- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 mins 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 Daddy36 mins 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.Thu, May 268:00 PM EDTTampa Bay at PittsburghPreview Game
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy1 hr 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 Daddy4 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 Daddy4 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 Daddy8 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 Daddy9 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?”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The hugging and backslapping around the basement of SAP Center was audible long after the San Jose Sharks punched their ticket to the first Stanley Cup Final in team history.
The relief in the organization was visible as some crying staff members hugged one another.
As reality set in that the Sharks will have their chance to play for a Stanley Cup it was clear to Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton that while beating the Blues 5-2 meant a lot, there was a more important trophy that’s up for grabs.
“This is not the end goal,” the 36-year-old Thornton said. “I'll tell you that right now.”
Throughout this playoff run there have been questions after almost every game and every round on why this Sharks team is different than prior postseason groups that struggled.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Joel Ward, San Jose Sharks
The off-season acquisition, an annual playoff performer, scored two goals in the San Jose Sharks’ 5-2 Game 6 win that eliminated the St. Louis Blues.
No. 2 Star: Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
Jones made the saves he needed to make, especially down the stretch, to back-stop the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final with a 22-save effort.
No. 3 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
The game was already 4-0, but the Blues sniper finally notched two goals in their loss.
Honorable Mention: Logan Couture had a goal and two assists. … Patrick Marleau had two assists. … Joe Pavelski had the opening goal. …Martin Jones made 24 saves.
Dishonorable Mention: Kevin Shattenkirk was a minus-3. … The Blues only earned one power play. … The Blues failed to reach the Stanley Cup Final again, having last played there in 1970.
NHL Three Stars: Joel Ward leads Sharks to Stanley Cup Final
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks are no longer playoff disappointments. They’re no longer a team that needs to be questioned about why they faltered in the biggest games at the most important times of year.
They no longer need to be queried about why the 2015-16 version of the Sharks are different – simply because they are.
The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
The Sharks got scoring from their core guys, new addition Joel Ward and received sound goaltending from Martin Jones to eliminate the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final and punch their ticket to a Cup Final in a 5-2 win.
This is San Jose’s 25th anniversary season and the organization has never made a Stanley Cup Final. They were one of six teams in the NHL to never make a Cup Final and the second-oldest behind the Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise.