Greg Wyshynski

  • Why are NHL Stanley Cup Final trailers parked outside MSG?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 33 mins ago

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning is Friday night. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is scheduled for next Wednesday. And yet, via Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, the NHL already has trailers for staff with permits for the Stanley Cup Final parked outside of Madison Square Garden: 

    NHL trailers already set up outside Garden in anticipation of Stanley Cup Final, which would start Wednesday.

    THE HUBRIS! Obviously the NHL expects the Rangers to Game 7, this being evidence that the fix is in so they can have all the ratings of a New York team in the Final! 

    Or maybe it’s just procedural. Gulitti notes the same setup was found in Ottawa in 2003 before their Game 7 against Mike Rupp and the New Jersey Devils.

    The NHL reached out and explained the early set up, via a spokesperson:

    We also have trailers parked outside Amalie Arena right now and will park them outside Honda Center tomorrow.


  • Awesome new Stanley Cup commercial feeds your Liev Schreiber addiction

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    Ah, the dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber. Like a warm blanket, bringing us back to those halcyon days when the NHL’s ‘24/7 Road to the blah blah blah’ franchise wasn’t so self-aware and actually had willing participants. 

    This is the latest Stanley Cup Playoffs commercial from the NHL, celebrating the many names that have hoisted the Cup and contributed to their teams’ Cup victories. All of it leads to the perfect symbol of what’s at stake in this marathon test of mental and physical endurance: Getting your name etched on the Holy Grail!

    It’s the greatest honor for hockey’s true legends as well as Basil Pocklington.

    As expected, this ad is garnering praise for its stirring visuals and heartfelt narration, and the NHL does few things better than this kind of commercial.

    We’ve also seen references to this being a “goosebumps-inducing” ad, and maybe it is for you, but for us it’s hard to have goosebumps when “Cup Raise” was like having liquid goosebumps mainlined into your cerebral cortex.  

    Chills. Tears. Chilly tears. 

  • Alexei Kovalev, 42, eyes NHL comeback if he’s wanted

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago

    When we last saw Alexei Kovalev, he was playing for a second-tier Swiss team called EHC Visp and had 70 points in 59 games in leading them to the National League B championship. 

    And then he retired at age 41, after 24 years of personifying the “enigmatic Russian” stereotype while scoring 430 goals in 1,316 NHL games. “I’d have loved to play until I’m 50 but the injuries from the last few seasons don’t let me continue my career,” he said.

    Well, he’s feeling better. He plays 3-on-3 hockey once a week, and trains and plays tennis three times a week.

    “I'm not the guy who likes to sit around and drink beer. It is fattening!” he told Journal de Montreal.

    Another thing he told the paper: He’d play again in the NHL at age 42 if someone offered him a contract. Because why not!

    From the Journal (via Google Translate):

    Do you think you could have been playing a few more seasons in the National League?

    You still believe that?


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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 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.


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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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…


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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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.


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

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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)


  • Bryan Murray announces next season is last as Ottawa GM

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day 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.


  • 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 2 days 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 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!