- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy59 mins ago
A little over a week after Todd McLellan joined the Edmonton Oilers, the San Jose Sharks have reportedly found his replacement.
According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks are expected to announce Peter DeBoer as their next head coach sometime this week.
After three years with the Florida Panthers, DeBoer was hired by the New Jersey Devils in 2011, making the Stanley Cup Final in his first year. The following two seasons they missed and he was ultimately fired this past December after a poor start.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson has preached puck possession and DeBoer had some solid possession teams, via War on Ice, in Jersey before things fell off prior to his firing. He'll aso get a veteran team in San Jose, whereas trouble began when the Devils evolved into a younger squad.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
[Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
Entourage sucks. Please stop talking about Entourage.
6. Having a lead in the Western Conference Final
Man, this has been quite a series. Quite a series. They've played almost two full games of overtime at this point, and these are two teams that clearly do not like each other.
But what makes it the most fun is that teams are blowing leads in it, and in highly entertaining fashion. Chicago was up 3-1 through 47 minutes of Game 4, ended up blowing that lead and trailing 4-3 through 49 minutes (which is insane!) but then took that lead from Anaheim in the 52nd minute before winning in overtime.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Derick Brassard, New York Rangers
The Rangers center had a five-point night in their 7-3 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. He tallied a hat trick, including an empty netter, and assisted on goals by J.T. Miller and Keith Yandle.
No. 2 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Not a dominating performance for Hank, but many of his 36 saves came at the right time for the Rangers, i.e. during the first two periods when the Bolts controlled play.
No. 3 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Well, at least one Lightning player showed up in the third period. Kucherov had two goals in an attempt to lead Tampa back from their deficit.
Honorable Mention: J.T. Miller had a four-point night with a goal and three assists. … Rick Nash had a four-point night, with a goal and three assists. … James Sheppard had the other Rangers goal. … Ryan Callahan scored his first of the playoffs, beating Lundqvist on a breakaway.
Did You Know? The Rangers are 43-0-1 this season when leading after two periods.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
TAMPA – Game 6 was a test for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they failed it.
They had a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 11 years and eliminate the New York Rangers, avoiding a grand finale in a building where the Rangers have never lost a Game 7. They earned this chance by playing three near-perfect periods in Game 5, and then two more effective periods in Game 6.
But the third period was putrid. It was embarrassing. Fans left early and chants of “Let’s Go Rangers!” echoed in the upper deck.
It was one of only a handful of times in this postseason where the Lightning looked outclassed by a veteran opponent, their young players competing to see who could make the most bad decisions and ill-fated plays in the span of 20 minutes.
The Rangers won 7-3. Five of those goals were scored in the third period.
“That third period,” lamented goalie Ben Bishop, “you’ve like a redo of that third period.”
Thanks, Captain Understatement.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Apparently former North Dakota, and new Philly, coach Dave Hakstol had an out-clause in his college contract that included a $100,000 penalty if he took a job in the NHL.
Per the Grand Forks Herald:
When negotiating coach Dave Hakstol’s last contract in 2012, (UND athletic director Brian) Faison put a clause in the contract that specifically outlined a penalty fee if Hakstol left UND for an NHL head coaching position.
The Philadelphia Flyers hired Hakstol to be their head coach last week.
According to Hakstol’s contract, he will owe the school $100,000 for leaving his contract before June 30, 2015, for an NHL head coaching job.
Coaching the Flyers is a much more high profile job than coaching the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. And probably a higher paying gig. Hakstol had the UND head job since 2004-05.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
TAMPA – The New York Rangers faced elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday night, so they did what they do best in the playoffs:
Force a Game 7.
The Rangers thumped the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena, 7-3, chasing starter Ben Bishop in the third period and humbling the Bolts. Derick Brassard had a 5-point night, with three goals and two assists. J.T. Miller, playing up with Brassard and Rick Nash, had a goal and two assists.
Henrik Lundqvist was good when he needed to be, making 36 saves.
"In the third period, with our season on the line, we probably played our best period of this series so far. So we wanted a chance, and we got a chance," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.
New York improved to 14-3 when facing playoff elimination since 2012. Game 7 is Friday night at Madison Square Garden, where they’re 7-0 in Game 7s.
It'll be the second Game 7 of the playoffs for both the Rangers and the Bolts.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
Have the St. Louis Blues gone from a team with Stanley Cup aspirations to one that just wants to make the playoffs?
Probably not, but the opening messaging of Ken Hitchock’s news conference, announcing the coach had been re-upped for a year by the Blues had that weird kind of feel.
“I know there’s going to be questions about next year’s playoffs, but unless we come prepared to work in September, that won’t be an issue for us because we won’t make the playoffs,” general manager Doug Armstrong said. “We have to come ready to play. We have to prepare.”
The Blues have been postseason flameouts with Hitchcock as coach. They haven’t made it past the second-round, in spite of having some dominant teams in the regular season.
There were questions about Hitch’s ability to push this group onwards and upwards, especially after such a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Wild last playoff.
“This is a really good team trying to become a great team. I think I have the tools and expertise to help them along the way,” Hitchcock said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
TAMPA BAY -- On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to do what they’ve done in their two previous rounds of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is close out their opponents on their Amalie Arena ice.
Well, eventually they did: The Lightning had a chance to go up 3-2 against the Detroit Red Wings, but lost Game 5 of that series in a 4-0 shutout. They needed wins at the Joe in Game 6 and then at home in Game 7, which they obviously they received.
They sprinted out to a 3-0 lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals, with defenseman Jason Garrison talking about a “killer instinct” for Game 4 at home. They were blown out, 6-2, then lost again at Bell Centre before closing out the Canadiens at home in Game 6.
“This was our Game 7, we were talking and referring to it as our Game 7, we just kept looking back at the way we played, especially in the later half of the Game 7 against Detroit and we wanted that same mentality, and we had it,” said Steven Stamkos at the time.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
As a hockey community, collectively, we look at what Matt Beleskey is doing in this postseason and say, “Well, someone's going to overpay him this summer.”
And as is usually the case with pending unrestricted free agents who overperform during deep playoff runs, that belief is correct. Someone is going to look at what Beleskey is doing — and let's be honest, a 7-1-8 line in 14 games really isn't that great — and say, “Yes please, here's a bunch of money.” Almost every year, without fail.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Wyatt Arndt’s piece on VanCityBuzz about advanced stats vs. narratives will likely ring true to anyone that doesn’t always appreciate when the facts get in the way of romanticism, hyperbole and archetypes in hockey.
My first bout with this collision between reality and escapism was when the salary cap was instituted and every trade proposal made on NHL message boards, going forward, had to pass a financial litmus test.
The first response was no longer “why in the hell would Team X make this trade?” but “why in the hell would Team X make this trade, considering their cap situation makes it literally impossible without several other dominos falling and a brief fit of insanity from their trading partner?”
The only rejoinder would be a half-hearted “well let’s say they find a way to make it work” before that’s shot down faster than the ‘NHL 94’ A.I. could say “TRADE DENIED.”