Games 7 and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final before the NBA plays the first game of its championship series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

    The NHL schedule, with all games starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT:

    Game 1    Wednesday, June 3

    Game 2    Saturday, June 6

    Game 3    Monday, June 8

    Game 4    Wednesday, June 10

    Game 5 *  Saturday, June 13

    Game 6 *  Monday, June 15

    Game 7 *  Wednesday, June 17

    * If necessary

    In a miraculous coincidence, that’s every off-day for the NBA Finals!

    Yes, the Final would end on June 17, when sports fans across America can think of nothing else than games played on ice. This has been your "start the season September" lament of the day. 

    Well, at least the hockey media was prepared for the air travel in a potential New York-Anaheim series last postseason…

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  • Watch Lightning turn ice into life-sized NES ‘Blades of Steel’ game (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    It was between periods at Amalie Arena in Tampa when the PA announcer asked the crowd if they were ready to play “Bolts of Steel.”

    Suddenly, everything on the ice became … digitized. Like an 8-bit video game from the Nintendo Entertainment System days. Familiar music started playing on the loudspeakers. 

    It was “Blades of Steel.”

    For the uninitiated, “Blades of Steel”was the “other” prominent NES hockey game. Made by Konami, it opted for a more realistic take on the game than Nintendo’s “Ice Hockey,” which featured international teams and the still-famous option of creating a lineup based on body type.

    “Blades of Steel” featured real NHL cities, if not real NHL uniforms and team names. It had announcer declaring “HIT THE PASS” on every connected offensive play. It had fighting that looked like actual fighting!

    As the music played, a menu came on the Jumbotron screen showing team names. Two were selected, and then digitized players filled the ice, skating around before coming together for a faceoff.

    Here’s a look from the press box:

    He'd also like to fine-tune it, of course.

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  • Conn Smythe Watch: Duncan Keith is still skating somewhere right now

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    Welcome to the first edition of our Conn Smythe Watch. This one is a just a glimpse at the current picture. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Last list's ranking is next to each name. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.  

    1. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (6)

    Three points in Game 6 in 28:35 of ice time, pushing him to 16 points in 16 games as the playoffs’ top scoring D-man. Just playing on another level right now, and could be the third different Hawk to win playoff MVP since 2010. His 31:49 TOI leads the playoffs, and the narrative of "Duncan Keith carries thin Chicago defense" is well established. 

    2. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (5)

    Lundqvist was great when he needed to be in Game 6 and has a 2.11 GAA with a .928 save percentage. We all know what he can do in Game 7.

    3. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)

    Johnson still leads the postseason in goals with 12 and points in 20. Coming up big in Game 7 would cement his MVP credentials.

    4. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (2)

    5. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (3)

    6. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks (4)

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  • Bryan Murray announces next season is last as Ottawa GM

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    Every time I see Bryan Murray talking into a reporter’s microphone, I’m thankful.

    Thankful that he’s battled through 21 chemotherapy treatments for Stage 4 colon cancer and is able to do the thing that’s defined him for nearly five decades. Thankful that his class and his wisdom remain a part of the Ottawa Senators and, in turn, the hockey world. 

    But I also knew it couldn’t last, and it’s no surprise that Murray, 72, said his time as a National Hockey League general manager will end after the 2015-16 season, as revealed to CBC’s Allie Cotnam on Wednesday night.

    "I'm not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness," he said.

    Murray coached 1,239 games in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Ottawa Senators, winning 620. He won the Jack Adams in 1984 and was behind the bench for the Sens’ run to the Cup Final in 2007.

    He was also the general manager for the Wings, Panthers, Ducks and Senators.

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  • Derick Brassard gets the push he needs for playoff success

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    TAMPA – Derick Brassard should have seen the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a rookie.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets made the playoffs for the first time in 2009, but Brassard was in street clothes. He fought James Neal earlier in the season and ended up separating his shoulder.

    The surgery it required ended his season after 31 games. 

    As a result, Brassard played 322 NHL games before his first shift in the playoffs with the New York Rangers in 2013.

    “I played four years in the league before I got my first taste of the playoffs,” he said, “and I think I really enjoy playing at this time.”

    Brassard has 40 points in 53 playoff games with the Rangers, including a team-leading nine goals and 16 points in 18 games this postseason. Granted, that was inflated with an epic five-point night in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, pushing their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning to seven games.

    “We just made plays. Hungry on the puck. Supporting each other. We just played. It’s just what this team does in elimination games,” said Brassard.

    He and his linemates, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller, combined for 13 points in the game.

    Next up was Marty St. Louis for seven games against the Washington Capitals.

  • Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Pete DeBoer hired, Rangers win, Game 6 with Tracey Meyers

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

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

    It's a Wednesday 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: Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago joins us to talk Game 6 for the Blackhawks and Ducks!

    • The Conference Final coverage!

    • Peter DeBoer hired by the Sharks.

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: What do think of Peter DeBoer as Sharks coach? 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!

  • NHL Three Stars: Brassard's five leads to Seven

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

     No. 1 Star: Derick Brassard, New York Rangers

    The Rangers center had a five-point night in their 7-3 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. He tallied a hat trick, including an empty netter, and assisted on goals by J.T. Miller and Keith Yandle.

    No. 2 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

    Not a dominating performance for Hank, but many of his 36 saves came at the right time for the Rangers, i.e. during the first two periods when the Bolts controlled play.

    No. 3 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Well, at least one Lightning player showed up in the third period. Kucherov had two goals in an attempt to lead Tampa back from their deficit.

    Honorable Mention: J.T. Miller had a four-point night with a goal and three assists. … Rick Nash had a four-point night, with a goal and three assists. … James Sheppard had the other Rangers goal. … Ryan Callahan scored his first of the playoffs, beating Lundqvist on a breakaway.    

    Did You Know? The Rangers are 43-0-1 this season when leading after two periods.

  • Lightning flunked their Stanley Cup test in Game 6

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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 1 day 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.