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.

  • Ben Bishop out; Andrei Vasilevskiy gets Game 4 start for Lightning

    CHICAGO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy led the Tampa Bay Lightning out on to the United Center ice ahead of warmups before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night. The second goalie out? Kristers Gudlevskis, signaling that regular starter Ben Bishop is a scratch.

    Bishop was originally injured during Game 2 when he exited the ice in the third period only to return. A few minutes later, he left the game for good, leaving Vasilevskiy to finish the game, which Tampa would win 4-3.

    Lightning head coach Jon Cooper didn't tip his hand after Monday's morning skate, only saying, "I think we're in the same holding pattern as we were 48 hours ago."

    If whatever is bothering Bishop is minor, he'll get plenty of rest with Game 5 not until Saturday night back in Tampa.

    According to Sportsnet, Vasilevskiy is the youngest goaltender to start a Stanley Cup Final game since Patrick Roy in 1986.

    The Lightning hold a 2-1 lead in the series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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    Sean Leahy is the

    Read More »from Ben Bishop out; Andrei Vasilevskiy gets Game 4 start for Lightning
  • Stanley Cup Final: Five keys to Lightning vs. Blackhawks in Game 4

    CHICAGO – The Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks will do battle in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tampa leads the series 2-1. 

    Here are five keys for Game 4:

    1. Get that first goal. The Lightning have scored the first goal in all three games of the Final. They’re 11-1 this postseason when they get on the board first; it would be a perfect record had they not allowed the Blackhawks to score twice in 118 seconds to take Game 1. Chicago is 9-1 when they get the first goal.

    2. Don’t feel safe with a lead. All three games have featured one team coming from behind to win. Chicago rallied late in Game 1. Tampa scored three of Game 2’s final four goals after falling behind 2-1 early in the second period; and the Lightning had a third period in Game 3, capped off by Cedric Paquette’s goal with 3:11 to go. According to the NHL, 32 of the 86 playoff games this spring have seen a comeback victory.

    3. Ben Bishop’s mobility. Bishop is

    Read More »from Stanley Cup Final: Five keys to Lightning vs. Blackhawks in Game 4
  • 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.

    Snoop Dogg / InstagramSnoop Dogg / Instagram

    • Wayne Gretzky with the stars of “Old School” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” [Instagram]

    • Alan Eagleson, the convicted fraudster who once ran the NHLPA, made an appearance at United Center before Game 3, upsetting a lot of former NHLers in the process. [The Hockey News]

    • The reports of the Chicago Blackhawks’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. [The Committed Indian]

    • The Tampa Bay Lightning did a great job in aiding a hurt Ben Bishop in Game 3. [Even Strength Heroes and Villains]

    • Cedric Paquette is turning up his game at the best of times for the Lightning. [Tampa Bay Times

    • Welcome to the big stage, Victor Hedman. [Lightning Shout]

    • There’s deep dish pizza and grapefruit on the line in a bet between the Chicago and Tampa Catholic

    Read More »from Eagleson at Cup Final; Julien speaks; Gretzky on McDavid (Puck Headlines)
  • CHICAGO — Kimmo Timonen will make his first appearance for the Chicago Blackhawks since May 25 when he draws in for the Chicago Blackhawks for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night.

    During Media Day last week, the 40-year old Timonen expressed frustration that his comeback from blood clots that kept him off the ice until March wasn’t going as he had planned. But the veteran blueliner wasn’t going to make things about him on the eve of the Final.

    Timonen last played in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks, but with head coach relying heavily on his top two defense pairings, the carousel that is Chicago's third pairing hasn’t seen a lot of ice time. Kyle Cumiskey will sit, meaning Timonen will be paired with Trevor van Riemsdyk. (Johnny Oduya, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 3, is likely in, according to Quenneville.) 

    “He gives us some predictability. I think his coverage in the D zone, strength in the puck area,” said Quenneville after

    Read More »from Kimmo Timonen ready to 'enjoy the moment' in return to Blackhawks' lineup
  • Sweden Olympic coach on Victor Hedman snub: 'I regret nothing'

    CHICAGO — Victor Hedman has been a “monster,” as several of his teammates and head coach described him, not just in the Stanley Cup Final, but throughout these playoffs. With that, the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman has vaulted up the rankings for the Conn Smythe Trophy in the eyes of many in the hockey world.

    So with Hedman’s performance on the big stage, the question of how he was left off Sweden’s 2014 Sochi Olympics roster has been brought up. If you asked national team head coach Par Marts, he'd tell you he has no second thoughts over the decision, saying he couldn’t give Hedman the ice time he needed.

    From Aftonbladet:

    “I regret nothing … Easy to maybe sit in hindsight and criticize it. But we took the decision then and we built a lot around [the defense] defense from Chicago and Detroit. Since we wanted to provide more offensive ice time to Erik Karlsson … [there wasn’t] much left to [give] Hedman. I rejoice over the success that Victor had. An incredible season. He has become

    Read More »from Sweden Olympic coach on Victor Hedman snub: 'I regret nothing'
  • Lightning's secondary scoring coming through at the right time

    CHICAGO — You don’t win championships without depth. The Tampa Bay Lightning were carried offensively through three rounds thanks to their top two lines, but now a pair of third liners are providing some scoring depth at the right time, which is why they hold a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Through 23 playoff games, the Lightning have scored 63 goals. Of those 63 goals, 49 have been recorded by their top-six forwards. In Games 2 and 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, three of their seven scores have come from outside those two lines, led by Cedric Paquette who has a pair.  

    It’s not like the Lightning are being carried by their depth now, but they’re picking a great time to come out of hibernation. 

    “You look at the guys that stepped up tonight, you look at [Ryan Callahan], you look at [J.T. Brown], you look at [Cedric Paquette], those are the guys that are finally being rewarded for how hard they’re working,” said Steven Stamkos after Game 3. “This

    Read More »from Lightning's secondary scoring coming through at the right time
  • Ben Bishop battles to win Game 3, keeps injury a mystery

    CHICAGO — Jon Cooper said he saw it in Ben Bishop’s eyes. “It” being the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender telling his head coach “give me the net.” Cooper did, and he was rewarded with a victory to take a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

    “It's going to take a lot not to play in a Stanley Cup Final game, personally,” said Bishop afterward.

    After 48 hours of speculation about what was bothering Bishop after he left Game 2 on two occasions — the second time for good — he played the entirety of Game 3 and made 36 saves, including 18 in the opening period, in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The 38 shots faced were the second-most for the Tampa netminder this postseason. 

    Bishop looked like aggravated some sort of lower-body injury in the first period and numerous times during the game he was slow to get up. Clearly, he was laboring and fighting through some sort of physical issue. But Cooper said he had no thoughts about turning to Andrei Vasilevskiy again.

    In an interview

    Read More »from Ben Bishop battles to win Game 3, keeps injury a mystery
  • Ryan Callahan opened the scoring in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final with a rocket of a slap shot past Corey Crawford 5:09 into the first period. A few minutes later, Marian Hossa had a glorious opportunity to even things up, but a good penalty by Braydon Coburn prevented what would have been a sure-goal.

    Win or lose, Hossa will see that goal in his nightmares, and he knew it.

    Via Steph:

    While Coburn was sent to the box for tripping, Brandon Saad took a cross-checking penalty during a post-whistle scrum. The Blackhawks had several good opportunities on the ensuing 4-on-4, but couldn't break through.

    Chicago would eventually tie the game nine minutes later when Brad Richards' shot from the point went off Ben Bishop's glove. It was a power play goal with Coburn back in the box.

    MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS:

     

    Read More »from Marian Hossa misses glorious scoring chance with wide-open net (Video)
  • Lightning find comfort away from home

    CHICAGO— The Tampa Bay Lightning first went on the road this postseason for Game 3 in Round 1 against the Detroit Red Wings. Despite a clean slate, their regular season struggles away from Amalie Arena continued with a 3-0 loss.

    Leading up to the postseason, the Lightning had lost six of nine on the road to end the regular season and finished with an 18-16-7 record, good enough for 19th overall in the NHL. But now, since that first road game at Joe Louis Arena, Tampa has found a comfort away from home.

    The Lightning enter Game 3 at United Center with a 7-3 road record these playoffs (they're 6-6 at home), with their last two wins coming via huge 2-0 shutouts at Madison Square Garden in Games 5 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. So why the sudden change in fortune once the postseason arrived?

    “The one thing that I know going to the playoffs,” said coach Jon Cooper, “there was so much talk about how bad we were on the road, I think it changed our focus. Conversely, there was so much

    Read More »from Lightning find comfort away from home
  • Dylan Strome prepares for NHL Draft with help from brother Ryan

    CHICAGO — Enjoy it. That’s what New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome told his younger brother Dylan as he prepares to make the jump from junior hockey to the NHL. The middle Strome brother, along with several other top prospects, including his Erie Otters teammate Connor McDavid, were at United Center Monday to watch the morning skates and attend Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. 

    Four years ago, Dylan Strome was in Minnesota when Ryan was drafted fifth overall. He remembers the whirlwind weekend and watching how the entire process played out. Now it’s his turn, and like his older brother, he’s expected to be picked high when the NHL Draft arrives later this month.

    When McDavid injured his hand during a November fight, Strome’s offensive production soared and he finished the OHL season as the league’s leading scorer, posting 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games. On the final day of the regular season, he recorded a six-point night to take the title over fellow top prospect Mitch

    Read More »from Dylan Strome prepares for NHL Draft with help from brother Ryan

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