- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Lineup changes and goaltender shifts are a way of life for the St. Louis Blues.
It’s not uncommon for players to come to work and find that coach Ken Hitchcock has done something personnel related for that upcoming game.
The Blues have changed lines, strategiesand goaltendersmultiple times during the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks.
Sometimes it’s worked – like in Game 4 when the Blues beat the Sharks to even their series at 2-2. Sometimes those changes seem to have a shelf life and the team struggles after the initial jolt like in Game 5 when the Blues lost 6-3 to set up Wednesday’s elimination game at SAP Center.
During this time of year does the added stress of Hitchcock going mad scientist with his lineup gnaw at players? Especially before this mega important Game 6?Wed, May 259:00 PM EDTSt. Louis at San JosePreview Game
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
By Neil Parker
Game 6 between San Jose and St. Louis and the Game 7 showdown between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay make up the Yahoo contests for Wednesday. Look for the home teams to punch their tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, leading to your picks, values and fades for the Wednesday-Thursday contests.
GOALIE Matt Murray, PIT at TB ($34): With a 5-1 record and a .927 save percentage at home in the playoffs, and the Penguins grabbing the momentum in Game 6, look for Murray to continue his strong play in goal and help Pittsburgh advance.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks have a high amount of faith that coach Peter DeBoer will put them in the right spots in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues.
DeBoer is one of the better coaches in the NHL as far as preparing his team for situations where they can eliminate their opponent. In his career, DeBoer is 5-1 in closeout situations.
If there’s a secret to why, DeBoer and the Sharks both aren’t giving any reasoning in advance of Wednesday’s game at SAP Center where the team can book their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final. San Jose is up 3-2 in the Western Conference Final.
“I think it's just the consistency and the message,” DeBoer said. “We don't change anything. We don't change our meeting times or our message, make any kind of radical system changes or lineup changes based on the fact that we've got to win one more or we're facing elimination.”
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight's towel for Sharks fans.... pic.twitter.com/3C73iauSsI
• WHAT DID WE SAY ABOUT PUTTING SAXOPHONES IN THE SHARK TANK?! [@Real_ESPNLebrun]
• "While previous iterations of San Jose’s hockey teams have tended to fade late in playoff series, if not outright choke, this version has shown a distinct ability to rise to the occasion when the temperature gets turned up." [CSN Bay Area]
• Concentrating on playing defense first will with Game 6 for the St. Louis Blues. [The Hockey Writers]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Sports fans are known to name things after their favorite athletes. Whether it’s car, a pet or a child, the names stick and provide a backstory. (Remember Malkin Crosby Long?)
So it’s no surprise that a Tampa area newborn, who entered the world early on Tuesday morning, shares a name with one of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s biggest stars.
No, not Steven after captain Steven Stamkos. No, not Ben after goaltender Ben Bishop. No, not even Victor, after stud defenseman Victor Hedman.
At 8:48 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nikita Annette Franklin was born, named after forward Nikita Kucherov.
How did Laine and Eric Franklin land on Nikita as a name for their daughter? While attending a game last season, Laine informed Eric that she was pregnant. Jokingly, Eric told her that they should name the child after the Lightning player who scored the first goal in that game. Sure enough, it was Kucherov.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
It's a new edition of MAREK VS. WYSHYNSKI, and we're talking about:
- Wysh and Chris Johnston from Sportsnet drink beer and talk Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, live from Tampa.
- The redemption of Sidney Crosby.
- The pressure on the Bolts.
- The terrible offside and delay of game rules.
- News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
ST. LOUIS – On a team full of flashy stars San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is as simple as they come.
He doesn’t skate like Brent Burns. He can’t tip the puck like Joe Pavelski. He’s not an elite passer like Joe Thornton. The man’s nickname is "Pickles," which probably doesn’t strike fear into the opposition.
But all Vlasic has done this postseason is play elite-level defense matched up against every team’s high-end forward and shutting them down with savvy two-way positioning.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Second thoughts? Jim Craig hasn’t had any.
The goaltender for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team isn’t getting cold feet about deciding to part with some cherished memorabilia from the Team USA's gold medal winning run in Lake Placid, New York 36 years ago.
After trying to sell a 19-piece lot that included his gold medal and iconic goalie mask last summer, Craig has decided to put 17 items up for auction individually through Lelands, a Long Island-based auction house. The gold medal and mask are joined by the jerseys he wore versus the Soviet Union and Finland, his “lucky” stick, and the American flag that was draped around his shoulders following the team’s final game of the tournament.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
(Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)
7. Writers of hot takes
A few weeks ago Deadspin had an article about “The Death of the Hot Sports Take,” which as we know was a hot sports media take in and of itself because the hot sports take is going quite literally nowhere.
What we're seeing instead is the rise in awareness of the hot sports take, and the rightful excoriation of those who would deploy it. So now, when writers come up with sizzling takes, they couch their scorching takes by saying they really, really don't want to have to write them. Like, really, they know the take is molten but man, someone has to say it and they guess it might as well be them.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
TAMPA, Fla. – Sidney Crosby and Matt Murray sat together in front of microphones after the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game 6 victory at the Tampa Bay Lightning. One is The Kid, despite being 28 years old, hat turned forward. The other is the kid, turning 22 on Wednesday, hat turned backward.
Both answered their doubters and critics in their own way, willing the Eastern Conference Final to a Game 7 on Thursday night with a 5-2 win.