Greg Wyshynski

  • Dump Ken Hitchcock or gut the core for St. Louis Blues?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago

    Like spoiled milk, moldy cheese and that Russian dressing that’s been on the fridge door since the Bush administration, Ken Hitchcock has an expiration date. 

    His first head-coaching job in the NHL remains his longest tenured one: Seven years with the Dallas Stars, 503 games, with a Stanley Cup and two Western Conference titles.

    Then came four years and 254 games with the Philadelphia Flyers before being fired in 2006. Then came four years and 284 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets before parting ways in 2010.

    He’s coached the St. Louis Blues for four seasons and 281 games.

    Time’s up.

    Look, there’s no denying the effect Hitchcock had on this franchise. His systematic structure produced four straight playoff years – Year 1 had him taking over for Davis Payne after 13 games – with the Blues twice finishing first and twice finishing second.

    But their six-game bow to the Minnesota Wild is the third straight season that they’re out on their asses in the first round. This year’s loss came at the expense of the best roster, on paper, that GM Doug Armstrong has given his coach. And it wasn’t against the Kings or the Blackhawks. It was against a team they should have beaten.

  • Brendan Gallagher, pest supreme, taunts Mark Stone’s wrist injury (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens is one of our favorite players, because he possesses that unique blend of offensive, physicality and the ability to be an unrepentant little weasel that gets under the skin of opposing players by any means necessary. 

    Like, for example, mocking an injury.

    Please recall Game 1 of the Habs’ six-game victory over the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, in which rookie sensation Mark Stone took a stiff slash from P.K. Subban in front of the Montreal net. Stone went down in a heap, writhing in pain, before leaving for the locker room. Subban was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

    Stone returned to the game, and even tried to get into an altercation at the end of the game. Which probably didn’t set well with the Habs, judging from what Gallagher did in Game 6.

    As Stone and Gallagher jawed at each other, Gallagher skated away smirking, and then shook his right wrist at Stone, which was the wrist he suffered a micro-fracture on after the Subban slash.

    (Reading some lips, it’s pretty obvious their scholarly discussion was about their relative toughness.)

     

     

  • Revenge of Craig Anderson has Senators believing again

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    When Andrew Hammond grabbed the Ottawa Senators’ starting goaltender job, Craig Anderson couldn’t grab a stick. 

    His right hand had a deep bone bruise, keeping him out of the lineup. With Robin Lehner injured as well, Hammond was given his shot as a 27-year-old rookie on Feb. 18. He would go on to finish the regular season with a 20-1-2 record, going 14 straight starts without a regulation loss.

    Anderson became a forgotten man, a footnote to a folk hero. He wanted to take part in this Senators’ resurgence, but he physically couldn’t; at one point, he was teary-eyed in front of reporters in discussing how the situation was “killing” him.

    To that end, he was an insurance policy, much like he was when the Senators began their series with the Montreal Canadiens with Hammond between the pipes. By Game 3, Ottawa cashed in the policy, yanking their folk hero and turning back to their former starter.

    All he’s done since then is stop 120 of 123 shots, posting two wins with a .976 save percentage.

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  • Penguins CEO says GM, coach, Crosby and Malkin all safe

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    After the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers on Friday night, Evgeni Malkin held court with reporters and Mike Johnston spoke at the podium. In both case, for whatever reason, my mindset was the same: Is this the last time I’m seeing these guys with Pittsburgh?  

    Johnston was brought in to make the Penguins a better playoff team; instead, they existed more quickly than they ever did under Dan Bylsma. Malkin went pointless in the Rangers series, and if the Penguins were really going to shake up the team, it might have been the end of an era for him.

    But David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Penguins, said Johnston and Malkin are safe. So is Sidney Crosby, quelling any of that bizarre speculation. And above all, GM Jim Rutherford, the Band-Aid applied to the team after Ray Shero was fired last summer, is back as well.

    From Jason Mackey of the Tribune-Review:

    Morehouse also quashed trade talk surrounding franchise centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

    So there you go.

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  • Do the Washington Capitals have a killer instinct?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Since the first year Alex Ovechkin made the playoffs with the Washington Capitals, they’ve played in nine playoff series. Seven of them have gone seven games; the only two that didn’t came in the same 2010-11 season, a five-game win over the Rangers and a sweep at the hands of the Lightning. 

    So, chin up, New York Islanders fans: These things tend to go the distance for the Capitals, even if they’re up 3-2 in the series.

    But this isn’t a Capitals team about tendencies, or the past. This is a Capitals team desperately trying to prove that this postseason, and this mix of players, is different.

    Do they actually have a killer instinct this time?

    Said Troy Brouwer to CSN Washington:

    Barry Trotz said he wants the Capitals to use the past to thrive in the present:

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  • NHL Three Stars: Dubnyk bounces back for Wild; Hagelin wins in OT

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild 

    The Minnesota goalie had yet another great bounce-back game, stopping 36 shots in the Wild’s 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. He made 19 saves in the third period alone. 

    No. 2 Star: Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers

    The forward’s second goal of the playoffs turned out to be the series clincher, as his leaping tally past Marc-Andre Fleury gave the Rangers a 2-1 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5. 

    No. 3 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

    The starter who became a backup and is now a starter again made 45 saves in the Sens’ 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, including 19 in the third period. Montreal now leads 3-2 in the series.

    Honorable Mention: Marco Scandella and Nino Niederreiter scored their second of the playoffs. … Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth. … Bobby Ryan scored two goals, breaking a long slump. … Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad had two assists each. … Fleury made 34 saves, while Lundqvist made 37. 

    Did You Know? The Penguins scored eight goals on 132 shots against Lundqvist.

  • Penguins cite injuries, bounces for Game 5 exit but praise Fleury

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    NEW YORK – The ultimate reaction to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs will come in the weeks and months following Friday's Game 5 loss to the New York Rangers.

    Players will be jettisoned. Perhaps a coach. Perhaps a GM. Perhaps even a foundational star whose departure fundamentally changes the team’s identity. 

    But in the short term, the Penguins sat in their dressing room at Madison Square Garden – their coach, Mike Johnston, opted not to speak to them after the game – and reflected on a tightly played but brief series, and the rocky road that led there.

    “We’re missing some guys. All year. It’s tough to get your rhythm as far as team identity. I’m not using that as an excuse by any means. We still found a way to get ourselves into the playoffs,” said captain Sidney Crosby.

    “We lost our two best defensemen. That’s tough for team,” said Evgeni Malkin of Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff, the team’s best puck-moving defensemen, who missed the entire series due to injury.

    "If I step on the ice, it’s healthy. I have a couple small injuries, but not big one,” he said.

    Malkin said he just didn’t get it done.

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  • Rangers beat Penguins in OT, eliminating Pittsburgh in Game 5

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    NEW YORK – Carl Hagelin scored with 9:08 remaining in the first overtime to send the New York Rangers to the second round and eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games on Friday night, 2-1.

    A hard-working shift from Dominic Moore dug the puck out to Hagelin, who put it past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to the ice. 

    "I don't remember it at all, to be honest," said Hagelin. "I didn't do much on that shift until I saw Dom was in trouble behind the net. I went behind there to pick up the puck and then I just skated around the circle and I took a shot. Somehow, it went in."

    Hagelin said the goal was "one of the happiest moments of my life."

    The game was an outstanding goaltending battle between Henrik Lundqvist (37 saves) and Marc-Andre Fleury (34 saves), as both netminders kept the score close with clutch saves in each period.

    "I thought both goaltenders were good tonight," said Penguins coach Mike Johnston. "Unfortunately, it was another 2-1 game in their favor."

    The Rangers struck at 4 minutes, 23 seconds of the first period after a Nick Spaling tripping penalty.

     

     

     

  • Max Lapierre does chicken impression to mock Dan Boyle (GIF)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    GIF Lapierre: literally the worst pic.twitter.com/W105dVRdVK

    Max Lapierre of the Pittsburgh Penguins is one of the most anything goes pests in the NHL, whether it’s faking an injury to earn a penalty or making light of Patrice Bergeron getting bitten by Alex Burrows.

    He’s been an absolute miscreant in the Penguins’ series against the New York Rangers, and that continued in Game 5 on Friday night, when he taunted Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle by acting like a chicken. Which is the universal symbol for “you’re a coward,” last time we checked.

    Speaking of checks, you might remember Lapierre and Boyle have a little history.

    Lapierre was suspended five games for that hit, which put Boyle on a stretcher.

    The true measure of respect, of course, being doing the chicken wings to a guy you put on a stretcher. 

  • Vezina Trophy Finalists: Devan Dubnyk vs. Carey Price vs. Pekka Rinne

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    The NHL announced on Friday that Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” as voted on by the League’s 30 general managers. 

    Please note the finalists are presented in alphabetical order; were they properly presented as “Vezina winner Carey Price and two guys who will watch Carey Price win the Vezina,” it would drain the award of much of the mystery that literally has hundreds of people tuning in for the NHL Awards in June. 

    That said …

    Why Devan Dubnyk Deserves The Vezina

    The NHL says:

    The phrase “it’s an honor to be nominated” gets tossed around a lot, but seriously: Dubnyk went from the “never-was” journeyman scrap heap to quasi-starter in Arizona to starter in Minnesota, carrying the Wild to the playoffs and basically matching Price’s numbers during that roll. He doesn’t have the stats or the body of work to win the Vezina – truth be told, he’s a better Hart nominee – but what a story. 

    Why Carey Price Deserves The Vezina

    The NHL says:

    The NHL says: