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?

  • Unsung Hero: Shawn Thornton powers Bruins’ Merlot Line, is a scary dude

    Getty ImagesThroughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we’ll be spotlighting unsung heroes around the postseason on a weekly basis.

    He plays about eight minutes a night, yet his impact is more palpable than players with twice his ice time. He’s the most physically intimidating player on the Boston Bruins not named Zdeno Chara. Once in a while, he even gets offensive.

    He’s Shawn Thornton, and together with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell he’s playing on the most underrated line in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They skate hard, hit harder and possess the puck in the offensive zone better than some of their opponents’ top lines do.

    They’re the “Merlot Line”, because of “the cranberry Bruins jerseys they don in practice,” according to Joe Haggerty.

    Both Paille and Campbell have been seen as something more than fourth liners in their careers, but Thornton’s had to work hard to break the stigma that he’s just a brawler who barely warrants a roster spot.

    “He’s not a high-end skill player,” Coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe. “But he still has enough skill so you can use him and play him. That’s the thing that, as a coach, I’ve always liked of our enforcer. He’s one of those guys who can settle things down when things get out of hand, but he’s able to play. I don’t like having a guy sit on the bench playing 2-3 minutes and just utilizing him in those [fighting] situations. Thorny’s fit the bill extremely well.”

    Read More »from Unsung Hero: Shawn Thornton powers Bruins’ Merlot Line, is a scary dude
  • Liz Habib is back with another classic LA Kings highlights gaffe (Video)

    Based on the last two seasons, we’re working on a theory about the Los Angeles Kings: Their success in the postseason is in direct proportion with the amount of incredible gaffes and bloopers the local media makes about the team and its players.

    For example: Liz Habib is a sports reporter for FOX 11 in Los Angeles. She occasionally does LA Kings highlights. In the playoffs, they tend to go horribly, horribly wrong.

    So with 10 minutes left in the third period of Game 4, Willie Mitchell scored for the Los Angeles Kings to cut the San Jose Sharks’ lead to 2-1.

    Except it wasn’t Willie Mitchell, who has three career playoff goals in 71 games. It was Mike Richards, who has 22 in 94 games.

    Because Willie Mitchell wasn’t playing in Game 4.

    Because Willie Mitchell hasn’t played since Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

    Because Willie Mitchell’s knee is so [expletived] that he’ll likely miss parts of the 2013-14 season.

    But we do appreciate Liz’s mathematical explanation concerning what happens when a team in a 2-2 series wins Game 5.

    If Liz Habib’s name rings a bell, perhaps the name “Brad Doty” rings one. Yes, she was the sportscaster behind the Greatest Highlights Train Wreck of the 2013 Playoffs.

    Please advance, LA Kings. YouTube needs you.

    Read More »from Liz Habib is back with another classic LA Kings highlights gaffe (Video)
  • LISTEN 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: Adrian Dater of the Denver Post talks Patrick Roy to the Avalanche and the NHL Playoffs.

    • The Red Wings defeat the Blackhawks again; can the best team in the NHL rally from 3-1 down?

    • Brad Richards, John Tortorella and a squirmy situation.

    • GAME SHOW FRIDAY

    • Previewing the weekend's games.

    Question of the Day: How would you have handed out the NHL awards? Email puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek.

    Click 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 via iTunes or Feedburner.

    Read More »from Marek Vs. Wyshynski Radio: Adrian Dater on Patrick Roy to Avs; Game Show Friday; are the Blackhawks toast?
  • DNAinfoChicagoMaggie Ciara is a third grade student at Columbus Manor Elementary School in Oak Lawn, Ill. She’s also a Chicago Blackhawks fan, as her teacher discovered in a recent math exam.

    The question was “what is 9 times 9?”

    The answer? Marian Hossa, a.k.a. No. 81 for the Blackhawks.

    As you can see, her teacher was baffled at first ...

    DNAinfoChicago

    We know what you’re thinking: Did she get credit for what was, in a roundabout way, a correct answer?

    Justin Breen of DNAinfo Chicago had this whimsical hockey story, and spoke with Maggie’s teacher. While she didn't quite get what the answer meant at first, Maggie clarified it for her:

    Her teacher, Christine Mech, circled the answer and wrote "What is this?" in red pen. When Maggie explained her response, Mech gave her credit, and she received an A+.

    "Maggie is a very clever little girl," said Mech, who's a Hawks fan and knew what Maggie was up to. "I love the way Maggie has a sense of humor. She did get her 100 percent on the quiz, and we had a little bit of a

    Read More »from Blackhawks fan answers ‘Hossa’ on 3rd-grade math test, baffles teacher (Photo)
  • NHL Awards: No Vegas, just two TV specials during Stanley Cup Final

    Getty ImagesBy now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey, I know who the finalists are for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, but where and when can I see who actually wins this heralded trophy in 2013?”

    Wonder no more, fare citizens: The NHL announced on Friday that in lieu of an off-season spectacle in Las Vegas to celebrate the best of the best of the truncated season, the NHL Awards will be handed out during the Stanley Cup Final on two made-for-TV specials featuring the League’s game analysts.

    Which sounds like there will be a distinct lack of Chaka Khan, Def Leppard, Nickelback and the Real Housewives of Orange County. Which makes us sad.

    Read More »from NHL Awards: No Vegas, just two TV specials during Stanley Cup Final
  • The day John Tortorella criticizes Brad Richards for being a $60-million bust during the 2012-13 season will be the first day he does.

    So Thursday night after the New York Rangers’ thrilling Game 4 OT victory to stay alive against the Boston Bruins – a game for which Richards was a healthy scratch, after being benched as a fourth-liner in Game 3 – Tortorella offered a defense of his fallen star:

    Said Torts:

    “Brad Richards is a hell of a hockey player. He has had struggles here. It continues. Me putting him in that role does not help him. So I’d rather have him out and identify how we’re going to run our fourth line.

    “So none of ya’s, don’t put words in my mouth, it’s not blaming Brad Richards. I’ve already heard enough of that crap already, as far as this is concerned. He’s a hell of a hockey player that’s having a hell of a time. So I need to make decisions for what I feel is right for this team to win tonight’s game, and that’s why I made that decision.

    “This is a Conn Smythe winner. A guy I’ve grown up with. A guy I love as a person and a player, but I have to make that decision regarding this. So kiss my ass if you want to write something different. It’s not about blaming that guy. I don’t want anybody to pile on him. This is my decision and I make it for the hockey club.”

    Obviously, you feel for Torts, having to make these decisions on a player with whom he won a Stanley Cup and a player that chose the Rangers as a free agent because Tortorella was there. They have a long relationship as player and coach. Neither imagined this day would come.

    But they were the right decisions: Richards had one point in 10 games, was terrible on the power play and clearly didn’t fit on the Rangers’ fourth line. Richards goes out, the Rangers score on the power play and the fourth line played great in limited minutes. This is not a coincidence.

    Hearing Tortorella defend Richards as “a hell of a hockey player that’s having a hell of a time” makes you wonder: If he’s still the coach in 2013-14, might Richards get another chance to turn this around before a buy-out, or is he a goner?

    Read More »from John Tortorella defends Brad Richards, requests that media kiss his posterior (Video)
  • Is this the new Dallas Stars logo?

    The Dallas Stars are scheduled to unveil their super secret new uniforms and logo on June 4 at a special fan event, featuring everyone from owner Tom Gaglardi to star forward Jamie Benn. So, naturally, it appears the logo may have leaked nearly two weeks before the event. D'oh!

    On Thursday, Stars fans began reporting on a new addition to the team’s iPhone wallpaper selections on its official app.

    The speculation is that the circle logo on the left will be a shoulder patch on the new sweaters, with the ‘D Star’ logo as the new primary one for Dallas. But there's also a chance the Stars will follow in the tradition of the Wild, Blues and Panthers and do a traditional circular crest with the logo inside of it; a.k.a. the logo above ...

    ... which bears a passing resemblance to this. Will Starbucks be to the Stars' logo as Fishsticks were to the Islanders?

    Read More »from Is this the new Dallas Stars logo?
  • NHL Three Stars: Howard, Quick toss shutouts; Rangers survive sweep

    Tom Cruise watched top gun and legend Anze Kopitar, far and away their best forward, make it rain, man, and help push the Sharks into oblivion as the Kings won this war of the worlds with their eyes wide shut. [NHL Video]

    No. 1 Star: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

    The Red Wings goalie made 28 saves for his second career shutout, as Detroit won Game 4 over the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-0. He was especially good in the third period as the Blackhawks turned on the offense. Detroit leads the series, 3-1.

    No. 2 Star: Derek Stepan, New York Rangers

    The Rangers needed someone to make a play. Stepan did, twice. He stripped Zdeno Chara of the puck and scored to tie the Boston Bruins in the third period, 2-2. After Tyler Seguin’s goal gave Boston the lead again, Stepan set up Brian Boyle for another tying goal on the power play, where the Rangers were the worst team left in the postseason. New York won Game 4, 4-3 in overtime, on a Chris Kreider goal. Here’s the Stepan strip-and-score, helping the Rangers stay alive in the postseason.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Howard, Quick toss shutouts; Rangers survive sweep
  • Blackhawks face elimination as Red Wings take Game 4, Toews unravels

    GettyThe Chicago Blackhawks’ history-making season is slipping into the same abyss that swallowed up other Presidents Trophy winners who couldn’t fulfill the promise of their regular-season success.

    The Detroit Red Wings won Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, 2-0, to take a 3-1 lead and push the Hawks to an elimination game back in Chicago on Saturday.

    The unraveling of the Blackhawks continued in Game 4.

    Read More »from Blackhawks face elimination as Red Wings take Game 4, Toews unravels
  • Stanley Cup Beard Watch: The Ginger Beard Edition

    (Ed. Note: We're proud to welcome back two of our favorite bloggers, Chuck and Pants from What's Up, Ya Sieve?, to the Puck Daddy fold as they author our weekly NHL Playoff Beard Watch every Thursday.)

    By Chuck and Pants from What's Up, Ya Sieve?

    Never in considering playoff beards or writing this informative and newsworthy weekly feature did we expect to find that so many people share our affinity for ginger beards. You’re all into hockey, that’s enough to make us friends. This common captivation with facial hair takes our relationship to the next level.

    Since we’ve made ginger beards a thing, it’s time to give them their due. Last week, we mentioned Daniel Alfredsson and Brian Bickell’s impressive contributions. Here are the rest of The Best 2013 Ginger Beards, from rusty to rosy and everything in between.

    Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins - GBR (Ginger Beard Rookie)

    Getty ImagesSure, Dougie is a rookie, and he looks a bit like Beaker from “The Muppet Show,” but his ginger beard is not to be

    Read More »from Stanley Cup Beard Watch: The Ginger Beard Edition

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