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?

  • Blaming Mario Lemieux, his buddy Rick Tocchet for Penguins’ mess

    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 1: Jaromir Jagr #68 and Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins pose with the Stanley Cup in the locker room after Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks on June 1, 1992 at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 1: Jaromir Jagr #68 and Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins pose with the Stanley Cup in the locker room after Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks on June 1, 1992 at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

    Who gets the blame for the current state of the Pittsburgh Penguins? 

    GM Jim Rutherford apparently blamed coach Mike Johnston, firing him on Saturday. Although Rutherford was the guy that hired him, and some have blamed Rutherford for his decisions since taking over the gig. But he took over from GM Ray Shero, whom fans blame for the current construction of this team.

    Then there’s the team itself, and the players haven’t exactly escaped this unscathed either. (Lack of effort, diminishing returns and all of that.)

    But Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review took aim at the men he blames for the Penguins’ problems: Team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle.

    From Rossi:

    There is no evidence Burkle or Lemieux know the first thing about running a championship franchise. Their failures to build a champion before — or rebuild something resembling even a contender after — Ray Shero's tenure as GM stand as indisputable proof.

    But this isn't about the shortsighted, reactionary and

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  • NHL Three Stars: Jake Allen stifles Stars; Okposo powers Isles

    St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen, right, stops a puck as Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen, right, stops a puck as Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    No. 1 Star: Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues 

    Jake Allen made 26 saves – including 7-of-7 on four penalty kills – as the Blues shut down the best offense in the NHL, topping the Dallas Stars by a score of 3-0. David Backes, Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan Reaves (his first of the season) had the goals. Allen has now won two straight, stopping 48 of 49 shots.

    No. 2 Star: Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders 

    Okposo had the first and last goals in the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He stole a Gregory Campbell pass and scored an unassisted goal in the first period. Then, in OT, he finished a 2-on-none breakaway with Josh Bailey with a flourish for his eighth of the season. He also had the assist on Frans Nielsen’s power-play goal. Here's the OT goal:

    No. 3 Star: Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota Wild

    Kuemper saved all 25 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist. Kuemper became the first Wild goalie to pitch a shutout in San Jose

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  • Ryan O’Reilly trips on stick, scores OT game-winner vs. Kings (Video)

    We’ve all come to expect the unexpected in the NHL’s 3-on-3 overtime. So perhaps Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres entered the extra session on Saturday night actually thinking, ‘Yeah, I’ll score the game-winning goal after tripping on an opponent’s stick and falling on my back in the slot…’ 

    O’Reilly scored at 3:19 of overtime to give Buffalo the 2-1 win and end the Los Angeles Kings’ winning streak at six games. His 10th goal of the year could go down as one of the season’s most memorable.

    The goal arrived after some spirited 3-on-3 play, including breakaways for Anze Kopitar and Brian Gionta. O’Reilly took a long lead pass from Jake McCabe and entered the Kings’ zone. He waited out Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, who slid to block the shot. Martinez stuck his stick out and it caught the right skate of O’Reilly.

    As he fell to the ice, O’Reilly was able to snap a shot that beat (former Sabres goalie!) Jonas Enroth to the stick side. The fans went nuts. Enroth was not very pleased.

    Read More »from Ryan O’Reilly trips on stick, scores OT game-winner vs. Kings (Video)
  • Can Mike Sullivan turn Penguins around, or is roster doomed?

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 25: Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston talks during his introductory press conference on June 25, 2014 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 25: Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston talks during his introductory press conference on June 25, 2014 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

    One day, Mike Johnston’s going to be a hired as an NHL head coach again. 

    He’s going to have some experience in the big leagues, so as not to be “old what’s-his-name from juniors” again. He’s going to have the personnel – puck-moving defensemen, at the least – that can make his offensive system look functional and be productive. His temperament will fit with the roster, in that the roster wouldn’t be filled with frustrated former champions whose confidence in themselves, their teammates and management doesn’t wane with every scoreless night, missed pass and bad trade, respectively.

    He’s going to have all of these things that he didn’t have in just over a season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before his firing on Saturday. And he’ll be successful.

    Well, I mean, he was successful in Pittsburgh, to a certain extent. The Penguins were tied in points for the last wild card spot in the East and four points out of the three seed in the Metro when Johnston and assistant coach Gary Agnew were

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  • NY Rangers making ‘mistakes and more mistakes’ on defense

    Edmonton Oilers' Oscar Klefbom, left, crashes into the net past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (John Ulan/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDITEdmonton Oilers' Oscar Klefbom, left, crashes into the net past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (John Ulan/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    The New York Rangers have 39 points, good for second in the Metro behind the Washington Capitals (who have 40 points and three games in-hand). They’re in playoff position, and are likely going to be a playoff team.

    Yet ask a Rangers fan, and they’ll tell you they’re unsatisfied. And pessimistic. And worried about a team that appears to have some systemic problems.

    The Rangers are, infamously, one of the worst possession teams in the NHL this season – currently No. 29 in 5v5 Corsi percentage, ahead of only Colorado. On Friday night, their defensive lapses and issues on their blueline manifested in an embarrassing 7-5 loss at the Edmonton Oilers.

    (Embarrassing in performance, if not in opponent – don’t look now, but the Oilers have won five straight!)

    The reviews are in! From Rangers Rants:

    The defensive lapses were staggering and too numerous to list, even for a team that’s struggled with its back-end structure at times through its current slump.

    Put one way, it was the Rangers’ worst

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  • Jordin Tootoo gets peculiar penalty after flipping over boards (Video)

    In the New Jersey Devils’ overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, Jordin Tootoo had Detroit defenseman Mike Green in his sights for a hit along the benches. Green calmly sidestepped it, and the Devils forward went skates-over-Tootoo into the area between the benches, where MSG Network’s John MacLean was doing commentary.

    MacLean opened the door and tried to help Tootoo back on the ice, but Tyler Kennedy thrust his stick across the doorway and said “YOU SHALL NOT PAAAAAAASSSSS!!!”

    But it was too late. In a rarity – either in the Devils’ sloppiness at the bench or in the officials calling it – Jersey was whistled for having five skaters on the ice and one between the benches after having flipped over the boards. 

    Joseph Blandisi, making his NHL debut, served the too many men on the ice penalty, which the Devils killed off.

    So Tootoo was a victim of some weird circumstances. But it wasn’t all bad: He was given the Devils’ “hard hat” after assisting on both goals in their

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  • What fans lose as the NHL loses hockey fighting

    Anaheim Ducks' Chris Stewart, left, and San Jose Sharks' Michael Haley fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Anaheim Ducks' Chris Stewart, left, and San Jose Sharks' Michael Haley fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Fighting isn’t down in the NHL. It’s damn near extinct. 

    There have been 116 fights in the League thus far in 2015-16; the HockeyFights.com projection for the full season is 334 fights, which would mean fewer fights this season than we had when the lockout devoured 510 games in 2012-13 (347 fights in 720 games).

    There have been 98 games with a fight this season, which means we’ve had more games go to overtime (102) than have brawls in them. (As if you needed a better example of where the NHL is in 2015 …)

    The decline of fighting likely brings varying degrees of celebration to different people.

    There are those who have always found the act Neanderthalic and a pox on the sport. There are those who lamented the sideshow fights that derailed games, and the fourth-line goons that participated in them, and feel the NHL is a better place now that enforcers can’t find a dance partner.

    There are those who feel it’s impossible to have quasi-endorsement of fighting by the NHL at the same time it

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  • What would you put inside the Martin Brodeur statue in Jersey?

    Josh Harris, left, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey team, poses for photographs with former Devils goalie Martin Brodeur after it was announced that Brodeur's number will be retired, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in Newark, N.J. The retirement celebration will be held on Feb. 9, 2016, when the team faces the Edmonton Oilers. A statue will be unveiled during the celebration. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Josh Harris, left, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey team, poses for photographs with former Devils goalie Martin Brodeur after it was announced that Brodeur's number will be retired, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in Newark, N.J. The retirement celebration will be held on Feb. 9, 2016, when the team faces the Edmonton Oilers. A statue will be unveiled during the celebration. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    As you know, the New Jersey Devils have made amends with Martin Brodeur and will honor the best player in franchise history (non-defenseman division) with a statue outside of Prudential Center that in no way will become a urinal for Newark locals. 

    The statue is going to be designed around Brodeur’s stick salute “at his last game,” which we assume means “as a Devil” and not wearing the Blue Note.

    But the big news is that the statue isn’t just a statue – it’s a time capsule, and the Devils are offering five fans the chance to place their swag inside Brodeur.

    From the Devils:

    Fans can enter the contest at NewJerseyDevils.com/martymoments by describing their favorite Marty Moment and what piece of memorabilia they would like to enclose in the statue forever. Five winners will be selected and invited to be a part of the special ceremony on February 8 at Prudential Center. The statue is currently being built by renowned sculptor Jon Krawczyk, who designed the hockey figure that currently

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  • Goalie gushes blood after taking puck off mask (Video)

    WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO THAT INVOLVES BLOOD.

     

    Oskari Setänen, 21, is a goalie for TPS in Finland’s Liiga. In a game this week against HIFK, he made one of those Henrik Lundqvist-esque saves with the top of his mask. Play continued until the refs blew the whistle after a hand pass around Setänen’s crease.

    After play was stopped, Setänen took off his mask to reveal some battle damage: a gushing wound atop his head, sending blood trickling down his face onto his jersey. He looked a bit like Ashton Kutcher if a shelf of Heinz ketchup fell on him. 

    He skated to the bench and was treated by trainers – including former Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Aki Berg! – before going to the back. He didn’t return to the game.

    Setänen felt OK after the game. Well, not completely OK – truth be told, he was a little disappointed. As Setänen told Iltasanomat:

    “It would have been cooler if it would have been the face.”

    We believe it was the great Shane Falco in “The Replacements”

    Read More »from Goalie gushes blood after taking puck off mask (Video)
  • Molly Engstrom sucker punch earns 1st suspension in NWHL history (Video)

    What do you do when you have an illegal play in a pro hockey league but don’t have a dozen television cameras at the rink to film it?

    As this National Women’s Hockey League Dept. of Player Safety video shows, you go to the security cam tape.

    The NWHL suspended defender Molly Engstrom of the Connecticut Whale on Thursday for one game after a cross-check and a punch to the head of Meghan Duggan of the Buffalo Beauts. Engstrom was given a major penalty for a check to the head and a game misconduct during the Dec. 6 game; Duggan watched the rest of the contest in street clothes.

    The NWHL used a camera located at rink level and security footage from Chelsea Piers’ rink in Stamford to piece together the suspension video.

    It’s a little surprising that Engstrom only earned one game for what was essentially an assault on Duggan – who, it should be said, has had a history of concussion problems – but NWHL writer Hannah Bevis makes a good point about this suspension in the context of the NWHL

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