- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
With due respect to Steve Mason and Ray Emery, to a blue line that’ll have to handle Rick Nash and Marty St. Louis, to a coach in Craig Berube doing this playoff thing for the first time, there is one key to the Philadelphia Flyers’ series against the New York Rangers, and his name is Claude Giroux.
The criteria for an MVP gets thrown around a lot this time of year, but Giroux was third on my ballot – behind Sidney Crosby and Ryan Getzlaf – for good reason: As he goes, so go the Flyers.
Giroux scored 64 points in their 42 wins, including 25 goals. That’s a 1.52 points per game average. In their losses, he had 22 points in 40 games, including three goals. That’s a 0.55 points per game average. Look, I’m no math major, but …
He was their third-best forward in corsi when the game was tied and in one-goal games, driving possession numbers with his top line.Thu, Apr 174:00 PM PDTPhiladelphia at NY RangersPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Dale Weise, Montreal Canadiens
The Habs forward was in the right place at the right time – 18:08 of OT – when Daniel Briere hit him with a pass from behind the net. Weise snapped a shot past a frozen Anders Lindback for the 5-4 victory in Game 1 of Montreal’s series vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.
No. 2 Star: Brandon Sutter, Pittsburgh Penguins
Sutter’s wrist shot at 8:18 of the third period beat Sergei Bobrovsky and gave the Pittsburgh Penguins their only lead of the night – and the game-winning goal in their 4-3 victory. Sutter also won 53 percent of his faceoffs.
No. 3 Star: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Even in a losing effort, Stamkos was awesome in Game 1 vs. Montreal. He skated 27:31, scored two goals and was dangerous on almost every shift.
Honorable mention: Ryan Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey had a goal and an assist each as the Anaheim Ducks held off a Dallas Stars’ rally for a 4-3 victory. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin scored in the losing effort. Frederik Andersen made 32 saves in his playoff debut. … Jack Johnson had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets. … Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist for the Habs. Alex Killorn had the same for the Bolts.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
With 16.3 seconds remaining in Game 1 of their divisional semifinal series on Wednesday night, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin took a slap shot with a bouncing puck at the Anaheim Ducks goal.
Center Ryan Getzlaf watched the shot sail into the air … and right into his mouth, dropping the captain to the ice in a heap.
Getzlaf donated a bit of blood on the ice before the Ducks’ trainer led him to the back.
The Ducks hung on to win, 4-3, despite a late rally by Dallas. Which should put a smile on Getzlaf’s face, assuming this is still physically possible.
Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game that Getzlaf was getting stitched up and is "probably going to be ok but will have a nasty cut."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Daniel Briere is one of only 35 players in NHL history to average more than a point per playoff game, entering the Montreal Canadiens’ Game 1 battle with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night with 109 points in 108 playoff games.
Make that 110 points in 109 games. Briere made the key play in overtime, leading to Dale Weise’s game-winner at 18:08 and the 5-4 victory.
The play was started by Michael Bournival, who forced a pair of turnovers by Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas and got the puck deep. Briere fired a shot that was blocked, the puck traveling back to the point where Josh Gorges corralled it. He sent it in back of the net where three Lightning players were defending two Canadiens.
It traveled to Briere, who shook his check by Eric Brewer – who had a terrible night – and sent a pass in front to Weise for the snap-shot that beat a frozen Anders Lindback.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Despite not being traditional rivals, the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning located their animosity rather quickly in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs divisional semifinal on Wednesday. That including a scrum during the game in which Steven Stamkos (of all people) went after Andrei Markov after a late hit on Ondrej Palat.
As true hockey fans know, there is but one reaction to seeing this kind of passion and postseason drama: Lemme get a selfie!
Now, on the one hand, the idea of turning your back on the action to self-indulge when playoff action is unfolding a few feet away from your pricy lower bowl seats is nearly a hockey sin.
On the other hand … you have to admit that’s a pretty sweet selfie. Unless this was just more viral marketing for Samsung …
With that – Pass or Fail: Taking a selfie during a scrum at the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
The Stanley Cup Playoffs. Brutality. Passion. Heroes. Villains. Celebrations. Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”
There are a few of our favorite things, and Hockey Night In Canada’s mad genius Tim Thompson put it all together in an incredible montage for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs’ opening night:
Really, any opening that can feature James Hetfield, Pat Burns and the California Golden Seals gets all the love and affection we can shower on 3 and a half minutes of hockey highlights.
Kudos for not using "Enter Sandman," as well.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Happy Hockey Christmas every!
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin Wednesday night, so tell your family you’ll catch up with them sometime in June. As a reminder, here are the first-round battles:
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Who wins the first round battles? Who wins the big prize?
Glad you asked … here are the official Puck Daddy playoff picks from our editors, writers and friends.
Greg Wyshynski, Editor
Bruins in 7 Lightning in 7 Blue Jackets in 6 Rangers in 5
Ducks in 5 Sharks in 7 Avalanche in 5 Blackhawks in 6
Stanley Cup: Sharks over Bruins in 6
Conn Smythe: Patrick Marleau
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
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: Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on the Lightning and the Habs.
• Yea, analytics!
• Eastern Conference playoff preview.
• Mason, Bishop Updates.
Question of the Day: Jeff and Greg are GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
Click here to download podcasts from the show each day.Subscribe to the podcast via iTunesor Feedburner.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Happy Stanley Cup Playoffs Day everybody!
To celebrate the greatness that is the start of the NHL postseason, your friends at Puck Daddy present a special playoff mega chat at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Yell at us about our awards picks! Yell at us about our playoff picks! Just yell at us to make you feel better about work stress! Whatever you'd like.
You bring the funny; we bring the abrupt changes in tone and Hamburger Women. That's how it works.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Paul Maurice has signed a 4-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets to remain their head coach, which is good news for both.
Maurice works well with young players and preaches an up-tempo style that you need to play to thrive in the Western Conference. Plus, the idea that the Jets would have three coaches in two seasons does not make for consistency.
So that’s good news.
Less than good: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said that Ondrej Pavelec will also return next season.
"Ondrej Pavelec is our No. 1 goalie next season,” he said at Wednesday’s press conference, via Illegal Curve. When asked if he felt the beleaguered goalie was holding the team back, he responded, "No one person on this team is greater than the sum of its parts."
That’s actually correct, because Pavelec is worse than the sum of the Jets’ parts.