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?

  • Semyon Varlamov makes record-setting 54 saves to blank Blackhawks

    Before the Chicago Blackhawks’ game against the Colorado Avalanche, Patrick Kane recalled the Semyon Varlamov they faced last season. 

    “He seemed to steal some games we played against him,” said Kane.

    He did it again on Tuesday night. He turned back 17 shots in the first period. He stopped 21 in the second. He made 16 more in the third. He faced 54 shots and stopped them all in a 2-0 win over the Blackhawks.

    According to Sportsnet, Varlamov set an NHL record for most saves in a regular-season shutout on the road.

    “Varly was the story of the game. He was outstanding out there,” said Coach Patrick Roy. “They put a lot of shots on net. They shoot from everywhere, drive the net.”

    Thus continues Varlamov’s mastery of the Blackhawks from last season. He went 4-0-0 with a 1.59 GAA and a .960 save percentage, giving up seven goals on 175 shots.

    Nathan MacKinnon and Max Tablot had the goals, both scored within the first 1:17 of the game, as the Blackhawks once again got off to a slow start.

    Read More »from Semyon Varlamov makes record-setting 54 saves to blank Blackhawks
  • Pekka Rinne makes insane back-of-the-leg save vs. Hurricanes (Video)

    Pekka Rinne has been outstanding this season for the Nashville Predators as arguably the NHL’s top goaltender. But now he’s just getting ridiculous.

    Against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, Rinne was well out of his crease after a poke-check attempt on Jiri Tlusty. Nathan Gerbe of the Hurricanes had an open net in front of him and fired the puck. Rinne, somehow, pushed the back of his leg out and made the stop.

    (Keep in mind a goalie isn’t exactly protected back there, so this was a risky one.)

    Oh, no big deal, just a crazy, reverse-kick save, trapping the puck under his pad …

    Like many amazing things, this one was born from something rather terrible, i.e. Mike Ribeiro’s defensive zone puckhandling.

    Seriously, was a lazy, lazy play. The Hurricanes’ Victor Rask easily forced Ribeiro into a turnover, thus forcing Rinne to make a super aggressive play in an attempt to break it up. He couldn’t, which then set up that backward leg save.

    So thanks Mike Ribeiro. Or something.

     s/t

    Read More »from Pekka Rinne makes insane back-of-the-leg save vs. Hurricanes (Video)
  • As Roberto Luongo returns to Vancouver, recalling his breaking point

    On Thursday night, Roberto Luongo makes his return to Vancouver as a member of the Florida Panthers. He spoke with the local media on Tuesday, and circled back to a familiar question: What finally pushed him to waive his no-trade clause and clear the path for a deal?

    According to Luongo, it was when coach John Tortorella decided to start Eddie Lack in the Heritage Classic against the Ottawa Senators on March 2, 2014.

    “There’s no hiding it. I did want to play that game. I mean, that goes without saying, and if I would have played I probably would maybe still be here. Who knows?” he said.

    This is something Luongo had mentioned after the trade; his agent, Pat Brisson, even said back in March 2014 that had Luongo played in the Heritage Classic “he would likely still be a Canuck.”

    The deal with Florida was actually two and a half years in the making, according to GM Dale Tallon. He told George Richards of the Miami Herald, “It was close, then it wasn't, then it was revitalized. We were

    Read More »from As Roberto Luongo returns to Vancouver, recalling his breaking point
  • Watch full Phil Kessel vs. Dave Feschuk throwdown (Video)

    Earlier today we brought you a clip in which Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs responded rather indignantly to a question from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.

    He asked Kessel if he’s a difficult guy to coach. Kessel felt it was a “weird question.” Feschuk doubled-down by pushing the idea that Kessel was a reason why Randy Carlyle was fired, to which Kessel asked, “You think it’s my fault?”

    Maple Leafs PR called it a day for Kessel, and he then said Feschuk is “such an idiot” and “has always been like this.”

    The banter continued, however, as the CBC News cameras chronicled. Kessel then said no other reporter in Toronto disrespects the players in the organization like Feschuk does. Which, if you know the Toronto media, means Feschuk must have done everything but defecate on his mother's pillow in Phil’s eyes.

    As expected, this led to the usual Toronto media vs. fans kerfuffle over how reporters interact with players and players’ responsibilities and yadda yadda yadda. The last

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  • Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Randy Carlyle unemployment line edition

    MVSW

    LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a Tuesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Chris Johnson of Sportsnet on the Leafs coaching change. 

    • Canada survives Russia in WJC.

    • What's next for Leafs?

    • The Phil Kessel debate. 

    • World junior.

    Question of the Day: You're a DJ. Dedicate a song to Carlyle, Nonis or the Leafs Email puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarekClick here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!

    Click here to download podcasts from the show each day. Subscribe to the podcast viaiTunes or Feedburner.

    Read More »from Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Randy Carlyle unemployment line edition
  • Dave Nonis believes in the abysmal Maple Leafs he's built

    In the words of Boyz II Men: Close your eyes. Make a wish.

    Believe this thing you want to happen is going to come true. Believe it with every fiber of your being, every cell in your body. Will it into reality.

    Open your eyes.

    And … nothing happened. Life still sucks.

    Every time Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis speaks about his team, it’s like he’s trying to force everyone into believing this collection of ill-fitting parts, underwhelming players and never-was’s is something better than what they are, which is a sputtering car with a poorly constructed engine that will just work if we can only put a few more coats of paint on it, you guys …

    “It’s not that we have players that can’t do it. We’ve seen it,” said Nonis, announcing coach Randy Carlyle’s firing on Tuesday, before citing the one or two games this season when the Leafs carried play.

    “I don’t think it’s that they’re not capable. They are.”

    Of course you do, Dave. It’s your roster. Well, it’s Brian Burke’s roster,

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  • Randy Carlyle fired by Toronto Maple Leafs, finally

    After years of souring, Randy Carlyle finally reached his expiration date. 

    The Toronto Maple Leafs fired their much-maligned coach on Tuesday morning, after a 21-16-3 start that was good enough to have them clinging to a wild card in the terrible Eastern Conference but not much else.

    From the Leafs:

    David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday morning that head coach Randy Carlyle has been relieved of his duties. Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will handle coaching duties in the Club’s next game Wednesday night as the Leafs host the Washington Capitals.

    The Leafs (21-16-3) are fourth in the Atlantic Division with 45 points, one point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    “I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Nonis. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in

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  • Naked player ruins perfectly good Canadian junior gold photo

    Alexandre Bilodeau is a two-time gold medal skier for Canada, which obviously grants one access to every corner of the Canadian sports world, including the dressing room of the IIHF World Junior champions on Monday night after their 5-4 win over Russia. 

    He took a photo with Connor McDavid and friends. He didn’t wait for that dude in the back to put his pants on.

    And here we thought goaltending was the only crack in Team Canada’s game last night …

    Bilodeau quickly realized he made a gold medalist the butt of many jokes and deleted the image, but not before the eagle eyes of G. Wes snagged it on Twitter.

    Tough to say who the player is, as usually they’re smiling horizontally when dealing with the media.

    Here’s the uncensored photo.

    Hopefully this is a signal to Hockey Canada not to allow irresponsible, naked photo taking Olympic gold-medal winning skiers into the dressing room, thereby leaving more room for upstanding, photographically responsible bloggers.

    s/t Deadspin

    Read More »from Naked player ruins perfectly good Canadian junior gold photo
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic beats the buzzer and the Jets (Video)

     

    Every point counts in the Western Conference, and the San Jose Sharks kept one away from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night. 

    Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored with 2.9 seconds left in regulation – off the faceoff, past Michael Hutchinson – to give the Sharks a 3-2 win at the Jets.

    Joe Pavelski beat Bryan Little on the draw, back to Logan Couture. Blake Wheeler broke away from the wing and chased the puck, putting five Jets to the left of Hutchinson.

    So Couture easily fed a streaking Vlasic for a clean, undefended shot that beat the Jets goalie for the 3-2 win. It was Pickles’ fifth goal of the season. Pavelski and Couture both picked up their second assist of the night.

    The Sharks won despite Joe Thornton missing a second straight game with an upper-body injury.

    With the two points, the Sharks moved to 47 points on the season, equaling the Jets’ total with one more victory in the jam-packed West.

     

     

    Read More »from Marc-Edouard Vlasic beats the buzzer and the Jets (Video)
  • Keith Ballard considers retirement after horrific hit vs. Islanders

    Medical personnel tend to Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard after he was injured on a check into the boards by New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)Medical personnel tend to Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard after he was injured on a check into the boards by New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

    Keith Ballard hasn’t suited up for the Minnesota Wild since Dec. 9. The 32-year-old defenseman suffered three facial fractures and (another) concussion after Matt Martin of the New York Islanders checked him between the benches and Ballard’s head was crushed along the top of the boards. 

    He may not suit up again for the Wild, or anyone else. As he tells Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, he’s contemplating retirement:

    Ballard said during his last concussion that he’s worried about his future and wants to make sure he’s healthy in his post-hockey career as a husband and dad to two children. He said that again today.

    “I’m not ready to decide that stuff, but knowing what we know about concussions, I have to think about the long-term,” Ballard said. “I’ve had three in 14 months, five in five years, not to mention all the times you get hit and say, ‘I’ve got my bell rung,’ and you’re dizzy for a period. That happens probably a lot more than people know. I have to think about the long-term

    Read More »from Keith Ballard considers retirement after horrific hit vs. Islanders

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