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?

  • Getty ImagesThe NHL entered the 2013 Stanley Cup Final knowing that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins were going to be a ratings smash in the U.S., based on the strength of the local viewership numbers and the attention this Original Six battle was getting nationally.

    So how big was Game 1? Here’s Paulsen of Sports Media Watch with the great news for hockey:

    Game 1 of the Bruins/Blackhawks NHL Stanley Cup Final earned a 4.8 overnight rating on NBC Wednesday night, up 100% from Kings/Devils Game 1 last year (2.4), and up 50% from Bruins/Canucks Game 1 in 2011 (3.2).

    The 4.8 is the highest overnight for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final since Red Wings/Flyers on FOX in 1997 (5.1), and the third-highest Game 1 overnight since the final returned to broadcast television in 1995. Only Panthers/Avalanche Game 1 in 1996 (5.2) and the aforementioned Red Wings/Flyers game earned better numbers.

    It was also the highest-rated non-clinching Stanley Cup Final game since Game 5 of the 2000 Final between the Dallas Stars and the New Jersey Devils (5.3), whom you’ll recall repelled audiences with their defensive style and killed interest in the NHL. File that under “hockey myths.”

    Interesting, locally in Chicago, that Game 1 vs. Boston was up 49 percent over Game 1 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011. Is that the Blackhawks’ bandwagon expanding exponentially, or the NHL’s?

    Meanwhile, the man behind the NHL’s success on NBC has had enough with anonymous critics of the divisive man inside the glass, Pierre McGuire.

    Read More »from NHL on NBC: Game 1 earns best rating since 1997; Pierre McGuire’s honor defended
  • Evgeni Malkin’s huge new deal: 8 years, $76 million and still less than Crosby

    Getty ImagesLet’s get the big question out of the way first, as Evgeni Malkin commits to the Pittsburgh Penguins for eight additional seasons at $76 million, beginning in 2015 and running through 2022:

    Is he making more money than Sidney Crosby?

    The answer is “no,” technically, because as Rob Rossi points out Crosby is making $10.6 million on average in the first nine years of his 12-year, $104-milion contract signed last year.

    So while Malkin’s $9.5 million cap hit annually eclipses that of Crosby ($8.7 million), technically Crosby’s is still the richer deal during the run of Malkin’s contract, before his salary dips to $3 million when he retires UH WE MEAN when it’s 2023.

    C’mon, Ray Shero isn’t about to engage in that level of boat-rocking.

    Read More »from Evgeni Malkin’s huge new deal: 8 years, $76 million and still less than Crosby
  • Conn Smythe Watch: Krejci leads pack; Crawford jumps Rask

    Getty ImagesThe morning after every Stanley Cup Final game, Puck Daddy takes an expanded look at the race for playoff MVP.

    1. David Krejci, Boston Bruins

    With two assists in the Bruins’ Game 1 loss in Chicago, Krejci now leads the playoffs with 23 points in 17 games. He’s the heart of the HuLK Line (Horton, Lucic, Krejci), which apparently is now a thing. Factor in his OT goal from earlier in the playoffs, and he remains the top pick for MVP -- if the Bruins win. Otherwise ...

    2. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

    Crawford was flawless in the three overtimes of Game 1, making 29 saves in the extra sessions. His GAA sits at 1.73, and his save percentage has crept up to .936. He wasn’t perfect, but he answered a lot of critics on Wednesday night.

    3. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

    Rask gave up four goals in Game 1, but it’s hard to fault him on any of them – especially the two deflection goals that tied and won the game. He has a 1.78 GAA and an NHL best .942 save percentage.

    Read More »from Conn Smythe Watch: Krejci leads pack; Crawford jumps Rask
  • Stanley Cup Final Three Stars: Crawford, Shaw power Chicago to Game 1 win

    Getty ImagesNo. 1 Star: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

    He wasn’t perfect throughout the game – the Bruins’ second goal was on him – but he was flawless in overtime, where he made 29 saves in the three extra periods. If he didn’t outplay the much-heralded Tuukka Rask, he came close. Chicago took Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, 4-3.

    No. 2 Star: Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks

    Shaw’s deflection goal at 12:08 of the third overtime gave Chicago the Game 1 victory. He also added the primary helper on Dave Bolland’s key third-period goal, forcing a turnover, and got under the skin of Zdeno Chara.

    No. 3 Star: Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins

    Lucic scored two goals for the Bruins and added an assist in Patrice Bergeron’s power-play goal in a losing effort.

    Honorable mention: Brandon Saad scored his first of the playoffs in the second period. … Johnny Oduya’s goal off the skate of Andrew Ference tied the game at 12:14 of the third. … Rask made 59 saves.

    Conn Smythe Watch: 1. David Krejci, Boston

    Read More »from Stanley Cup Final Three Stars: Crawford, Shaw power Chicago to Game 1 win
  • Blackhawks win Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final in triple OT classic vs. Bruins

    Getty ImagesThe Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins battled for 112 grueling minutes in the fifth-longest Stanley Cup Final game in NHL history, until an Andrew Shaw deflection goal at 12:08 of triple overtime handed Game 1 to the home team, 4-3.

    The game-winner came after the Blackhawks successfully pinched in the offensive zone, with the puck ending up on defenseman Michal Rozsival’s stick at the top of the zone. He shoveled the puck toward the Bruins goal, and it deflected off of a screening Dave Bolland in the slot. The puck then pinballed off the knee of forward Andrew Shaw and in behind goalie Tuukka Rask, setting off a raucous celebration inside United Center.

    “It’s what we needed to do,” said Shaw. “We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty at this point.”

    It wasn’t, and it wasn’t going to be. The Blackhawks and Bruins played the kind of game many expected: brutal and tough, with players earning every inch of ice against their opponents.

    Outside of United Center on Wednesday night, there was torrential rain, severe storms and tornadoes spotted roughly 30 miles away from Chicago. Inside of United Center, there was controlled chaos.

    Read More »from Blackhawks win Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final in triple OT classic vs. Bruins
  • Andrew Shaw wins Game 1, drops F-bomb on NBC for Blackhawks (Video)

    Andrew Shaw’s deflection goal at 12:08 of triple overtime ended one of the longest games in Stanley Cup Final history, as the Chicago Blackhawks took Game 1 against the Boston Bruins, 4-3.

    He was exhausted and elated. And, well, he’s Andrew Shaw. These things considered, it’s no wonder the Blackhawks forward let an F-Bomb slip in his postgame chat with Pierre McGuire on NBC. Warning: NSFW for strong language. Obviously.

    Shaw’s full quote:

    “It’s what we needed to do. Get guys going to the net. We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty at this point. It was a great shot, a great set up, f---kin’, it was unbelievable. All the guys, we deserved this. It was a great battle for us.”

    After the game, Shaw told ESPN Chicago:

    "Slip of the tongue. I think I made up a word in there too. I was never good at English."

    Thus continues a rather odd tradition of players in the Stanley Cup Final dropping the ole F-bomb with Mr. McGuire. Please recall both Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick doing it after the Los Angeles Kings won the Cup last season.

    What can we say … Pierre brings out the best in his interviews.

    Read More »from Andrew Shaw wins Game 1, drops F-bomb on NBC for Blackhawks (Video)
  • Papa John’s asks if you like Penguins over Bruins in Stanley Cup Final Game 1

    As you might have heard, the Boston Bruins swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final. Also, you might have seen something in the last few days indicating that the Bruins are facing the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup.

    Papa John’s, the pizza delivery company that bestows delicious garlic butter dunking sauce to its customers, apparently missed the memo. As it tweeted before Game 1 on Wednesday night:

    Oof. That’s the hockey tweet equivalent of ordering a large with extra sausage and getting cinnamon sticks and a bag of anchovies instead.

    The tweet remained live on the Papa John’s feed for roughly three hours, and led to the predictable whimsy from hockey fans:

    s/t Boards and Rec

    Read More »from Papa John’s asks if you like Penguins over Bruins in Stanley Cup Final Game 1
  • The NHL’s had some wonderfully heartfelt Stanley Cup Final commercials in recent years, with a few genuinely moving ones: “Cup Raise” and “No Words” come to mind.

    Does ”Handshake,” the NHL’s latest ad for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final developed with the Minnesota-based advertising agency mono., rise to that level? Watch and judge:

    Via the NHL:

    This year’s commercial, “Handshake,” celebrates one of the greatest traditions in sports – the handshake line between players at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.

    Like previous Stanley Cup Final TV spots – “Cup Raise,” “Boys” and Emmy Award-winner “No Words” – “Handshake” focuses on a revered tradition that is unique and deeply meaningful to hockey: the final heartfelt moments between members of the winning and losing teams when they line up to shake hands at center ice.

    “Hockey’s tradition of the post-game handshake is the epitome of sportsmanship,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing. “Competitors line up to look each other in the eye, acknowledge each other’s efforts and extend a hand of congratulation or condolence after a hard-fought series. This very honest and authentic moment shows the mutual respect our players have for each other, the sport of hockey and the Stanley Cup.”

    Pretty good spot. Here’s the thing: Either you love the post-series handshake and think it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ most sacred tradition, or you think it’s a convoluted exercise in squirming and forced-manship.

    OK, there is some middle ground: For example, I can’t stand the over-reverence given to the handshake by the media, which portrays it as some kind of warriors’ wake when it has all the uncomfortable sentimentality and forced smiles of my family at Thanksgiving.

    But there is something awkwardly wonderful about seeing two players who abjectly despise each other forced to make nice for a moment, like a teacher making two kindergarteners hug after they pulled each others’ hair on the playground.

    So what did you think of “Handshake”?

    Read More »from NHL’s moving ‘Handshake’ commercial honors Stanley Cup Playoffs’ greatest forced tradition (Video)
  • Puck Daddy’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Live Chat!

    It's the Boston Bruins at the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and your pals at Puck Daddy are live chattin' this bad boy beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Here are our staff prognostications for the series, and by that we mean everyone picking Boston.

    You bring the insightful thoughts on the game. We bring the funny and the Hamburger Women. That's how this works. Watch Game 1 of the Final online right here, via NBC.

    Read More »from Puck Daddy’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Live Chat!
  • Puck Daddy’s 2013 Stanley Cup Final Staff Prognostications

    Getty Images

    The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins begin their epic smackdown for the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night in the Windy City, and it’s time for your friends at Puck Daddy to make their selections for the big winner and the playoff MVP.

    And look, we don’t want to say there’s East Coast bias, but …

    Greg Wyshynski, Editor

    Winner: Bruins in 6.

    Ultimately, the series will be won or lost on how much the Blackhawks refuse to allow the Bruins to take away from them.

    We know Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and the Patrice Bergeron line have the ability to shut down two lines vs. the Blackhawks; so can the depth carry the day? We know the Bruins want to punish their foes and play at their pace, so can the Blackhawks use their speed to win? Can Chicago keep home ice dominance against a great road team? Can their special teams continue to be better than Boston’s?

    I think the Bruins’ ability to defend, their physical presence and, perhaps above all else, Tuukka Rask give them the edge. What they did to Pittsburgh was very impressive, and one wonders if the Blackhawks’ unhinged and frustrated play from the Red Wings’ series might not make a cameo in the Final against the pest-tastic Bruins.

    Jeremy Jacobs gets another ring. Sigh.

    Conn Smythe: Tuukka Rask

    If the Bruins win, it’s not going to be in four games of 6-4 scores. In theory, Chara would get the nod for the Conn, but Rask will be seen as the face of the Boston defense and will have Thomas-ian numbers to back it up.

    Read More »from Puck Daddy’s 2013 Stanley Cup Final Staff Prognostications

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