- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy39 mins ago
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Wednesday that there would not be a Game 7 viewing party for fans outside of Amalie Arena, where hundreds of fans gather in "Thunder Alley" to watch games on a big screen, in a festive atmosphere.
Here was the announcement:
From the sound of things, those merchants that bring their food trucks and other wares to the Thunder Alley viewing party weren’t expecting that:
But if you’re an NHL fan in the U.S., you’re probably not surprised. Ever since the League signed on with NBC, the issue over large fan viewing parties has come up nearly every postseason.Thu, May 268:00 PM EDTTampa Bay at PittsburghPreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final in team history with a 5-2 Game 6 Western Conference Final win over the St. Louis Blues.
With the exception of Game 4, the Sharks were the better team this series and deserved this victory. Throughout this postseason every element of San Jose’s game has clicked and the Western Conference Final was no different.
Their top line of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl was dynamic. Their power play was in top form. Marc-Edouard Vlasic shut down Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. And goaltender Martin Jones bounced back from bad goals throughout the series to backstop his team to this point.
All these factors helped the Sharks get over this hurdle organizational hurdle. San Jose had lost in their three prior trips to this point including twice in the Thornton, Patrick Marleau era.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
After 1,179 NHL games, Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips has announced his retirement.
Phillips, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft and longest-serving player in Senators history, has been hounded by back issues since Feb. 2015, when he last played an NHL game. After several attempted comebacks, including one this past training camp that ended when he suffered a cracked vertebrae during rehabilitation, the time to hang up his skates had arrived.
“I’d be lying if I haven’t thought about [retiring] for a while just given the past season and how it unfolded,” Phillips said during a Thursday news conference. “I remember we thought at the start of last year I was going to be ready to go at some point and just continually having setbacks and really just going through that basically back to normal life routine, not traveling, still going to the rinks in the morning, but being home and really kind of getting a taste of what life might look like post-hockey career.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
PITTSBURGH – Steven Stamkos said there’s no change in his status, which would mean the Tampa Bay Lightning star will likely miss Thursday night’s Eastern Conference Final Game 7 as he continues to work back from surgery to correct a blood clot issue. He hasn’t seen game action since March 31.
The difference between this game and all the others that Stamkos has missed is that the Lightning, with a loss, will have played their final game of the season.
Which means Stamkos, an unrestricted free agent with a swirl of uncertainty around him, may be watching his final game as a member of the Lightning as a spectator.
“I’m not thinking about that,” he said on Thursday.
Of course, there’s another way to look at Game 7: If the Lightning defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, they play on to the Stanley Cup Final. Which means another series in which Stamkos could potentially return to the lineup.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 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 email@example.com.
• P.K. Subban shows up and that’s how you play, Toronto Raptors?
• From Max Talbot to Mike Rupp, Game 7 heroes aren’t always the superstars coming through. [Post-Gazette]
• Why did Mike Sullivan go to Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5? He had a pretty good reason. [Sporting News]
• Matt Carle should sit in favor of Slater Koekkoek for Game 7. [Raw Charge]
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
[HUGE IF TRUE breaks down the plausibility of the week's biggest rumor.]
On Tuesday, the Boston Bruins announced a baffling extension for Kevan Miller.
Four years, $10 million.
Both those numbers are galling for entirely different reasons, and most everyone outside of a 10-foot radius of Don Sweeney's office seems to agree with that assessment. Sweeney spent a good portion of the day getting his teeth kicked in by even the most homer-bent of Bruins reporters, because this is an indefensibly bad contract to give one of your team's numerous bottom-pairing defensemen.
However, when this deal was announced, there was also a lot of shrugging from even the most vociferous critic. “That's what he would have gotten on the open market,” they all said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Daylen Hopkins is a hockey fan on Twitter, and a bold one at that.
Back in February, Hopkins couldn’t believe that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings were mortal. So he made a bold prediction for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, tweeting the following:
I'll get Gary Bettman's face tattooed on my ass if Chicago and LA both get bounced in the first round
That’s a whole lotta hubris right there.
Then, a funny thing happened: The Blackhawks and the Kings both lost in the opening round, to the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks, respectively.
Even funnier: “SlayIen” is a man of his word.
From the official Kickstarter page:
Back in late February, I made a regrettable tweet which said "I'll get Gary Bettman's face tattooed on my ass if Chicago and LA both get bounced in the first round." I am a man of my word so, I'm raising this money partly for the tattoo but mostly for KidSportBC which helps underprivileged youth play sports.
Let it never be said that Daylen doesn’t follow through on a wager.
On Wednesday night, Gary Bettman’s face was tattooed on his backside:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs move from the conference finals to the Stanley Cup Final, The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon has returned for more NHL superlatives.
Members of the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning get the treatment this time, with Valtteri Filppula and Victor Hedman among the players once again in the late night host’s crosshairs.
This was Hedman and Filppula’s third time being featured. The Lightning defenseman had won “Most Likely To Be Every Brad Pitt Character Combined Into One” and “Most Likely To Be The Love Child Of Brad Pitt And Benicio Del Toro” previously.
Filppula can add this one to “Most Likely To Be Draco Malfoy If He Became a Hockey-Themed Wrestler” and “Most Likely To Spin Around In A Chair And Reveal His Plan While Petting A Hairless Cat.”
Poor Mirco Mueller. The 21-year-old Swiss defenseman will show everyone in about five years when his peach fuzz finally comes in.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The St. Louis Blues started to run out of gas in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Then the second-round against the Dallas Stars took another toll on them. By the time they reached Game 6 of the Western Conference Final they didn’t have much left.
“We had individuals that they were struggling, guys that were high-minutes players,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We're going to look back on a lot of things. But one of the things that hurt us energy-wise was our inability to close out when we had the opportunity. It extended the series. Ended up forcing us into playing players multiple minutes. Ended up really hurting us in this series overall.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Last summer when Joel Ward had his pick of teams as an unrestricted free agent he was easily sold on the San Jose Sharks.
Ward didn’t see a team that was on the verge of a drop-off. He saw a group that was proud and wanted to redeem themselves after missing the playoffs the year before.
So Ward signed with the Sharks for three years at $9.825 million believing that this team could bring him closer to his professional goal of winning a Stanley Cup instead of pushing him further away.
“I knew coming here it was a good group. I know a lot of people looked down on that they didn’t make the playoffs, but I’ve been there too before a year in Washington when you didn’t make the playoffs and then you’re one goal away of going to the conference final,” Ward said. “It’s a good group, a good core group of guys that are here. It’s unbelievable. You have Hall of Famers, Olympians, gold medalists. It’s a great opportunity. How could you pass that up?”