- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy35 mins ago
Ater 238 days, the 2015 Stanley Cup Final has arrived and the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning will vie for the NHL crown beginning Wednesday night.
Will the Lightning grab their second Cup in franchise history? Can the Blackhawks win their third title in six seasons, thereby making them a salary cap-era dynasty? We’ll find out over these next seven games.
As we prepare for Game 1, here are our previews for every aspect of this series, from forwards to goalies to celebrity fans to best beards, and finally, our picks.Wed, Jun 38:00 PM EDTChicago at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy50 mins ago
It's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks, and we're live chatting it tonight!
Will the Bolts continue to play fearless hockey? Will the veteran Blackhawks prove too much? Can Ben Bishop finally dominate at home?
The fun begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. You bring the funny; we bring the insight, odd football photo on the template and the Hamburger Women.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy56 mins ago
Now that the Grand Rapids Griffins have been eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs, Jeff Blashill can move on up the coaching ranks. According to Ansar Khan, the Detroit Red Wings will announce next week that Blashill will take Mike Babcock's old job as head coach next season.
When Babcock entered the 2014-15 season without a contract, the speculation began about his future with Blashill easily lined up as the heir apparent.
What makes Blashill the best choice? He’s coached a number of current Red Wings, as Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press points out. Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Landon Ferraro, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and Danny DeKeyser played under him in Grand Rapids, along with the likes of Teemu Pulkkinen, Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet, who will be promoted full-time in the near future.
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- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Are the Pittsburgh Penguins for sale?
If so, that would initially appear to be a somewhat startling occurrence for a team that seems to have everything going for it, at least externally – from a fancy new building, to fan and city support.
Via Bob McKenzie of TSN with the bombshell:
Pittsburgh Penguin owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux have hired Morgan Stanley to explore the possibility of selling some or all of the NHL franchise.
It doesn't mean Burkle and Lemieux are necessarily getting out but they are looking at various options. It's believed Lemieux, perhaps more than Burkle, may have an interest in getting his equity share out of the franchise.
That would be something considering the fact that the Penguins are seen as one of the league’s success stories – a group that was publicly uplifted out of bankruptcy by Lemieux and now is one of the NHL’s top destination spots for players.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It’s the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning are vying for the Holy Grail of Hockey.
Which team will skate the Cup at series’ end? Here’s what our esteemed panel of experts say:
Sean Leahy, Puck Daddy Editor
Tampa in 6
Conn Smythe: Tyler Johnson
I predicted this match-up before the playoffs and while every blind squirrel can find a nut, both Tampa and Chicago have shown why many had faith they would be playing for the Stanley Cup in June.
The Lightning aren't going to try and wear down the Blackhawks like Anaheim thought would work. You can't do that to them, especially with two full days off in-between Games 1 and 2 and 4 and 5, allowing for much-needed rest. Tampa will just do what they did to the Rangers in the conference final: win the neutral zone battle, force turnovers and be carried by their top two lines. The "Triplets" and the trio of Stamkos, Killorn and Filppula have handled the offensive burden just fine. If they can finally get their bottom six to chip in, that'd be a bonus.
Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy Editor
Blackhawks in 6
Conn Smythe: Duncan Keith
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs 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.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy4 hrs 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 Daddy5 hrs 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 Daddy5 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 Daddy6 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?