Greg Wyshynski

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Greg Wyshynski is the editor of Puck Daddy. A former managing sports editor for The Connection Newspapers, he's written for Deadspin, AOL Sports and is the author of "Glow Pucks & 10-Cent Beer: The 101 Worst Ideas in Sports History." Born and bred in New Jersey, living in Northern Virginia. Did we mention he likes booze?

  • Penguins one win away from Stanley Cup after Game 4 triumph

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from hoisting their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history. 

    The Penguins earned a split on the road, and earned the right to play for chalice at home after defeating the San Jose Sharks, 3-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

    Pittsburgh holds a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 is Thursday night in the Steel City. 

    Goalie Matt Murray, who had a sub-par Game 3, moved to 5-0 in the playoffs after a loss with a strong effort buoyed by a team defense that again held the Sharks without a shot for long stretches, including nearly half the second period. But it was Murray, standing tall in the third period, that made the ultimate difference. He made 23 saves on the night. 

    He got the goal support he needed on tallies by Ian Cole and Evgeni Malkin, both assisted by Phil Kessel, who has 21 points in 22 playoff games. Eric Fehr had the third-period dagger, his third of the playoffs. 

    The Penguins hit the board first in the

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  • Tomas Hertl done for Stanley Cup Final: Report

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl missed his second straight game as his team battled in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    According to a report, he’s going to miss the rest of them, too. 

    Roman Jedlicka, the play-by-play man for TV NOVA Sport in the Czech Republic, cites a “very good source” that Hertl is done for the series, and hence the season, with a knee injury.

    No word if surgery would be necessary, or the nature of the injury.

    Hertl has 11 points in 20 playoff games this postseason, playing on the team’s top line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Melker Karlsson moved up with them in Game 3 and again in Game 4 

    Coach Peter DeBoer said earlier this series his team has filled in for injured players all season, and will continue to do so. 

    “Our group all year has been next guy jump in. We wouldn't have made the playoffs if we didn't have that attitude.  Logan Couture missed half the season. We had guys step in and fill those

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  • Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Preview: 5 keys for Sharks, Penguins

    The San Jose Sharks host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night starting at 8 p.m. ET. 

    What can we expect from his pivotal game? Here are five keys:

    1. Shots, And The Blockers That Block Them

    The Penguins had 38 blocked shots in Game 3, after having 35 of them in the first two games combined. This became a big honkin’ narrative after the game, but Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was undaunted.

    “They make a commitment to block. We've got to keep shooting. We've got to work for lanes. There's not much you can do,” he said. “It can't deter us from shooting the puck. I  think there's no bad shots for us. I think even if it gets blocked, a lot of times we can recover it. We're going to keep our shooting mentality and keep firing.”

    2. Matt Murray

    Was Murray the reason the Pittsburgh Penguins lost Game 3? No. But it was the rookie’s most inauspicious outing since getting pulled in Game 4 of the Tampa Bay Lightning series, especially on that back-breaking Joel

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  • Evgeni Malkin getting results despite no results

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – Evgeni Malkin hasn’t scored a goal since Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. This would, logically, be a point of frustration for him. 

    “What do you mean?” said Malkin on Tuesday, when asked if he’s vexed. “We lead 2-1 in the series. I don’t score much, but I want to help my team in different ways, like playing well in the D-zone. It’s not easy. I try to score.”

    Malkin has been getting some scrutiny for a lack of offensive production, having failed to tally a point in the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks, with Monday’s Game 4 looming.

    Is it his health?

    “I feel great. We’re playing against good defensemen. They play so close, so tight. Tough to shoot sometimes,” said Malkin, who has four goals and 11 assists in the postseason. 

    Is it not having the puck enough?

    “I want it more. Next game, I play more with puck. It’s my game: Use my feet, get the puck in the neutral zone. I feel better when I have the puck on my stick,”

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  • Patrik Laine oozes confidence, doesn’t care if some gets on you

    SAN JOSE, Calf. – When Patrik Laine isn’t playing hockey, he’s a sniper of a different kind. 

    Laine is a member of an eight-player “Call of Duty” team from Finland that competes online. “We’re playing everyone else in the world,” said Laine, the 18-year-old scoring machine from Tampere.

    “And, of course, dominating.”

    Well, of course. Why wouldn’t a team with Patrik Laine dominate? He had eight goals in seven U-18 world junior games. He had seven goals in seven U-20 world junior games. Then, in the IIHF world championships, he had seven goals and five assists in 10 games, leading Finland to the silver medal earlier this year.

    And why wouldn’t Patrik Laine share the fact that his team dominates? Confidence is his calling card as the NHL Draft approaches, even if that confidence has some observers deleteriously referring to it as swagger.

    “People can think what they want to think. I don’t care,” said Laine.

    “People who know me know I’m a good guy, have lots of confidence, I play the right

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  • Silly NHL expansion draft outrage and the war on success

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – Let’s begin with the obvious: Successful teams are penalized for being successful in the NHL, in the name of parity. 

    It’s a point of annoyance for those of us who think the NHL is at its best when it has dynastic stalking horses for other franchises – 'to be the best, you have to beat the best.' The League has a slavish dedication to competitive balance, and yet which teams do they continuously call for those outdoor games? Big money glamour franchises who wear artificial shackles to prevent them from keeping together successful teams.

    The salary cap exists to break up the monopolies, as essential players trickle down from potential dynasties to other, lesser teams. The creative accounting by high-payroll teams has also come under attack, as the NHL banned front-loaded contracts and practices like burying contracts in the minor leagues.

    The only way to reverse course on this would be the abolishment of the salary cap and the adoption of some sort of luxury tax, but

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  • Justin Braun fights through grief, inspires Sharks in Stanley Cup

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – Justin Braun knew his father-in-law was going to die.

    Tom Lysiak, the former NHL center with the Atlanta Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks, had been diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. The 63-year-old’s health had reached a point of inevitability as the San Jose Sharks defenseman’s team journeyed through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

    “You’ve got the distraction of hockey. But you still go home and look into your wife’s eyes and feel the pain,” he said.

    Lysiak passed on May 30. It was the same day Braun, 29, was playing in his first Stanley Cup Final game. His mind, admittedly, was elsewhere.

    “Long day. A lot of stress. A stage like that, how fast they are, you can’t be mentally slow. But that’s just what happened. You just felt slow,” he said of the 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    “You want to be there for your family, but you can’t. It eats at you.”

    Jessie Lysiak Braun met Justin on a blind date a few years ago. She was a chef for a yacht company in the

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  • Matt Murray moves past not very good night for Penguins

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – There were two evaluations of Matt Murray’s Game 3 for the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game in which he gave up three goals on 26 shots and lost in overtime to the San Jose Sharks. 

    His teammates thought he was fine. “He was solid. He made some big saves for us. Murray’s great. He gave us a chance. He was solid for us,” said captain Sidney Crosby after the 3-2 loss.

    His coach also thought he was fine. “I thought Matt was solid.  He made some big saves for us.  He gave us a chance to win tonight,” said Mike Sullivan.

    Murray knows he could be better, giving up three goals of varying degrees of liability.

    “I don’t want to say I didn’t give up a bad goal or had a bad game necessarily,” said Murray. “There’s always something you could have done [better], for sure. But you don’t dwell on it.”

    On Joonas Donskoi’s game-winner in overtime, Murray thinks it was a combination of rolling puck and a fortunate bounce.

    “I was reading the play well, and it’s a bit of a bad bounce,” he

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  • Finnish language call of Joonas Donskoi OT goal is insane (Video)

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – One of the glorious things about the Stanley Cup Final is that the world is watching. It’s not just the fans of the San Jose Sharks, the Pittsburgh Penguins or even the NHL. It’s the fans of every nationality of every player in the games, hoping their guy is the difference-maker.

    Like, for example, when Joonas Donskoi, the pride of Raahe, Finland, scores the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 3 in the Stanley Cup Final. 

    Listen to the wild euphoria of the goal call on Finland’s Viasat, as Donskoi scored at 12:18 of overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 win and cut the Pittsburgh Penguins’ series lead to 2-1.

    “JOOOOOOONAAAASSSS DONNNNN SKOIIIIIIIII!”

    Granted, it’s no “Bonino, Bonino, Bonino, etc.” but it’s still fantastic.  

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  • Bad ice forces changes for Penguins in Game 3

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – It was close to 90 degrees outside the Shark Tank in the hours leading up to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. Lots of sweaty people, walking into the arena rocking teal jerseys. 

    But you didn’t need a meteorologist to gauge that heat – you just needed to step on the ice to know that the conditions outside had affected the conditions inside. 

     “Ice was  … not good. Not the best. I saw the pipes outside when I walked in. I guess they’re trying to get the temperature down, the humidity down. But the ice wasn’t great,” said Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, whose team lost 3-2 in overtime to the San Jose Sharks, cutting their lead to 2-1 in the series.

    How not great was it?

    “It was like trying to play with a football, [the puck] going everywhere,” said Cole.

    The teams combined for 41 turnovers in Game 3, which is more than in the first two games of the series combined. The teams had 12 in Game 2, and 18 in Game 1.

    It affected what the Penguins

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