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.

  • Since beginning the season 4-0-1, the Chicago Blackhawks have stumbled. They’ve lost five of seven, including being shutout twice in their past four games. Trying to ignite a spark in his team, head coach Joel Quenneville has again jumbled his lines.

    Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be back together on the Blackhawks’ top line when they visit the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night, with Ben Smith joining them. Despite the constant line shuffling by Quenneville while trying to right the ship, Toews doesn't see it as a worrying sign.

    Via Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times:

    “Whether the team [has gone] through it or not, we’ve had individuals who’ve dealt with this before — it’s not the end of the world." 

    … 

    “We’re not looking to go out there and score eight goals tonight. If that happens, it’s great, and no one’s going to complain about that. But we’ll keep working for it, and we know that we’ll rely on our experience to get through it.”

    Quenneville, who prefers keeping his two stars

    Read More »from Blackhawks look for a spark, reunite Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
  • 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.

    NHL NetNHL Net

    • LA does seem like a real bunch of nice guys. [Tumblr

    • David Krejci will miss his second game in a row with an undisclosed injury. [ESPN Boston]

    • Claude Julien on his new extension with the Boston Bruins: “I feel strongly about my intentions of wanting to win. I was just as disappointed as anybody else last year because I really felt we had a team to go all the way. So, you come back and you’re hungry, and you have that and what they call the fire in the belly, I’m extremely happy in this organization, as long as they want me.” [WEEI]

    • Looking out of the box for a future Winter Classic location, how about Grant Park in Chicago? They are interested. [Sports on Earth]

    • The early days of the NHL Draft were some real wild times. [Grantland]

    • Ted Nolan knows his message will eventually get through to the Buffalo

    Read More »from Krejci out again; early days of the NHL Draft; great Tolchinsky goal (Puck Headlines)
  • NHL Three Stars: Tarasenko, Blues best Rangers after a shootout

    No. 1 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

    The NHL's First Star of the Week was a thorn in the backside of the New York Rangers Monday night. After scoring a highlight-reel goal in the first period to tie the game 1-1, then assisting on Jay Bouwmeester's tally that sent the game to overtime, Tarasenko ended the game with the winner in the shootout as the Blues beat New York 4-3. He now has eight points in his last four games.

    No. 2 Star: Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

    "St. Louis scores twice on St. Louis." The Rangers forward netted a pair of goals seven minutes apart in the third period to at first tie the game 2-2, then give New York a 3-2 lead.

    No. 3 Star: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

    The Blues netminder made 36 saves en route to his fourth straight victory.

    Honorable Mention: This Rick Nash saucer pass to St. Louis'... my oh my:

    Meanwhile, this was a pretty dish from Carl Hagelin to St. Louis:

    Patrik Berglund, along with Bouwmeester, didn't have a goal entering the

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Tarasenko, Blues best Rangers after a shootout
  • Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues is having himself a pretty good week. The 22-year old was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week after leading the league with five goals and six points in three games last week. In those three games he hit three different personal milestones: first hat trick, first overtime winner and first four-point night.

    Monday night at Madison Square Garden, Tarasenko continued his hot play by undressing the New York Rangers penalty kill for a goal of the year candidate:

    That was Michael Kostka stepping up at the blueline, Dylan McIlrath attempting to defend and Rick Nash with the "stick check" as Tarasenko weaved his way through the Rangers’ en route to the Kent Nilsson/Peter Forsberg finish. 

    The goal was Tarasenko's seventh of the year, tying the game 1-1. He would later continue to haunt the Rangers by setting up Jay Bouwmeester's goal that sent to game to overtime and then scoring the game deiciding tally in the shootout.

    - - - - - - -

    Sean Leahy

    Read More »from Vladimir Tarasenko makes Rangers look silly for fantastic goal (Video)
  • Andrew Ference is no stranger to meeting with the NHL's Department of Player Safety. He's spent time in the room seeing how the DoPS crew works. But he's also been on the other side of the supplementary discipline process.

    On Monday, the Edmonton Oilers defenseman was suspended for the third time since 2012 for an illegal hit to the head of Zack Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks:

    As Patrick Burke explains, Ference was on the right track with his body position as he was lining up Kassian for the hit, but launching upwards and making contact with the head elevates this to a suspension.

    Ference is considered a repeat offender, with his most recent ban coming during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for a hit to the head of Mikhail Grabovski. He was given 1-game for that. His history with the DoPS stretches back to 2012 when he was suspended 3 games for boarding Ryan McDonagh.

    Maybe Ference was overcompensating for the five-ish inches in height that Kassian has on him? Either way, the result

    Read More »from Andrew Ference given 3-game suspension for check to head of Zack Kassian (Video)
  • Tragedy touched the hockey world on Sunday when an 8-year old fan died of injuries sustained after being struck by a puck during an FFHG Division 1 game in France. 

    Near the end of the third period during Saturday's game between Dunkirk and Reims, the young fan, Hugo Vermeersch, was hit in the ear with a puck and went into cardiac arrest. The president of Reims, Dr. Benoit Vrielynck, who is also a surgeon, began performing CPR before firefighters took him from the Patinoire Michel Raffoux Arena to a local hospital. Sadly, he would succumb to his injuries on Sunday morning.

    "It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of little Hugo this morning....RIP little angel," read a Twitter statement from the team.

    Dunkirk goaltender Niels-Erik Ravn sent out his condolences via Twitter:

    Read More »from 8-year-old hockey fan dies after being hit by puck during French league game
  • No. 1 Star: Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets

    Hutchinson made 33 saves to record his first career NHL shutout and Michael Frolik scored 20 seconds into the game as the Jets blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. The shutout was Winnipeg’s second in a row, the first time they’ve done that since 2006. The Jets have taken 9 out of 10 possible points in their last five games.

    No. 2 Star: Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators

    After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, Nashville scored three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Forsberg netted a pair, including a power play marker, and assisted on Colin Wilson's third period tally to take over the rookie scoring lead with 11 points. Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for his seventh win of the season.

    No. 3 Star: Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes

    A pair of goals from the Coyotes’ captain, along with rookie Tobias Rieder’s first NHL tally, helped Arizona edged the Washington Capitals 6-5. Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Hutchinson blanks Blackhawks; Forsberg powers Preds
  • John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks was all ready to make his fifth start of the season Sunday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Then warmups happened.

    The 21-year old netminder suffered a pre-game lower-body injury, leaving freshly recalled Jason LaBarbera to take the starting job for the night. The only problem? Frederik Andersen was injured himself, so there was nobody to be the Ducks’ backup. (LaBarbera, by the way, was making his third start in three nights, having played for the AHL's Norfolk Admirals on Friday and Saturday before being summoned by the Ducks to travel to Colorado on Sunday morning. LaBarbera earned the win in all three games. Give that man a nap!)

    Enter Ducks’ goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson, who was with the club on its road trip.

    The 45-year old Roloson, who last played on April 7, 2012 while a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was summoned to don the pads and back up LaBarbera. 

    This is all kosher under NHL rule 5.3, which states, “In regular League

    Read More »from Dwayne Roloson serves as Ducks’ emergency backup goalie after John Gibson injury
  • It was a week ago today that some idiot on this blog was crowing about how NHL players being on their best behavior this season. In the seven days since that post, the NHL's Department of Player Safety has handed out five suspensions.

    The latest culprit is Anton Volchenkov of the Nashville Predators, who will sit for four games after this check to the head of Michael Ferland of the Calgary Flames Friday night:

    At first viewing, it looks like a clumsy challenge by Volchenkov, but upon seeing the replay you notice the Predators blueliner driving his forearm into Ferland's head. He could have easily laid a big body check on the Flames forward, but the raising of his arms and contact with the head make this a suspendable offense.

    Ferland, who was making his NHL debut that night, was concussed on the play and did not join the Flames for their five-game road trip which begins Sunday in Montreal.

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip?

    Read More »from Anton Volchenkov handed four-game suspension for head hit on Michael Ferland (Video)
  • Jordan Nolan suspended 2 games for boarding Darren Helm (Video)

    Jordan Nolan of the Los Angeles Kings has been dinged two games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for this boarding of Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings Friday night:

    Here's Patrick Burke with the explanation:

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

    That's a pretty standard boarding call there. Helm didn't turn at the last moment. Nolan saw his numbers the entire way and just ran him.

    Nolan was assessed a minor, while Helm wasn't injured on the play. The Kings forward is also a repeat offender, having been suspended one game last season for punching Jesse Joensuu.

    The DoPS has been trying to educate players about hitting since its inception, and this was a clear example of what not to do. Nolan could have easily tied Helm up along the boards or minimized the contact. Instead, he finished his check by driving Helm into the boards with his back turned.

    - - - - - - -

    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 Jordan Nolan suspended 2 games for boarding Darren Helm (Video)

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