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.

  • Jacob Trouba became the third NHL player this week to leave a game on a stretcher. This time, however, it wasn't the result of a dirty hit.

    Early in the second period as Trouba was tracking a Jim Slater dump-in into the St. Louis Blues' zone, the Winnipeg defenseman tried to make contact with Jordan Leopold and appeared to trip over his skate, landing face first into the end boards:

    After being attended to for several minutes on the ice, medical personnel took Trouba off the ice on a stretcher. He was moving his legs and alert the entire time. While leaving the ice he did give the MTS Centre crowd a thumbs up.

    According to Scott Brown of the Jets, Trouba has been taken to a local hospital for x-rays and is moving all his extremities and communicating.

    UPDATE: Trouba has been released from hospital. A further update will be provided by the team on Saturday. The 19-year old rookie poked a little fun at himself on Twitter:

    Read More »from Jacob Trouba leaves game on stretcher after face-first fall into boards (Video)
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    Create-a-Caption: "Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings has trouble with his mask as referee Greg Kimmerly takes a look during a pause in the action against the Nashville Predators."

    • • •

    Preview: St. Louis Blues at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET

    Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET

    • • •

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

    1. Doug Armstrong's thoughts on Max Lapierre's hit on Dan Boyle. Lapierre had his in-person hearing with the NHL Friday afternoon. His general manager accompanied him for support, telling reporters, “To me, it looked like a hockey play that went awry at the end." Lapierre, as you know, was suspended five games.

    2. Evander Kane's leg injury isn't serious. Kane tweaked his knee at practice on Wednesday sending the media into a tizzy. But fear

    Read More »from Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Kane expected to go for Jets; Ducks look for 6th straight win
  • I don't know about you, but when things are down in the dumps for me, a righteous dance party is something that always turns my day around.

    The Buffalo Sabres, winners of one game in their first nine, are having some tough times. The fans want to see their general manager fired. The investments by their owner into the roster haven't paid off. Rumors are swirling about their top two stars, Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. The fanbase is "#suffering", as they displayed on Twitter Thursday night during a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

    So as to try and lighten the mood, Sabres head coach Ron Rolston ended practice with a rookie dance party!

    And here's Zemgus Girgensons twerking:

    Who won? According to Tyler Ennis, it was Girgensons, of course.

    Said Rolston afterward, "They were just trying to get some energy going, have some fun."

    Sure, why not? For all the misery that the Sabres have provided themselves and others this season, you can only harp on the negative for so long. Breaking the tension

    Read More »from Buffalo Sabres end practice with rookie dance party featuring twerking (Video)
  • Getty ImagesUNIONDALE, N.Y. – Andrew Ference and Dallas Eakins can see the signs.

    Through seven games, a 1-5-1 start, the defensive issues, the Nail Yakupov “controversy,” the Edmonton Oilers captain and head coach see the positives through the cloud of negativity early in the season.

    As the Oilers prepared to face the New York Islanders Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum -- a place they haven’t won in six tries dating back to Dec. 1999 – their focus wasn’t on what has been going wrong. Despite four straight losses, the focus was on the little things that they have been doing well in hopes that a turnaround is just ahead.

    For Ference, his role as team captain has been about reminding his teammates that consistency and a team concept is key in order to succeed.

    "To play great for 90-percent of the time isn’t good enough anymore," Ference said after Thursday's morning skate. "You can have the most skilled team in the world, but if you just let off the gas the teams are too good. There’s players too good in this league that will make you pay for it. I think it’s just really hammering home that point more than anything else.

    "Taking a team-first attitude despite how much skill you have. Despite what kind of player you were in other leagues. It’s a different league. It has to be team decisions all the time. You do those kind of things, you have that good foundation and then your skill can take over when there’s opportunities for it to take over. That’s the direction that we see the team going so far this year. It’s getting better with every game. I think that’s why there’s still optimism in what can happen here.”

    Positive reinforcement despite losing six of your first seven games may be tough for a young team to hear, but with a new head coach who takes a difference approach to things, and a new system to adapt to, executing the minute details, Ference says, are ultimately what will serve as a road map to righting the ship in Edmonton.

    “You can’t keep saying that for too long because you need to put up points,” he said. “But we have a lot of guys that have been fairly unstructured for the last couple years and over a short period of time between camp and these first few games, despite the frustration and losing, they’re continually doing more and more team decisions. It’s little things, but the decisions at the offensive blue line; the way they’re working to get back into position in our end. Every game we’re seeing improvements in those areas.”

    Eakins has shaken up his lines early on, most notably scratching Yakupov for two games, in hopes of finding chemistry somewhere. “You’re constantly searching for something,” he said in regards to the inconsistency he’s noticed up front.

    The Oilers face an Islanders team who have lost three in a row, then finish up this east coast trip with the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Points will be hard to come by as they stand in the midst of a struggle. But in their losses, Eakins isn't seeing any quit in his group.

    “I don’t like standing and saying boy, we played great here and we lost,” Eakins said. “We have to find a way to get on the other side of the ledger. We are seeing good things with our group. We are seeing a group that’s fighting. They’re not turning away from it. They’re not looking away, dragging their lips. They’re in the fight. That’s the biggest thing for me right now.

    “And if we can have that fight, have some players step up, then this can get turned around very quickly.”

    - - - - - - -

    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 Oilers’ Andrew Ference hopes ‘unstructured’ players keep improving
  • 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.

    Eye Candy Air

    • Here's Tim Thomas' new mask created by the great Steve Nash (not the basketball guy). [Eye Candy Air]

    • Speaking of Timmy, he's back from injury and will face off against his former teammates in the Boston Bruins tonight, concluding another part of his NHL journey. [Bruins Daily]

    • Cool news: On Saturday night, the Panthers will host the first ever You Can Play Equality Night. Here's a preview. [Miami Herald]

    • Tyler Bozak on the Miley Cyrus post-game celebration song "controversy": “I think it’s a catchy song. [Colton Orr] likes it, so if he likes it I don’t think there’s a problem with me liking it. If anyone’s got a problem with the song, they can take it up with him, I guess.” /watches media slowly back away [Toronto Star]

    • Meanwhile, in hockey news, no James van Riemsdyk for the Leafs tonight. He's out with back spasms. [Toronto Sun]

    • Marty St. Louis will be a game-time decision tonight as he deals with a sore foot. [Tampa Bay Times]

    • Everyone wants them some Thomas Vanek. Here's a case for the Philadelphia Flyers to trade for him. [Inquirer]

    • Former NHLer and current Canadian politician Georges Laraque is facing fraud charges after a dispute with a former partner in a synthetic ice venture. [CP via CBC]

    • In August, it was reported that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's losses were at $94 million. During an interview on Wednesday, he said that number was now $110 million. [Senators Extra]

    Read More »from Tim Thomas’ new mask; Bozak on Miley Cyrus victory song; Laraque facing fraud charges (Puck Headlines)
  • You know when your last name turns into a verb because of something you did, people have noticed. Hence the birth of "Kronwalling", the act of blowing up an opposing forward, as created by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

    It became so much of a thing that the Red Wings created a marketing angle around it featuring a hilarious commercial.

    In an effort to match his brother's efforts, Niklas' brother, Staffan, who is a defenseman with Lokomotiv in the KHL, attempted his own "Kronwalling" on Wednesday during a 3-1 loss to Salavat Yulaev Ufa. But Denis Khlystov didn't play along:

    Ouch. First, his angle on the hit suddenly changes, then he face plants right into the boards before finally leaving the game after playing just 8:27 with what appears to be a lower-body injury.

    Time for Staffan to do a little YouTube session.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Watch KHL’s Staffan Kronwall’s failed attempt at ‘Kronwalling’ (Video)
  • Getty ImagesDan Boyle was "doing OK", according to San Jose Sharks head Todd McLellan after Tuesday night's 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. The 37-year old defenseman was taken off the ice on a stretcher following a hit along the board from Max Lapierre in the first period:

    Boyle stayed at a local hospital over night for evaluation. A team spokesman told CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz that Boyle was “alert and moving his extremities” en route to the hospital, so that's good news. In a text to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, Boyle said, "I'm doing ok, thank you for your concern and support... Means a lot to me. I've never once taken this game or any of my fans for granted. Hope to be back soon."

    (UPDATE: The Sharks sent out this update on Boyle: "Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was kept overnight at a hospital in St. Louis. He will be returning to San Jose later today to continue his medical care and undergo further evaluation.")

    “He's playing hard, he's not trying to hurt anyone," said Blues captain David

    Read More »from Max Lapierre gets in-person NHL hearing; Sharks claim he threatened them
  • 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.

    • Henrik Lundqvist, Rod Gilbert and Adam Graves were among the current and former New York sports stars who appeared on David Letterman Monday night to deliver the "Top Ten Madison Square Garden Highlights" list. [CBS]

    • Reminder for all you scoring at home: Patrick Kaleta has his in-person hearing with the NHL at 2:30 p.m. ET today.

    • With a victory tonight, the Colorado Avalanche would have a 6-0-0 start and head coach Patrick Roy would join Mario Tremblay as the only NHL bench bosses to do so. Oh, how glorious. [NHL]

    • Nick Cotsonika on Craig Berube's task at hand with the Philadelphia Flyers. [Yahoo]

    • Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts, including the Nail Yakupov/Dallas Eakins relationship. [CBC]

    • Speaking of Yakupov, he'll be in the lineup tonight against Pittsburgh. [Oilers]

    • Rick Nash has been placed on IR retroactive to last Tuesday after suffering a concussion. J.T. Miller and Cam Talbot have been recalled with Arron Asham and Martin Biron going on waivers. [Bergen Record]

    • Joining Nash on IR will be James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Harry Zolnierczyk gets the call up. [Penguins]

    Read More »from Yakupov to play vs. Pens; Nash, Neal to IR; Orr wants Cherry in HHOF (Puck Headlines)
  • Behold the new fan bridges of Madison Square Garden (Photos)

    MSGHaving spent most of the preseason in western Canada, and on the road for almost all of October as renovations finish up in Madison Square Garden like they did in 2011-12, the New York Rangers probably can't wait to get home.

    As part of the new-look MSG, which will see the New York Knicks open up with a preseason game on Oct. 25, followed by the Rangers' home opener three days later, newly-installed bridges will be seen hanging above that will be able to hold up to 900 seated fans.

    MSGThe iconic venue, which has seen notable events from the first Wrestlemania to Joe Frazier versus Muhammad Ali to John Lennon's final concert appearance, is the oldest arena in the NHL and is one of the busiest in the world.

    According to the New York Post, it's 94 feet between the bridges and the MSG floor, so still close enough to yell, "LET'S GO RANG-AHS" or "HEY RICH-ARDS, YOU SUCK!" and have the players hear it. Just like old times.

    From the Post:

    The north bridge has 355 seats and the south bridge 75, plus space for media.

    The bridges are meant to resemble the suspension bridges that connect Manhattan to the mainland and outer boroughs, Beynon said.

    So, what are these seats going to cost fans? Anywhere between $110-$210, says the Post.

    As you see, the bridges don't hang over any part of the ice, but if you're sitting in one of the top rows, you can't be too pleased. Your view doesn't appear to be obstructed in any way, but you probably won't be able to see the scoreboard or the numerous fights in the crowd on the other side of the rink when the Flyers are in town.

    Check out the NY Rangers Blog for some more pics taken over the summer.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Behold the new fan bridges of Madison Square Garden (Photos)
  • NHL Three Stars: Shutouts for Montoya, Scrivens; Mighty Ducks return

    Getty Images

    The Mighty Ducks returned for one more night!

    No. 1 Star: Al Montoya, Winnipeg Jets

    Behind a pair of Evander Kane goals and Montoya's 24 saves, the Jets shutout the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Montoya earned the fourth shutout of his career in his first start for the Jets this season.

    No. 2 Star: Rob Klinkhammer, Phoenix Coyotes Klinkhammer's pair of goals helped lead the Coyotes over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 in a Sunday matinee. His first goal tied the game at two in the second period, and his second of the afternoon 22 seconds into the third period broke a 3-3 tie and would stand as the game-winning goal.

    No. 3 Star: Ben Scrivens, Los Angeles Kings Making his first start of the season, Scrivens stopped 20 shots and recorded his third career shutout as the Kings blanked the Florida Panthers 3-0. Jordan Nolan and Dan Carcillo each had a goal and an assist as LA won their third straight game.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Shutouts for Montoya, Scrivens; Mighty Ducks return

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