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?

  • Brandon Saad’s sick kick-pass sets up Blackhawks goal in Game 4 (Video)

     

    Sometimes the best passes in hockey aren’t made with one’s stick.

    Witness Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks making a glorious kick-pass to Marian Hossa that eventually led to Jonathan Toews’ goal in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.

    In the third period, Duncan Keith made a brilliant play to keep the puck in the Anaheim Ducks zone, and passed it on the left wing boards to Saad. He immediately kicked it over with this right skate to Hossa, who fed Toews to the right of the Anaheim goal, patiently waiting before scoring the goal at 2:38.

    Here's another look:

    Saad earlier had a great shorthanded breakaway goal for the game’s first tally.

    Best kick-pass of the postseason? Well, most effective. But it’s still hard to beat Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning throwing a check and kicked the puck to Steven Stamkos without a stick in Game 2. That

    Read More »from Brandon Saad’s sick kick-pass sets up Blackhawks goal in Game 4 (Video)
  • Coyotes hire 25-year-old analytics wiz John Chayka as assistant GM

    Unlike many analytics gurus, John Chayka has an Internet Hockey Database player page. It’s not exactly a storied career – 101 games with the Woodstock Slammers of the junior Maritime Hockey League – but it’s something. 

    Perhaps that made the world safe for a guy with no previous front office experience to land an assistant general manager gig with in NHL: He’s not just a stats nerd, he’s a former jock that became a stats nerd!

    According to Aaron Ward of TSN, Chayka has been hired by the Arizona Coyotes as their new AGM to general manager Don Maloney.

    Chayka is co-founder of Stathletes, a Canadian firm that uses video analysis to offer a complete picture of a player’s game and has “over 100-times the statistical resolution of typical tracking methods.”

    Thus continues the trend of struggling teams adding bright young minds with an affinity for analytics. The most dramatic example remains Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds general manager who was

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  • Lightning banking on bad luck to explain Game 4 blowout

    “How did you see it play out?” 

    Any time a coach answers a question with a question it’s squirmy. And it rarely ever happens when the query and the response are grounded in happy feelings and optimism.

    As it was, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked how he saw the second period of their 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday, where the Bolts gave up two late goals in backbreaking fashion.

    Sarcastic and exasperated as the reponse was, he answered the question with a question, and then was questioned again.

    “Maybe some tough luck?” responded Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.

    “OK, I’ll start there: Maybe some tough luck,” said Cooper. “I'll go beyond the second period. I thought for 45 minutes, we did everything but put the puck in the net. We had some really good looks. It's tough to have a period like we did in the second period. Nine times out of 10, you're coming out with the lead probably by multiple goals. Instead you come out of

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  • MVSW

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

    It's a (gettin' down on) Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record on Rangers/Lightning! Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News on Mike Babcock! 

    • The Conference Final coverage!

    • Game Show Friday!

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: How much trouble are the Blackhawks in? 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.

    ***

    BUY THE MvsW T-SHIRTS! SUPPORT HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER!

    Read More »from Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Mike Harrington on Babcock; Andrew Gross on Rangers; Game Show Friday!
  • Conn Smythe Watch: Tyler Johnson, Ryan Getzlaf lead MVP pack

    Welcome to the first edition of our Conn Smythe Watch, which chronicles the ever-changing race for playoff MVP. This one is a just a glimpse at the current picture; we’ll make it a daily feature when Round 2 begins. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked. 

    1. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (3)

    The Triplets Line has taken over the Lightning’s series against the Rangers, led by Johnson and his 12 goals in the playoffs. He’s the postseason leader in goals and points (18), and tied for the lead with seven power-play points. 

    2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (7)

    The heart, soul and muscle of the Ducks. He had two assists in their Game 3 win, including a great pass to set up Simon Despres for the game winner. He now has 16 points, with 14 assists.

    3. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (4)

    Kane’s whirling back-hander in Game 3 was his eighth goal of the playoffs and his 14th point

    Read More »from Conn Smythe Watch: Tyler Johnson, Ryan Getzlaf lead MVP pack
  • Gary Bettman claims ‘no evidence yet’ that concussions, CTE linked

    Gary Bettman met reporters in Chicago on Thursday night for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, which meant he was going to get the Steve Montador question. 

    Bettman is fending off a few lawsuits related to concussions and players whose deaths were allegedly linked to brain injuries. One that’s in the works: The family of Steve Montador, the former Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres defenseman who died in February, who was working with the same law firm handling Derek Boogaard’s wrongful death case against the NHL.

    “The finding of widespread CTE in Steven's brain helps us all better understand that his brain was ravaged by disease and he was unable to control it,” they said in a statement. “We always knew that there might be black eyes, broken bones and soft tissue injuries -- but he never anticipated that playing the game he loved would result in such devastating impairment of his brain function. CTE changed everything."

    What did Bettman have to say about this?

    Well, he

    Read More »from Gary Bettman claims ‘no evidence yet’ that concussions, CTE linked
  • Mike Babcock thanks Red Wings fans with Detroit newspaper ad

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    Mike Babcock made no secret that leaving the Detroit Red Wings was an emotional decision. He’s spoken about needing to crack open a box of Kleenex when discussing it with friend and general manager Ken Holland, and we’ll go ahead and assume he’s not talking about his allergies (but oy vey, that ragweed these days).

    So the 10-year coach of the Red Wings decided to make one last gesture of appreciation to the Detroit fans as he embarks on the new chapter of his life as Toronto Maple Leafs head coach/savior.

    Babcock and his family took out an ad on Page 6B of the Detroit Free Press on Friday, featuring a photo of the Babcocks hoisting the Stanley Cup and what appars to be a photo of an Easter Island statue.

    The ad reads:

    "Detroit Red Wings fans,

    Thank you for an amazing 10 years!

    We'll never forget the support you've provided us and will always cherish the memories we've shared together in Hockeytown.

    - The Babcocks"

    A sweet, heartfelt message from a coach to his former home fans.

    Read More »from Mike Babcock thanks Red Wings fans with Detroit newspaper ad
  • Can NY Rangers, Lundqvist clamp down Lightning again?

    The New York Rangers have given up 12 goals in the last two games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

    Prior to that? They hadn’t given up more than four goals but once, in the second game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1. They had given up one goal in eight of their previous 13 playoff games. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist had a save percentage of .944 entering the series. It’s now down to a mortal .926.

    So what happened?

    Game 2 was a gong-show. Twelve power plays between the teams turned the game on its ear, and the Rangers couldn’t exactly evaluate what went wrong because if it. Those games happen, and the Lightning simply converted their chances.

    Game 3 was a little more concerning. The Bolts won the 5-on-5 possession game in the first and third period. It was more fire-wagon than the Rangers have played or would like to play, which was a function of needing to rally and New York opening up its offense. Tampa Bay’s speed was starting to become a determining factor in the series.

    The

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  • Mike Babcock claims no lying to Sabres, brings the 'pain' for Maple Leafs

    Mike Babcock brought the pain in his introduction press conference as Toronto Maple Leafs head coach. 

    Like the pain of building a championship team from the ground up in Toronto, a process whose length and complexity are symbolized by the eight-year contract given to him by MLSE president Brendan Shanahan and the board.

    “If you think there's no pain coming, there's pain coming,” said Babcock.

    “The path we're taking has to be different. There’s no chance for a quick fixer here. You build a program. It’s going to take a long time. They committed to me for a long time. I committed to Toronto for a long time.”

    Like the pain being felt in Buffalo, as the Sabres and their media proxies believed Babcock had agreed to a deal to coach that franchise.

    Babcock denied he ever agreed to a contract with owner Terry Pegula and the Sabres, and bristled at the accusation that he flat-out lied to them, leveraging the Sabres’ offer to enrich the one coming from Toronto.

    “That 'lying' word’s an

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  • Winners and losers in Mike Babcock coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock addresses the media after the game against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center, in Chicago, in this file photo taken May 25, 2013. Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports/FilesDetroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock addresses the media after the game against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center, in Chicago, in this file photo taken May 25, 2013. Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports/Files

    Mike Babcock is being introduced as the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs after a wild Wednesday for the Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings and many, many others. 

    Here are the winners and losers in the Mike Babcock Derby:

    WINNER: BRENDAN SHANAHAN

    While Shanahan had no experience running an empire as vast as MLSE – or any empire for that matter – he had one calling card when he took over operation of the Toronto Maple Leafs: coalition building. Putting the right people in the right places, as he did in creating the Department of Players Safety with the NHL.

    The first pieces he fit with the Leafs were Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter in player personnel – both highly lauded. He expunged Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis – also lauded, although not as timely as some wanted.

    Then he landed Mike Babcock, the biggest free agent acquisition for the Leafs in recent memory and a game-changer behind the bench.

    Sure, he has resources and riches other teams don’t possess. But that’s

    Read More »from Winners and losers in Mike Babcock coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs

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