- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 mins ago
TAMPA – Cameras, microphones and onlookers surrounded them, standing 10-deep. No other player scrum at the Stanley Cup Final's media day came close to the intensity of interest surrounding them. No player's words were as scrutinized or parsed.
“This is, for me, the first time I’ve seen this much media,” said Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “It’s kind of new for me.”
“We’re excited to be here,” said Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “We’re going to show it tomorrow [in Game 1].”
Stamkos and Toews both wear the ‘C’ for their teams. They both have an insatiable desire to win. They’re both Canadian.
“They have a couple things really in common. They’re really good people, very high-character guys. They’re both pretty humble. They’re confident but humble guys,” said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.
That’s pretty much where the comparisons end.Wed, Jun 38:00 PM EDTChicago at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
(Ed. Note: We're proud to welcome back two of our favorite bloggers, Chuck and Pants from What's Up, Ya Sieve?, to the Puck Daddy fold as they author our NHL Playoff Beard Watch, which tracks the best and worst follicle growth in the postseason.)
By Chuck And Pants
It’s here, it’s finally here! All the growing and grooming have lead to this, a Final pageant of bearded glory. Each playoff round had at least one seven-game series, allowing these Beard of the Year candidates maximum time on the campaign trail.
The Blackhawks and the Lightning are ready to face off in the greatest matchup since Charlie Conway triple-deked his way into our hockey hearts. They’ll say they're playing for the greatest trophy in all of sports, but we all know the trophy they’re really after.
Beard of the Year title is anyone’s to win - with the exception of Toews - but weeks of anguish and screaming at the TV have given us plenty of time to consider our favorites.
We’re proud to present the top three beards from each team for your Beard of the Year consideration.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
As we prepare ourselves for hockey's Christmas, we must observe the ritual that comes with each major sports championship: the mayoral wagers.
To the tale of the tape!
First up is feisty Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel. After serving as President Obama's Chief of Staff, Mayor Emanuel was elected to his current position in 2011. He was in office when the Blackhawks won their last Cup in 2013, and helped Patrick Sharp lift the trophy (with both hands):
According to NBC Chicago should the Blackhawks lose to the Lightning, Emanuel has bet the following:
"... 122 slices of Eli’s cheesecake (one for each year of the Stanley Cup), a case of craft beer from Slap Shot Brewing, a mustard fried catfish and peach cobbler from BJ’s Market, and Giordano’s best deep-dish pizza."
Mmm. Pizza and beer and cheesecake. /drool
As is also tradition, the mayor gives a friendly parting shot to his opposition.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
TAMPA — Ben Bishop became a goaltender by chance. Growing up, everyone on his team got an opportunity to tend net. Turned out he was pretty good at it and he liked the fact that goalies don’t come off the ice regularly during a game like skaters. He played other sports like baseball and football, but hockey was the one that led him to a professional career.
At 6-foot-7, Bishop is the tallest goaltender in the NHL and tied with three others, including Lightning teammates Brian Boyle and Andrej Sustr, for tallest player in the league. He covers a lot of net, not allowing opponents much room to shoot. And as a goalie, he has one reaction to those wanting to make NHL nets bigger to increase scoring.
“Let’s make them smaller,” he joked. “A couple games ago we won 6-5. What do you want the scores to be, 12-10?”
The game Bishop referenced was Game 2 against the New York Rangers in the conference final, one of three games in that series where he allowed five goals. (He’d allow another five in a 5-1 loss in Game 3 two days later.)
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Did the giant Brachiosaurus in front of the Field Museum in Chicago ditch its fandom to the Blackhawks?
No, not really. Let’s blame climate change. The big dinosaur, who had donned a Hawks jersey in prior postseason runs will not do so this year. Via DNA Info:
"The sweater we used last year took more of a 'Chicago weather' beating than we realized," a Field spokeswoman said via email. "When we took it out this year, we learned we'd have to make a new one, and unfortunately, didn't have the time to do so."
Yeah, take a look at the photo of the jersey above. It’s pretty custom, so that would probably have to take a while. Though a ripped Hawks jersey would probably look kind of cool.
A new sweater would take about 10 days, which would make it ready for Game 5 (if necessary), if it started Wednesday.
How can this be remedied?
- 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 .
• The SANDley Cup inside the Tampa Hilton. [Sean Leahy]
• The contrasting styles of Joel Quenneville and Jon Cooper. [Last Word On Sports]
• Stanley Cup Final Systems Look: Special Teams. (Fancy stats.) [JenLC13]
• "Tony Esposito, Hall of Fame Ambassador for the Blackhawks, was on the ground floor with the Tampa Bay Lightning. An early issue: finding a ceiling." [Blackhawks]
• Lightning fans should take pride in their 'non-traditional' hockey market label. [Raw Charge]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Mike Zeisberger, Dr. Zed from the Toronto Sun, joins us to talk puck.
• The Stanley Cup Final!
• The Devils hire John Hynes!
• Media day!
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: GOING POSTAL! ASK US ANYTHING! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Rob Riggle is hosting the NHL Awards. Well, at least a lot of us know who that is.
Ever Seen “21 Jump Street” or “Step Brothers?” He’s played bit parts and not had the starring role but man, was he good.
Behold from Step Brothers:
The NHL will then sanction a charter to the Catalina Wine Mixer shortly after. Just kidding. There'sa longer clip, but it involves some harsher language ... still funny.
Daughtry will be the musical performer. Who are they? Heck I have no clue, so I’ll let the league release tell you.
Daughtry has scored four No. 1 hits, garnered four GRAMMY Award nominations, won four American Music Awards, sold more than 8 million albums and has sold-out concerts worldwide. Daughtry’s self-titled debut album was the fastest selling rock debut in Soundscan history and its follow up, Leave This Town, marked the quintet’s second consecutive No. 1 album.
Woot! I’m sure if I heard a Daughtry song on the radio, I’d get it.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 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.
When you’re good, and you have a long tradition, lots of people seem to jump on the bandwagon – especially people who like to be seen … like celebrities for example!
The Blackhawks have many, many famous followers who love to rep the greatest logo in the history of sports.
Actors Vince Vaughn, Bill Murray, Jim Belushi (who got to cradle Lord Stanley’s chalice on-ice in 2013), John (and Joan) Cusack, Jeremy Piven … and of course, highly outspoken Hawks lover CM Punk.
Do we count the Biebs standing on Chicago’s locker room logo?
DON’T STAND ON THE LOGO BIEBS!!!
And of course the entire Cubs team … freaking bandwagoners.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 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.
Whether or not you define three Stanley Cups in six years under a salary cap as a “dynasty” or not, the bottom line is that the Blackhawks are attempting to do what no other team has done since the NHL’s financial structure was forever changed in the 2005 lockout. For this core to win Cup No. 3 would be nothing short of extraordinary…
… and it could be the last time we see this core, considering the Blackhawks’ precarious cap situation. The “last hurrah” aspect to this run is one of its most prevalent undercurrents.
If you’re look for magic, then look no further than the return of Patrick Kane to the Blackhawks after a broken clavicle that threatened to keep him out of the postseason.
If you’re looking for heartfelt stories, you have the tragic deaths of trainer Clint Reif and former defenseman Steve Montador this season. The Hawks have dedicated this run to their memories.