Sean Leahy

  • Confidence carrying Stamkos as scoring touch returns

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 hrs 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 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 7 hrs 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!

    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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  • Rick Nash scores twice as Rangers even series with Lightning

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    A pair of second period goals from Chris Kreider and Keith Yandle 1:48 apart propelled the New York Rangers to 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

    After allowing six goals in each of the past two games, the Rangers found their defense again, holding the Lightning to a single Steven Stamkos goal in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist was kept busy and was back in form, finishing with 38 saves.

    New York opened the scoring late in the opening frame when Rick Nash powered his way to his first goal in five games: 

    Stamkos would tie the game midway through the second period, but that was quickly answered by the Rangers.

    Chris Kreider regained the lead for New York after a Brendan Morrow defensive zone turnover led to an eventual rebound opportunity for the Rangers forward, which he pounced on for his seventh of the postseason. The lead would double 108 seconds later when a lucky bounce went in favor of the visitors as Keith Yandle’s shot from the point deflected off Victor Hedman’s leg and by Ben Bishop:

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  • NHL GM of the Year Finalists: Bob Murray vs. Glen Sather vs. Steve Yzerman

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Winning the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award doesn’t always bode well for your future. Two of the five winner’s in the short history of the award were fired by their respective teams not long after being chosen. Mike Gillis was canned three years after he won, while Ray Shero was shown the door less than twelve months after he was was given the honor.

    On Friday night, the NHL announced its three finalists for the 2015 award: Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks; Glen Sather of the New York Rangers; and Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 


    Why Bob Murray deserves to win

    Why Glen Sather deserves to win 

    Why Steve Yzerman deserves to win

    Voting was conducted by all 30 NHL general managers and a panel of league executives, print and broadcast media at the end of Round 2.

    Who Should Win: Garth Snow.

    Who Will Win: Steve Yzerman. Overhauled his roster and raided the Stanley Cup finalist Rangers, while keeping his core intact, which includes extending two-thirds of the “Triplets” line and Alex Killorn. Also bolstered defense at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Braydon Coburn.

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  • It's not only the 'Triplets' producing for the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    We all know what kind of damage the “Triplets” line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov have done for the Lightning in these playoffs. But as the Tampa offense has come alive in their last two games against the New York Rangers, a different line is starting to heat up.

    There was a time this postseason when the speculation was that Steven Stamkos was injured. He went goalless over nine games from the end of the regular season until Game 2 against Montreal in the second round, but along with Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn, the Lightning’s top line is producing, and that’s a scary thing for the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, who have allowed 12 goals in two games after holding Tampa to a single tally in Game 1.

    Stamkos has scored four times in the last five games, while Killorn has three goals and five points in Tampa’s last two games. Filppula, meanwhile, only has two assists in the series, but has won 62-percent of his face-offs.

    “We’ve got a good thing going with our line right now,” said Stamkos “Killer’s a big part of that because of his speed and his size. He uses that very well and it’s been effective.” 

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  • Tim Murray explains Babcock talks; Sabres seeking Bylsma?

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Did Mike Babcock lead the Buffalo Sabres to believe they had a deal for him to become their new head coach? Some in the organization say yes, but general manager Tim Murray isn’t one of them, at least publicly. 

    Appearing on WGR550 radio with Schopp and The Bulldog Thursday afternoon, Murray refuted the claim that Babcock lied to the Sabres. 

    Murray added he was keeping an open mind during his search and wasn’t limiting himself to candidates who possess vast NHL head coaching experience.

    “How does a guy like Mike Babcock get his start unless you’re open-minded?,” he said.

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  • 2018 PyeongChang Olympic hockey groups: Host Korea draws Canada

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    We don’t know yet whether the NHL and NHLPA will send its players to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, but we now know where nine of the 12 countries participating in the tournament will be grouped.

    Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Korea

    Group B: Russia, USA, Slovakia, Qualifer 3

    Group C: Sweden, Finland, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2

    Sorry, Korea.

    The groups are based on the post-World Championship IIHF rankings, which feature Canada, Russia and Sweden as the top three nations. The final three qualifiers will be determined over three stages of qualification beginning in November.

    IIHF president said during Worlds press conference in Prague that the NHL/PA has until Sept. 2016 to decide if they will send players. That deadline also coincides with the start of the revamped World Cup of Hockey.

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  • Potential liver donors for Senators owner decide to continue process for others

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant on Tuesday, and the Ottawa Senators owner and the anonymous donor are resting comfortably as they recover.

    “He is stable and he is not talking, but he is responsive, so when people talk to him he understands,” said team president Cyril Leeder, via the Ottawa Citizen. “His colour is improving, so it looks like the liver is functioning the way it should.” 

    Melnyk released a statement via the Senators on Thursday:

    According to doctors, Melnyk will be released within the next two weeks and will be fully recovered in six months time.

    More than 500 people applied to be a donor for Melnyk, and while one was found quickly, the great news out of all this is that, according to the Senators, more than 20 of them have chosen to be donors for someone else.

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  • NHL Three Stars: 'Triplets' lead the way for Lightning in Game 3

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    No. 1 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Kucherov was the hero for the Lightning as his goal 3:33 into overtime gave Tampa a 6-5 victory in Game 3 against the New York Rangers. They now hold a 2-1 series lead:

    No. 2 Star: Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning

    One-third of the “Triplets” line chipped in a pair of goals and an assist in the win. The trio of Palat, Kucherov and Tyler Johnson have combined for 25 of Tampa’s 47 playoff goals, including seven in the last two games. 

    No. 3 Star: Jesper Fast, New York Rangers

    Fast was the offensive leader for New York, scoring a pair of goals in the loss.

    Honorable Mention: Tyler Johnson scored his 12th of the playoffs, tying him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for the franchise record for goals in a postseason:

    Did You Know? 

    The @TBLightning have scored 5+ goals five times in the 2015 #StanleyCup Playoffs. The LAK led with 7 such performances last year. #NYRvsTBL


  • Nikita Kucherov's OT goal gives Lightning wild 6-5 victory over Rangers

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    An overtime goal from Nikita Kucherov helped give the Tampa Bay Lightning a wild 6-5 win over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. Tampa now leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Friday at Amalie Arena.

    As they’ve done a number of times this postseason, the Rangers struck first and early as Derick Brassard fired home a power play goal after 62 seconds. Jesper Fast would double the lead midway through the first period after a Matt Carle/Derek Stepan collision in the neutral zone opened up space for the forward to come in all alone on Ben Bishop:

    Carle wouldn’t return to the game after suffering what the Lightning described as an upper-body injury.

    Despite the 2-0 deficit, Tampa would respond in a big way by scoring the game’s next four goals, including three in a span of 6:46 in the second period. Tyler Johnson’s 12th of the postseason gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead and tied him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for most playoff goals in a season in franchise history:

    Nikita Kucherov, whose six playoff goals entering Wednesday night all came in Round 2, ended things 3:33 into the extra frame when his wrist shot beat Henrik Lundqvist for the 6-5 victory.