Sean Leahy

  • Blackhawks vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Preview: Who has the better defensemen?

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 hr 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. 

    Three Blackhawks defenseman were on the 2010 Stanley Cup team. Four (five if you want to count the injured Michal Rozsival) were on the squad that shocked the Boston Bruins in Game 6 in 2013. It’s a veteran group; one that has won together and been through the postseason grind on numerous occasions.

    Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson have seen their minutes rise (over 25 a night) as they handle heavy starts in the defensive zone.

    We saw Quenneville break up the Keith/Seabrook duo versus the Ducks to help out out the other pairings. Could Cooper think to do that as well with his top guys?

    Keith put it perfectly after Game 7 versus the Ducks: ”I don't think anybody's tired this time of year.”


  • Blackhawks vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Preview: Who has the better aesthetics?

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 11 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. 

    Cheering "The Star-Spangled Banner" at United Center has been a long-standing tradition for Blackhawks fans. From Wayne Messmer belting it out in the 1980s and '90s to Jim Cornelison today, the anthem has been a special moment inside that building for a long, long time. It's a pretty cool moment when Cornelison sings “and the flag was still there” and gestures toward the stars and stripes hanging from the rafters. He can also shatter beer mugs with his pipes. (OK, that may have been rigged.)

    Located not far from MacDill Air Force base, the Lightning have used U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sonya Bryson as their singer at Amalie Arena since 2013. Bryson is in uniform each time she performs and the scene is perfect as she’s surrounded by the color guard and, at times, veterans. It’s as patriotic an anthem as you can get. 

  • NHL Three Stars: Toews, Kane power Blackhawks back to Stanley Cup Final

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

    The Blackhawks captain came through yet again as his two first-period goals helped pace Chicago to a 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7. 

    No. 2 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

    Kane assisted on three goals in each of the three periods during Chicago’s win. He recorded seven points against Anaheim and now has 20 overall this postseason, one behind Tyler Johnson for the NHL lead.

    No. 3 Star: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

    Crawford was kept busy, making 35 saves, the eighth time this postseason he’s made at least 30 stops in a game.

    Honorable Mention: Chicago’s power play scored on two of their four chances … Duncan Keith and Brad Richards each had a pair of assists ... The Blackhawks will play for their third Cup in the last six seasons.

    Did You Know? It held.

    If Chicago holds on Marian Hossa will have played in 5 of the past 8 Stanley Cup Finals.

    Dishonorable Mention: Bruce Boudreau fell to 1-6 in his NHL career in Game 7s … Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were held to one combined goal in the final three games of the series. Getzlaf last scored in Game 1 versus Calgary in Round 2.


  • Devante Smith-Pelly has a bit of Twitter fun at expense of ex-Anaheim teammates

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Devante Smith-Pelly came up through the Anaheim Ducks’ system after being drafted in 2010. This past February, he was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Jiri Sekac. 

    While he still remains friends with many of his ex-teammates, he seemed to be enjoying Chicago’s Game 7 victory versus his old team Saturday night. After Brent Seabrook’s goal made it 5-2 in the third period, Smith-Pelly Tweeted simply: 


    He followed thatup by calling Montreal an “amazing organization” in response to an upset fan as the Ducks exited the postseason for the third season in a row in a Game 7.

    Nothing like some good old fashioned chirping of your buddies. 

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  • Rangers lament limited chances in Game 7 loss to Lightning

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    NEW YORK — Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final went as you’d expect. It was a tightly-played contest that was scoreless through two periods and once the Tampa Bay Lightning grabbed the lead 1:54 into the third period thanks to Alex Killorn, the frustration levels of the New York Rangers increased.

    In Game 7, as they were so successful at all season, the Lightning won battles in the neutral zone, and didn’t give their opponents time and space to create many scoring chances. Ben Bishop made 21 saves, and was tested the greatest during a flurry of saves in the third period with Tampa holding a 1-0 lead. 

    The Lightning played out the final 18:06 of the third period with a lead, shutting down opportunity after opportunity and supressing the Rangers’ attack.  

    According to War on Ice, the Lightning held the Rangers offense to just 11 scoring chances at even strength. Tampa killed off the only two penalties in the game in the second period. New York couldn’t generate much, and when they did, Bishop was strong in net, bouncing back again after a tough start. 

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

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 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 

    • 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]


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

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days 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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