Sean Leahy

  • Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: 12 things about Blackhawks vs. Wild

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Both the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild needed six games to advance out of Round 1, leaving the Nashville Predators and St. Louis, respectively, behind. Now it’s like an old-timey Norris Division match-up, if only the Wild had the franchise history of the North Stars…

    So are the Blackhawks in the middle of another Stanley Cup run to continue their half-decade of dominance or do the Wild have something special going on?

    1. So we meet again?

    This will be the third straight postseason postseason meetings between the teams. The Blackhawks have won both — 4-1 in the opening round in 2013 and 4-2 in last season’s second round. 

    2. Moving forward

    The usual suspects are leading the Blackhawks. Jonathan Toews is second among all active players in scoring with 8 points. Patrick Kane looks pretty much 100-percent recovered from his broken clavicle and recorded 2 goals and 7 points in Round 1. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have each chipped in five points.

    Hey, remember that Sean Bergenheim deadline deal? Yeesh.

    3. Let’s not get defensive here

    Both teams went with only six defenseman in Round 1 and both relied heavily on their top-four pairings. 

    6. Quenneville vs. Yeo

  • NHL Three Stars: Ward beats Rangers late; Perry, Getzlaf power Ducks

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Joel Ward, Washington Capitals

    Ward’s goal with 1.3 seconds left snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Capitals a 2-1 win in Game 1 against the New York Rangers:

    No. 2 Stars: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks 

    Anaheim’s offensive duo each recorded four points during their 6-1 win in Game 1 against the Calgary Flames. Perry had two goals and a pair of assists, while Getzlaf scored a goal and added three helpers.

    No. 3 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

    Ovechkin set up Ward's winner and earlier in the game opened the scoring with his third of the playoffs, a complete laser:

    Honorable Mention: Braden Holtby made 31 saves, including 10 in the final period during their Game 1 victory. After facing 11 shots in total during Monday’s Game 7 against the New York Islanders, the Rangers fired 12 on Holtby in the first period alone … Anaheim cashed in on two of their four power plays ... Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for his sixth straight win.

    Did You Know? 

    GIF: does he hit him in the numbers? not exactly pic.twitter.com/jXPsdBFFiY

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  • Joel Ward's buzzer-beater gives Caps 2-1 win over Rangers, 1-0 series lead (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Joel Ward’s goal with 1.3 seconds left in the third period helped give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their second round series.

    Braden Holtby had a much busier workload Thursday night then he did during Monday’s Game 7 against the New York Islanders. From needing to stop only 11 shots three days ago, the Capitals netminder made 31 saves as Washington took the opening game.

    A tight match-up began with a power play goal off the stick of Alex Ovechkin late in the first period. With Chris Kreider in the box for high sticking, the Washington captain fired a laser by Henrik Lundqvist for the 1-0 lead:

    The goal was Ovechkin’s third of the playoffs, leading to a warning to the Rangers’ goaltender.

    Via GRiZZY19:

    New York pressed for an equalizer in the third period and got it with 4:39 to go. Kevin Hayes skated out to the top of the Capitals’ zone and whipped a shot that ended up going off Jesper Fast’s leg and by a screened Holtby to tie the game.

    Things appeared to be headed to overtime, but Ward had other ideas. 

    Game 2 is Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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  • John Tavares honored by Hart Trophy nomination as 'sting' of playoff exit lingers

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Ryan Strome lives with John Tavares, but he was unaware that the New York Islanders captain was nominated for the Hart Trophy until he overheard a phone conversation.

    “Nice guy,” Strome joked Thursday.

    “He’d have my vote every day,” he added. “I see how hard he works, how special he is and how much he means to this team. He does everything and a lot of stuff you might not see. He truly means a lot for us. I’m hoping he wins it. Hoping I get to celebrate with him this summer.”

    The Islanders completed their season-end exit interviews on Thursday, three days after their elimination in Game 7 to the Washington Capitals. It may have been 72 hours later, but the disappointment in how their season ended was still evident, especially knowing they won't be back at Nassau Coliseum next season.

    “It stings. It’s been a real hard last three days,” Tavares aid. “I think you carry this one forever, really … The people here deserved more. 

    “As fun as the year was, and as special as it was, we know we didn’t get to where we wanted to be.”

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  • Rangers lose Mats Zuccarello for entire second round (Report)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    The New York Rangers kick off Round 2 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Washington Capitals and hours before Game 1 they lost a key piece to their roster.

    According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Mats Zuccarello will miss the at least their second round series after what’s believed to be a concussion suffered when he took a puck to the head during Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

    From the Post:

    Just as the Rangers get Kevin Klein back into the lineup on the blueline, they lose Zuccarello up front. James Sheppard will draw into on the Rangers' fourth line, according to their lines at Thursday's morning skate. With the Hartford Wolf Pack readying for their do-or-die Game 5 AHL quarterfinal against Providence Friday night, New York won't be recalling a forward just yet, says head coach Alain Vigneault.

  • NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2015 Round 2 schedule, TV listings

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    From 16 to 8 we go!

    Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning have eliminated the Detroit Red Wings after a 2-0 win in Game 7 Wednesday night, the schedule for Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is official.

    Let’s start in the Eastern Conference: 

    Only back-to-back games this round comes on May 6 and 7 when the Canadiens and Lightning play Games 3 and 4 in Tampa.

    Now moving over to the Western Conference:

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

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  • Zidlicky to miss Game 7; Murray returning for Sens; Visnovsky contemplates future (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com. 

    Show your support! Game 7 tonight. #GoBolts #raiseupTB @TBLightning @RaysBaseball pic.twitter.com/uKn06ChTDj

    • Evan Longoria is ready for Game 7.

    • If the Tampa Bay Lightning are to advance, they’ll need a better Ben Bishop tonight. [Tampa Tribune]

    • Not only will the Detroit Red Wings be without Niklas Kronwall tonight, Marek Zidlicky will also miss the game due to a concussion. [TMR]

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  • A hockey fan's farewell to Nassau Coliseum

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    “Say something,” my dad uttered with a nudge.

    I couldn’t. I was 7-years old. Paralyzed in awe. The game was still going on on the ice, but all my young eyes were trained on were the larger than life numbers sewn on the back of Mario Lemieux’s jersey.

    It was Jan. 17, 1989 and I was fortunate to be sitting six rows from the ice at Nassau Coliseum — Section 113x, Row F, Seat 4 — right near the railing by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ tunnel. It was my first live hockey game and the Islanders and Penguins players were larger than life in person, not quite the tiny comets screeching across the screen of our 27-inch standard definition TV at home.

    Lemieux had to leave the ice at one point during the game because of an equipment issue. The tunnel hood was up when he skated off, but when he finally emerged a few minutes later it was rolled back. Play was still going on so No. 66 had to wait by the door until the next whistle.  

    And there, mere feet away, stood Lemieux, who was in the middle of a ridiculous 85-goal, 199-point season, which would win him his first scoring title and second straight Hart Trophy.

    “Say something.”

    ***

    *** 

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  • NHL Three Stars: Kuznetsov steps up for Caps; Johnson leads Bolts to Game 7

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals 

    The rookie forward’s goal with 7:18 left in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and helped the Capitals beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 7. They now advance to face the New York Rangers in the second round, the fifth time the two franchises will meet in the postseason since 2009.

    No. 2 Star: Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Johnson scored twice as the Lightning forced Game 7 Wednesday night with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The center is now tied with Vladimir Tarasenko for the goal scoring lead with six. 

    No. 3 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning 

    Kucherov had a hand in three Lightning goals, including both of Johnson’s. 

    Did You Know? “This was the eighth time in 10 playoff series involving Ovechkin that went to a Game 7, and his team was only 2-5 in such contests until Monday.” (AP) 

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  • Lightning hold off Red Wings to force Game 7

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    The Tampa Bay Lightning live to see another game. Their 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Monday night forces a Game 7, which will be back home at Amalie Arena. 

    Leading up to Game 6, the focus was on the banter between head coaches Jon Cooper and Mike Babcock. The Lightning bench boss complained about the Red Wings getting away with interference calls throughout the series. There were no calls of that sort during the game, and Cooper’s qualms will likely be quieted as he prepares his team for a do-or-die Game 7 Wednesday night.

    Tampa didn’t wait long to take the lead. Just 3:47 into the opening period, Victor Hedman sent a homerun pass to Nikita Kucherov, who dropped the puck to a speeding Tyler Johnson. The Lightning’s leading scorer didn’t waste his opportunity and beat Petr Mrazek.

    Eight minutes later the Tampa doubled their lead when Jason Garrison took advantage of the extra time and space in the Detroit zone: 

    The backbreaker came via the stick of Alex Killorn with 5:09 left to give Tampa a 4-2 lead.

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