Greg Wyshynski

  • Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos and how leadership is born

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    TAMPA – Cameras, microphones and onlookers surrounded them, standing 10-deep. No other player scrum at the Stanley Cup Final's media day came close to the intensity of interest surrounding them. No player's words were as scrutinized or parsed. 

    “This is, for me, the first time I’ve seen this much media,” said Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “It’s kind of new for me.”

    “We’re excited to be here,” said Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “We’re going to show it tomorrow [in Game 1].”

    Stamkos and Toews both wear the ‘C’ for their teams. They both have an insatiable desire to win. They’re both Canadian.

    “They have a couple things really in common. They’re really good people, very high-character guys. They’re both pretty humble. They’re confident but humble guys,” said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

    That’s pretty much where the comparisons end.

    ***

    They say age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, but Jonathan Toews had to prove to many that a player who couldn’t legally buy a drink in the U.S. could captain an NHL team.

    Where Toews has grown as a captain: Not simply trying to lead men, but being a leader among men.

    ***

    He accepted different roles with the team,” said Cooper.

  • Marek Vs Wyshynski Podcast: Huzzah, the Stanley Cup Final edition!

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs 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: Mike Zeisberger, Dr. Zed from the Toronto Sun, joins us to talk puck.

    • The Stanley Cup Final!

    • The Devils hire John Hynes!

    • Media day!

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: GOING POSTAL! ASK US ANYTHING! 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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  • Blackhawks vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Preview: Who has the better narrative?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago

    Leading up to Wednesday's Game 1, Puck Daddy is previewing every facet of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning— on the ice and off the ice.   

    CHICAGO

    Whether or not you define three Stanley Cups in six years under a salary cap as a “dynasty” or not, the bottom line is that the Blackhawks are attempting to do what no other team has done since the NHL’s financial structure was forever changed in the 2005 lockout. For this core to win Cup No. 3 would be nothing short of extraordinary…

    … and it could be the last time we see this core, considering the Blackhawks’ precarious cap situation. The “last hurrah” aspect to this run is one of its most prevalent undercurrents.

    If you’re look for magic, then look no further than the return of Patrick Kane to the Blackhawks after a broken clavicle that threatened to keep him out of the postseason.

    If you’re looking for heartfelt stories, you have the tragic deaths of trainer Clint Reif and former defenseman Steve Montador this season. The Hawks have dedicated this run to their memories.

    TAMPA BAY

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  • Why don’t more Americans watch the Stanley Cup Final?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago

    With due respect to the Anaheim Ducks, NBC is probably still cleaning up the champagne that was spilled when the Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. 

    Two of the three highest rated games on NBC since the network took over NHL coverage from ESPN on 2006 involved the Blackhawks: The 8.279 million viewers that watched them win the Cup in Game 6 against the Flyers in June 2010, and the 8.16 million viewers that watched them top Boston in Game 6 in June 2013. The only game to top those? A Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks in June 2011, the dramatic ending to one of the most contentious series in NHL history.

    So Chicago watches when the Blackhawks are in the Cup Final. Game 6 against Boston? That produced a 30.2 rating in Chicago.

    When the Blackhawks aren’t in the Cup Final? Yeah, not so much: Game 5 of the 2014 Final between the Rangers and Kings produced a 5.4 rating in Chicago. Same thing goes for Boston: 33.0 rating for Game 6 against the Blackhawks, and a 6.3 rating for the Rangers and Kings.

    The bad news is that they still are way too reliant on having that massive local audience carry the national rating.

    Sigh …

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  • Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks’ unstoppable freak

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 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.

    ***

    Does Keith sometimes get that rap?

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  • Jason Garrison reveals the worst playoff beard on Lightning

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 2 days 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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