- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy1 hr 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 Daddy7 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.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
TAMPA, Fla. – It happened again.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, with a chance to close out their opponent in the Eastern Conference Final, lose Game 6 on home ice. All the Lightning talked about leading up to Tuesday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins were the lessons they learned from last season’s blowout loss to the New York Rangers in the same scenario.
About not squandering opportunities like this. About outplaying a foe that they knew would enter their building skating for their playoff lives.
And yet it happened again.
“It’s disappointing. Nothing we can do about it now,” said forward Brian Boyle, who scored twice in the third period of their 5-2 loss to the Penguins.
The Lightning were sloppy with the puck, turning it over 17 times. Consider that they had one giveaway in the entirety of their Game 5 win.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby scored what would end up being his third game-winning goal of the postseason to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead with 26 seconds left in the second period. It was the 49th postseason goal of his career. He also added an assist on Kessel’s opening tally.
No. 2 Star: Brian Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning
The third period was all Boyle as he recorded his first career multi-goal playoff game with a pair to help Tampa cut the Pittsburgh lead from 3-0 to 3-2.
No. 3 Star: Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Back in the Penguins’ net, Murray made 28 stops to help force a Game 7 Thursday night. According to Elias, Murray became the first Penguins rookie netminder to record a win when facing elimination. He's now 4-0 following a loss.
Honorable Mention: Phil Kessel opened the scoring with his ninth of the playoffs, most by a Penguins player since Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in 2009 … Nick Bonino recorded his third multi-point game of the playoffs … Bryan Rust blazed in on a breakaway to score his third playoff goal:
Did You Know?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
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TAMPA, Fla. – For the second straight season, the Tampa Bay Lightning failed to close out an opponent in an Eastern Conference Final Game 6 at home.
The good news is that they went on to defeat the New York Rangers in Game 7 last year, earning a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
The bad news is that the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t the New York Rangers.
The Penguins forced a Game 7 on Tuesday night with a 5-2 win over the Lightning. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist after going scoreless in his previous two games. Rookie goalie Matt Murray – pulled in Tampa two periods into Game 4, and benched in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 – made 28 saves.
It wasn't the blowout loss the Lightning suffered last season, thanks to an impressive third-period rally. But it was still a loss.
The first period saw the Lightning lose a goal to a coach’s challenge and give up a goal thanks to a delay of game call.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
After tallying a late first period goal to take a 1-0 lead, the Pittsburgh Penguins made the most out of the middle 20 minutes of Game 5.
Facing elimination in Tampa, the Penguins scored twice to put the Lightning in position facing a 3-0 deficit as the final period approached. Topping off the two-goal second period was Sidney Crosby, who beat a pair defenders with 26 seconds to go to notch his sixth goal of the playoffs.
According to the NHL, the goal was Crosby’s 49th postseason tally and helped Pittsburgh build up a big lead after 40 minutes, something they’ve been dominant at keeping secure all season long (47-1-0). It was also the Penguins captain's third game-winner of the postseason as they would go on to win 5-2 and force a Game 7.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
The Tampa Bay Lightning thought they had grabbed the lead 5:12 into Game 6, but a wise challenge by Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wiped the goal off the scoreboard.
Jonathan Drouin would have had his fifth goal of the postseason after pouncing on a loose puck in front of the Pittsburgh net, but the review showed that the young Lightning forward’s skate caused the offside.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the San Jose Sharks are poised to close our their respective series in the next 48 hours. Or, perhaps, have the conference finals roll to a Game 7. Either way, the winners will have a relatively quick turnaround, as the NHL’s championship round begins on Monday.
The NHL announced that the 2016 Stanley Cup Final starts on Monday, a.k.a. May 30 a.k.a. Memorial Day a.k.a. ‘sorry we just ruined your beach plans, everyone.’
Media Day for the Final will be held Sunday in either Pittsburgh, San Jose or St. Louis, depending on who advances.
The start time for every game of the Final will be 8 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Group and CBC and TVA on Canada.
2016 STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
(all start times 8 p.m., ET)
Game 1 - Monday, May 30
Game 2 - Wednesday, June 1
Game 3 - Saturday, June 4
Game 4 - Monday, June 6
Game 5* - Thursday, June 9
Game 6* - Sunday, June 12
Game 7* - Wednesday, June 15
Your eyes don’t deceive you: That’s a two-day break between games from Game 2 to Game 3 and then beginning after Game 4, pushing this thing into the middle of June, potentially.Wed, May 256:00 PM PDTSt. Louis at San JosePreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
Kevan Miller was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, after making $800,000 last season. Instead, he’ll make $2.5 million next season, and three more after that, as the Boston Bruins re-signed him to a new four-year deal on Tuesday.
From the Bruins:
In his third season with Boston, Miller competed in a career-high 71 games and also established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15). Miller played in his 100th NHL game on November 5, 2015 at Washington. In total, the 28-year-old blueliner has played in 159 games at the NHL level – all with Boston – racking up 8-23=31 totals, while amassing 106 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 11 postseason contests with the Bruins and registered two assists.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
Ken Hitchcock, like Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is going back on a Game 5 decision regarding his goaltender.
The Blues head coach announced on Tuesday that Brian Elliott will start Game 6, one day after Jake Allen allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks. St. Louis heads back out west with their season on the line Wednesday night facing a 3-2 series deficit.
"It's his turn. It's his turn for Game 6," said Hitchcock.
Elliott had been the man in goal for the Blues this postseason, winning them a pair Game 7s in the opening two rounds. Now in the conference fina versus the Sharks, St. Louis took Game 1, but responded by being shutout in back-to-back games, leading Hitchcock to make the switch to Allen.
Hitchcock's reasoning for the swap was that Allen was the better puck mover and he wanted to give San Jose a different look in net. The plan worked in Game 4 with a 6-3 win, but not so much Monday night, and so here we are.