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?

  • In praise of Ilya Bryzgalov, Wild playoff goalie and reformed flake

    The Bill Masterton Trophy is given annually to the player who “demonstrates perseverance and dedication to hockey.” It’s a de facto comeback player of the year award, although with heavy overtones of Lifetime Original Movie melodrama.

    Ilya Bryzgalov won’t win that award, and not just because a Minnesota Wild goalie won it last season (and could win it again). Also, not because he’s Russian, despite, well, let’s just say the award winners aren’t exactly the most geographically diverse lot.

    It’s because Bryzgalov’s “comeback” is more about circumstances than anything.

    He was handed a massive contract by the Philadelphia Flyers, signed that contract, cashed the check and then realized what a titanically dumb idea it was for all parties involved when the thing imploded. (Although were it not for that signing, he would have never become a reality TV star; and if he never became a reality TV star, our curiosity about the vastness of the universe would have never been stoked, and hence

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  • NHL Playoff Death Flyers, Jackets make a statement; Stars not so much

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    The teams chasing the playoff bubble had a glimmer of hope recently when the Columbus Blue Jackets lost a heartbreaker to the Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers struggled. Might one of those teams tumble down the standings and allow the Devils, Leafs or Capitals to sneak in at the end?

    Based on Sunday’s results … nah, probably not.

    The Flyers’ win over Buffalo gives them 89 points, two in back of the Rangers for home ice in the first round with a game in-hand. The moved five points up on the Devils and six up on the Capitals, although the Jackets (87) remain in striking distance with the same number of games (4) left.

    Columbus’s dominating win over the Islanders moved them three ahead of the Devils and Leafs. They’re not out of the woods yet, however – they have back to back games with Phoenix and Dallas, two teams battling for the playoffs

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  • Another day, another hockey player using social media to remind us that we’re all a bunch of squeamish weenies.

    Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff left their loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night with 1:10 to go after ear took a Scott Hartnell dump-in, which sounds creepier than it is.

    The result was this damage to Ehrhoff’s right ear, for which we will now insert the requisite WARNING: DISTUBING IMAGES space.

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    Here’s Ear-off, er, Ehrhoff’s injury, which he released via Twitter:

    Well that’s gross. And by that we mean the middle image totally looks like an Italian cookie we once ate.

    Sabres coach Ted Nolan said after the game that Ehrhoff’s injury “looked pretty serious,” with “pretty” being the last term we’d ever apply to it.

    Luckily for Ehrhoff, we’re pretty sure he has the dough for reconstructive surgery

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  • Why was Matt Greene’s skate oozing blood on the ice? (Video)

    Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene had a job to do against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night and, by golly, he was going to do it … even if his right skate was oozing blood all over the GM Place ice.

    Greene completed his defensive stand in front of Jonathan Quick as his blood stained the ice. The ice crew came out to clean it up as Greene to the back for stitches.

    At first glance, one assumed it was either the skate of Ryan Kesler or Jonathan Quick that sliced him.

    But according to Greene after the game, it was the puck that was the culprit. It hit his shin, right on a pressure spot.

    From LA Kings Insider:

    “I just got hit with a puck and just got cut. That’s’ it,” said Greene, who noted that it wasn’t the first time he had bled from a similar type of play. “It’s just a pressure cut. It’s fine. It happens.”

    Meh, just a gush of blood that soaked my skate and turned by blade crimson. No biggie.

    Hockey, man …

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  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: Devilish possibilities in Eastern Conference

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    Well the Eastern Conference playoff race just got a hell of a lot more interesting, courtesy of the Devils.

    New Jersey’s 4-point weekend moved them within a point of the Blue Jackets for the final wild card, although Columbus has a game in-hand. They also moved to within three points of the third-place Flyers (87 points), who also have a game in-hand.

    To call the Devils’ final four games “winnable” would be an understatement: Calgary, the Islanders and the Bruins (in the season finale, when you imagine many of their regulars will rest) at home; the Senators on the road.

    They need help, but they’re in it.

    Then again, the same can still be said for the Capitals and Leafs.

    All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

    Here’s

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  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: So you’re saying there’s a chance for the Leafs?

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets were 3.7 second away from another point in the standings, another nail in the coffin of the teams chasing them for the last wild card spot. Instead, the Chicago Blackhawks sent them to a regulation loss that decreased the Jackets’ playoff chances to 78.9 percent.

    Meanwhile, they gave the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils faint playoff hope.

    Both teams probably have to win out and hope for help; in Toronto’s case, a lot of help, because the Jackets and Devils both have a game in-hand and own the ROW tie-breaker with Toronto.

    All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

    Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

    Team

    Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

    Tragic #

    % Chance 1st Wild Card

    %

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  • Thomas Greiss, Coyotes regret gaffe that cost them victory vs. Oilers

    Friday night’s action reminded hockey fans that every moment counts when every point matters.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets, for example, might regret giving up that goal to the Chicago Blackhawks with 3.7 seconds left in regulation, failing to garner a point on home ice.

    The Phoenix Coyotes, meanwhile, had their own late goal to lament – one that was a product of their own miscue.

    Here’s goalie Thomas Greiss, misplaying the puck and allowing Sam Gagner to tie the game at 19:19 of the third, before he won it in OT with a shootout goal:

    Ouch. Just, ouch.

    Greiss misplayed the puck with Jordan Eberle hounding him, sending it off a sliding Zbynek Michalek near the post, the puck trickling over to Gagner for the layup goal.

    Said Greiss after the game, via Sarah McLellan: “Just bounced right in my skates from my stick. Just mishandled it. A costly mistake by me.”

    Said Coach Dave Tippett: “The way we gave up the second goal, that’s demoralizing. But it’s not time to hang your head now."

    No, but

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  • NHL Three Stars: Max Pacioretty’s 5-pointer; Gagner leads Oil

    No. 1 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

    The Canadiens forward had a 5-point night, including a hat trick, as Montreal beat the Ottawa Senators in a wild 7-4 game. Pacioretty scored his first goal in the first to tie the game at 3-3. He scored another in the second and then completed the trick for his 38th goal of the season. Thomas Vanek had three assists in the win.

    No. 2 Star: Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers

    Gagner scored the game-tying goal for Edmonton at 19:19 of the third period – a gift thanks to a miscue by Phoenix Coyotes goalie Thomas Greiss – and then beat Greiss in the shootout with an awesome move for the 3-2 win.

    No. 3 Star: Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

    Schneider was the difference in the Devils’ 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals, stopping 24 shots and robbing Marcus Johansson twice in the game.

    Honorable mention: The Detroit Red Wings scored three first-period goals and then hung on for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an

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  • Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Will Datsyuk and Nyquist play together?

    Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished. 

    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 03: Bryan Bickell #29 (L) and Peter Regin #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Bickell's third period goal against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on April 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    Create-a-caption:
    Bryan Bickell #29 (L) and Peter Regin #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Bickell's third period goal against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on April 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    • • • • •

    Preview: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Calgary Flames at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Phoenix Coyotes, 10 p.m. EDT

    Preview: Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. EDT

    • • • • •

    Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...

    1. No

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  • Alex Ovechkin thinks everyone quit on the play he quit on

    It’s not every day that a head coach claims his star scorer and team captain “quit” on a play on home ice during a playoff race. Of course, it’s not every day that said captain doesn’t score at even strength for a month and has a league-worst plus/minus rating of minus-36, which we’re sure is a factor in that call-out too.

    So how does Alex Ovechkin feel about Adam Oates calling him out for his lack of hustle here against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, on a Dustin Jeffrey goal?

    That’s Ovechkin, skating hard for about a millisecond at the end. He had plenty of fuel left having coasted the rest of the play.

    So did he talk to Oates about this?

    “Um, no,” he said after Friday’s pregame skate in New Jersey.

    “To be honest with you, I didn’t see him and I kind of lost the position, so it is what it is. We make lots of mistakes. It’s not about the one mistake,” he said. (Him, we assume, was Ray Whitney charging to the net.)

    But your coach called you out for quitting. Isn’t that, like, bad and

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