Sean Leahy

  • Lightning on Rangers' Game 7 dominance: 'Everything is in the past'

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 17 mins ago

    Four years ago Wednesday, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman skated off the ice at TD Garden following a 1-0 Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final. They left the ice — Stamkos with an adjusted face— as the Bruins celebrated and avoided touching the Prince of Wales Trophy. 

    You always hear veteran athletes say that when they win a championship or are part of a team that goes deep in the postseason early in their career they think they can get back there every year. The following season begins and they quickly realize just how tough it is to win a championship.

    Friday night at Madison Square Garden, the Tampa Bay Lightning will try again to close out the New York Rangers and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Stamkos and Hedman are the only two players remaining from Guy Boucher’s 2011 squad. Following that Game 7 loss to the Bruins, Tampa didn’t win a single playoff game until Game 2 in Round 1 of this postseason. 

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  • Vladimir Sobotka decides to stay in KHL for 2015-16 season: Report

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    Vladimir Sobotka had until this coming weekend to decide whether he would remain in the KHL or return to the St. Louis Blues. On Friday, his Russian side, Avangard Omsk, announced that the forward would be staying with the team for the 2015-16 season.

    “Yesterday we had a conversation with Vladimir Sobotka, and we agreed that he is a player of our club for another season,” said Omsk presidentVladimir Shalaev, via Google translation. “Vladimir said that he likes to play in our team. He is pleased to provide him playing time and a sense of trust of the coaching staff. He understands that he has become one of the leaders of the team and can realize themselves to the maximum.”

    Now that Sobotka is staying in the KHL for a second season, Blues GM Doug Armstrong is forced to wait until next May to try and lure the forward back to North America.

    Stick-tap Post Dispatch

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  • Dan Bylsma hired as Sabres head coach; Penguins receive 2016 third-round pick

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    It took a little while, but now it's official: Dan Bylsma will be the next head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

    On Thursday morning, the AP reported that Bylsma and the Sabres had an agreement in principle, with only draft pick compensation for the Pittsburgh Penguins left to be determined.

    The Penguins didn’t seek a draft pick when they let Ray Shero take the GM gig in New Jersey, but they wanted one if Bylsma was to leave. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Sabres will give up one of their 2016 third-round picks to Pittsburgh. He also added Bylsma's deal is for five years.

    Buffalo doesn't own a 2015 third-round pick, so GMs Tim Murray and Jim Rutherford needed to work out which of the Sabres' four third rounders in 2016 was to change hands. Here are the details from Bob McKenzie:

    PIT gets 2016 3rd rd pick from BUF as compensation. Pick was originally NYI but has condition attached to it, so PIT likely getting VAN pick

    Even Rex Ryan is excited!

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  • Keith for Conn; Vegas NHL update; Backstrom has hip surgery (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 21 hrs 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. 

    • We had the same look on our faces when we saw Ryan Callahan finally score the other night.

    • Game 7s haven’t been kind to the Anaheim Ducks. [OC Register

    • Duncan Keith has played his way into the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation. [Yahoo

    • Friday’s Game 7 could be a career-altering one for Ben Bishop. [Bleacher Report]

    • If they Rangers want to move on to the Stanley Cup Final, they’ll need to find their offense at home. [NY Daily News]

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  • U.S., Canada reportedly grouped together for 2016 World Cup of Hockey

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    While we know the groups for the 2018 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament, it’s still to be determined whether the NHL will send its players to PyeongChang, Korea.

    The NHL and NHLPA will participate, however, inthe 2016 World Cup of Hockey scheduled for Sept. 2016 in Toronto. On Thursday, Vladislav Tretiak, head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, revealed the groups for the international tournament during an interview with Russia's SovSport.

    Each country will play three games with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semifinals. All games will be played at Air Canada Centre from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 with the final being a best-of-three series.

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  • Sharks expected to hire Peter DeBoer as head coach: Report

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    A little over a week after Todd McLellan joined the Edmonton Oilers, the San Jose Sharks have reportedly found his replacement.

    According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks are expected to announce Peter DeBoer as their next head coach sometime this week.

    After three years with the Florida Panthers, DeBoer was hired by the New Jersey Devils in 2011, making the Stanley Cup Final in his first year. The following two seasons they missed and he was ultimately fired this past December after a poor start. 

    One of DeBoer's assistants during that Cup run in 2012 Larry Robinson, who currently works for the Sharks and likely had some input in the selection process for the Sharks.

    It was time for a change behind the bench in San Jose. Now what will Wilson do in regards to the roster?

    DeBoer’s hiring leaves the Sabres and New Jersey Devils as the only teams left without head coaches (we're banking on Jeff Blashill in Detroit) and likely paves the way for Dan Bylsma to head to Buffalo.  

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  • Blues wait for Vladimir Sobotka decision as deadline approaches

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Whenever Vladimir Sobotka decides to return to the NHL, he owes the St. Louis Blues at least one year of service. That was the result of the qualifying offer sent his way last summer and the arbitration hearing that awarded the forward a one-year, $2.725 million contract. The only problem? The restricted free agent has two years left on a deal with Omsk of the KHL.

    Now that both St. Louis and Omsk have seen their seasons come to a conclusion, GM Doug Armstrong is hoping to lure Sobotka back as soon as next season, which would be a nice start to a roster remodeling now that head coach Ken Hitchcock isn't going anywhere.

    Whatever happens with Sobotka, this year or in the future, Armstrong and the Blues will be waiting.

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  • Blues bring back Ken Hitchcock on one-year deal

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    You can cross another name off the list of potentially available NHL head coaches. On Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues and Ken Hitchcock announced they've agreed to a one-year extension.

    From the Blues: 

    Hitchcock, 63, was originally named the 24th head coach in Blues history on Nov. 7, 2011.  Since, he has guided the Blues to four straight postseason appearances, three 100-point regular season campaigns and two Central Division championships.  In 2014-15, he captured his second Central Division title with the club, while logging the third-best regular season record in franchise history (51-24-7, 109 pts). 

    With both GM Doug Armstrong and Hitchcock ending the season not committed to another year together, the Blues looked elsewhere for a moment, asking the Detroit Red Wings for permission to speak with Mike Babcock. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won that sweepstakes, bringing Hitchcock back seemed inevitable.

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  • Confidence carrying Stamkos as scoring touch returns

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    NEW YORK — Steven Stamkos stood at the podium after Game 5 with a relaxed look on his face. Gone are the days when speculation was rife that he was injured, contributing to his goal drought in Tampa’s first eight games of the postseason.

    Stamkos wasn’t hurt, as he contended during Round 1 into Round 2. But even a multiple Rocket Richard Trophy winner can go through battles with confidence. And while it certainly helped that the Lightning came back in their series against the Detroit Red Wings, it feels good for the Tampa captain to know he’s contributing in victories now.

    The Lightning won Game 5 against the New York Rangers 2-0 Sunday night, putting them a win away from advancing to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2004. Stamkos scored a power play goal late in the second period to put Tampa up 2-0 and put the game effectively out of reach given the Rangers’ inability to breach Ben Bishop, who made 26 saves.

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  • Fan shows off Rangers pride, gets Henrik Lundqvist shaved into head (Photo)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    Earlier this postseason, a New York Rangers fan decided he needed a haircut in a very specific way: A little off the sides and Chris Kreider shaved into the back.

    As far as player-faces-shaved-into-head haircuts go, it was pretty cool.

    Joe Barajas, otherwise known as “Joe the Barber,” is the man behind these unique haircuts. On Sunday, before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, he was at it again, this time using Henrik Lundqvist.

    The @ThatJoeBarber #NYR @HLundqvist30 portrait is complete! pic.twitter.com/imguokvJYQ

    There's only one Henrik Lundqvist, so this might be the closest one gets to trying to encapsulate the handsomeness of the Rangers netminder.

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