Sean Leahy

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor of Puck Daddy since the blog started in April 2008. Having covered Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts, his highlight might have been getting blown out playing Ryan Kesler in NHL2K11 on Nintendo Wii. That, or coercing an All-Star Game goal judge to let him control the goal light for a period. He currently resides on Long Island.

  • The Stanley Cup Playoffs have finally arrived and that means it's also time for those ultra-supportive playoff anthems to be released among the various NHL markets involved. You might remember Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" used in support of both the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators last year.

    Some riff of popular music, while others create their own.

    This is the case for this anthem for the Tampa Bay Lightning, featuring rapper Jinx, proclaiming one simple thing: They want the Cup.

    What, no namecheck for Ondej Palat or Valtteri Filppula?

    The message is pretty simple, aside from wanting said Stanley Cup, Jinx has another message: "Someone tell Lord Stanley, come home to his Tampa Bay family."

    Tampa's quest for their second Stanley Cup since 2004 will begin without goaltender Ben Bishop, who's been ruled out for Game 1. It'll be a grind, but if the Lightning are indeed crowned champions in June, we can look back to this playoff anthem as to where the journey all began.

    So, what did you

    Read More »from Pass or Fail: Tampa Bay Lightning playoff anthem 'We Want the Cup'
  • Ed. Note: With its new playoff format, the NHL is seeking to create passion for fans and teams through forced, bracketed relationships. But hey, at first glance, the matchups are pretty sexy. All of this led to one ideal theme for our 2014 Playoff Preview: Tinder, the social media dating app. We hope you swipe right this postseason ...)

    When the NHL introduced this version of divisional playoffs, Rangers/Flyers is the type of series they had envisioned taking place on an annual basis. Long-time Patrick Divison rivals with plenty of history and dislike between one another. Surprisingly, they haven’t met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 1997 Eastern Conference Final, won by the Flyers.

    The beginning of the season was a struggle for both. The Rangers were adjusting to a new head coach and new system, while playing the first month of the season on the road because of renovations at Madison Square Garden. The Flyers saw their top guns go cold early on and that helped lead to Peter

    Read More »from New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers: Puck Daddy's Tinder NHL playoff preview
  • As the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs approach, it's that time of year where everyone is in the prediction business. You'll hear crowing from those who made stellar choices over the next two months and utter silence when what they expected to happen doesn't even come close to reality; like if some idiot thought the Boston Bruins were going to get swept in 2010.

    Speaking of the Bruins, EA Sports has used NHL 14 to simulate the playoffs for another year and the team from Boston comes up as Stanley Cup champions in the end.

    According to EA, "The simulation is conducted by using artificial intelligence within NHL 14 that uses real-life data from each player to predict a realistic outcome of each game."

    Given the game's most recent pre-playoff predictions, you should bet your hard earned money that it won't happen. Here's who the NHL series has thought would lift the Cup over the last six years and when their season ended:

    2008: San Jose Sharks (2nd round)

    2009: Boston Bruins (2nd round)

    Read More »from NHL 14 predicts Boston Bruins as Stanley Cup champs, which means it won't happen
  • Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

    Getty Images

    • John Scott and his two-year old daughter, Eva, wait before Sunday's game. [Getty]

    • Brendan Shanahan was introduced Monday as the Toronto Maple Leafs president of hockey operations. Randy Carlyle was not present at the press conference, with general manager Dave Nonis saying, “Randy Carlyle is a good coach, that’s as far as I’m willing to go right now."

    • Now that the regular season over it's official: Sidney Crosby wins the Art Ross, Alex Ovechkin takes the Rocket Richard and Jonathan Quick wins the William Jennings Trophy. [NHL]

    • The Peter DeBoer rumors can end now as New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello announced Sunday that the head coach will be back next year and is already under contract. [Fire & Ice]

    • Also coming back will be Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders, says GM Garth Snow. [

    Read More »from Leafs introduce Shanahan; Capuano, DeBoer to return; draft lottery odds (Puck Headlines)
  • Foam party forces AHL to postpone game, citing poor ice conditions

    The "World's Largest Foam Party" sounds like a great time. But hosting it inside a hockey arena the night before a game? Probably not the best idea.

    On Friday night, the Webster Bank Arena, home of the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, hosted Foam N' Glow, a rave/foam party. You could only protect the ice so much from the soap, glow sticks, beads, etc. during a concert that ran until almost midnight. So it was no surprise that the next day arena workers found the ice in very poor condition.

    Just how bad was it? Foam and other items were still embedded in the ice:

    Via the Danbury Times:

    "Cliff (Lydiksen, assistant director of operations) and his crew worked tirelessly all day. Commend them on the hard work they did," Pellerin said. "From what I saw this morning, it's unbelievable they got it to this point."
    ...

    "I

    Read More »from Foam party forces AHL to postpone game, citing poor ice conditions
  • Justin Johnson of the New York Islanders is 32-years old and had himself a pretty good week. First, he was called up from the AHL to make his debut against the New Jersey Devils on Friday. Then on Sunday he participated in his first NHL fight and made a big impression, cutting down big, bad John Scott of the Buffalo Sabres: That's a good way to get yourself noticed by the Islanders' coaching staff. Scott has a good eight inches on Johnson, but as you see, open yourself up for a second and all it takes is one punch. I guess Johnson is now in the club after Scott took him upon the invitation pre-game.

    Johnson, a noted scrapper, accumulated 575 PIMs in 151 career AHL games and 669 PIMs in 190 games in the ECHL. Even though he may be 32, a moment like that one will likely see Johnson throwing some more punches at the NHL next season.

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

    Read More »from Isles' Justin Johnson drops John Scott during first period fight (Video)
  • Your 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round TV schedule

    We've known the 16 teams that will compete for the 2014 Stanley Cup for a few days now, and the match-ups were finally set Sunday afternoon. Now, as the 2013-14 NHL regular season comes to a close, the league has released the schedule for Round 1.

    Here's the Eastern Conference:

    NHL

    Here's the Western Conference schedule:

    NHL

    Interesting that the Montreal Canadiens, the only Canadian team in the post-season, does not have a single opening round game on Hockey Night in Canada. Also, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers is the only series scheduled with back-to-back games, should they go the distance.

    - - - - - - -

    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

     

    Read More »from Your 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round TV schedule
  • Union captures first NCAA championship with 7-4 win over Minnesota

    The Union College Dutchmen celebrate the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship.

    PHILADELPHIA — Union College overcame another early deficit and claimed their first ever NCAA national championship Saturday night, defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers 7-4 in front of 18,742 fans at Wells Fargo Center.

    For the second straight game, Union allowed the opening goal, something that didn’t happen too often during the regular season.

    The magnitude of a national championship game will rattle the nerves, but that opening goal was a blessing in a disguise, according to head coach Rick Bennett.

    “It actually settled us down because I thought we were kind of gripping that stick a little bit,” he said. “Guys were huffing and puffing on the bench. Guys were standing up, which is not our style. So we just needed to take a deep breath, and that was a theme on the bench throughout the whole game is deep breaths, take it easy, sit down, relax. This is just another game. We're back at Messa Rink. That's how we approached it between periods, and guys bought in.”

    During Thursday’s

    Read More »from Union captures first NCAA championship with 7-4 win over Minnesota
  • PHILADELPHIA — The ceremony was thirty minutes of waiting for the obvious. Everyone gathered inside the Millennium Ballroom at the Loews Hotel already knew how it would end. St. Cloud State’s Nic Dowd and Greg Carey of St. Lawrence were obviously honored to be nominated for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, but even they knew they weren’t going to hear their names announced as the winner.

    So when Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College heard his named called as the best college hockey player in the nation for the 2013-14 season, it was a coronation that everyone saw coming back in October.

    “I never thought it’d happen,” said Gaudreau. “Coach York’s been putting me with great players in my career here. It’s hard not play well when you’re playing such great players.”

    No player dominated college hockey the way the Carneys Point, N.J. native did this season. His 36 goals and 80 points were tops among all players. It was video game hockey watching Gaudreau on the ice. Opponents seemed resigned to

    Read More »from Johnny Gaudreau’s dominant junior year ends with 2014 Hobey Baker Award
  • The Union players salute their fans and celebrate following their semifinal win over Boston College.

    PHILADELPHIA — When Union landed in Tampa for the 2012 Frozen Four, they found themselves admiring everything around them. It was their downfall. Too caught up in the moment, the lack of focus helped end their season in a 3-1 loss to Ferris State.

    Two years ago, Rick Bennett was a rookie head coach. He didn’t know how to prepare a team for a game of that magnitude and even caught himself being a bit wide-eyed during the entire experience.

    That time in Tampa has helped Bennett and his players prepare for this week in Philadelphia. The coaching staff felt a better attention to detail in their practices this week was vital and those players who were on the losing end two years ago are now two years older and have grown from that experience.

    Union learned the hard way in 2012. You never know when you’ll get back to a Frozen Four. While that trip may have ended up being one of pleasure, their time this week has been one of business and it showed in beating Boston College in Thursday’s

    Read More »from NCAA Frozen Four: Being pushed out of comfort zone helped Union reach title game

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