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.

  • Getty ImagesThe results of #SuckForSeth and #NotWinningForMacKinnon will be revealed on Monday night as the NHL holds its draft lottery at 8 p.m. ET. Broadcast on TSN in Canada and NBC Sports Network in the U.S., this year's lottery will be the first time all 14 non-playoff teams will have a shot to select No. 1 overall.

    In year's past, winning the lottery meant a team would move down four spots, which didn't always mean choosing the top pick (Hello, 2011 New Jersey Devils). Thanks to this new change, the Edmonton Oilers have a shot to pick first overall for the fourth consecutive draft.

    With representatives from each team in the house for Monday night's lottery, here are the percentage chances for the 14 clubs involved:

    Florida Panthers 25.0%
    Colorado Avalanche 18.8%
    Tampa Bay Lightning 14.2%
    Nashville Predators 10.7%
    Carolina Hurricanes 8.1%
    Calgary Flames 6.2%
    Edmonton Oilers 4.7%
    Buffalo Sabres 3.6%
    New Jersey Devils 2.7%
    Dallas Stars 2.1%
    Philadelphia Flyers 1.5%
    Phoenix Coyotes 1.1%
    Winnipeg Jets 0.8%
    Columbus Blue Jackets 0.5%

    While the number of ping pong balls is greatest for the Panthers, remember that those 2011 Devils had just a 3.6 percent chance of winning that lottery.

    Join us at 8 p.m. ET for a Puck Daddy live chat as we find out who has the right to draft Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from NHL Draft Lottery: Panthers, Avalanche hold top percentages of selecting No. 1 overall
  • Your 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round TV schedule

    Getty ImagesWe knew the Western Conference matchups by Saturday night, but had to wait an extra day for the East to sort itself out once the Boston Bruins/Ottawa Senators game ended. Now that that game is over, we know who will be playing who in the first round.

    Here's the complete opening round picture, with start times, dates and television broadcasters.

    • The Canadiens and Senators start off with a back-to-back in Games 1 and 2, while if the Penguins/Islanders, Bruins/Leafs and Capitals/Rangers go the distance, Games 6 and 7 will be played on consecutive days. This is the world of multi-use arenas.

    • No Bruins/Leafs on NBCSN is an interesting decision.

    The Western Conference is after the jump.

    Read More »from Your 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round TV schedule
  • Getty ImagesIt's official. We now know who will play who in both the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs. The West was set on Saturday night and will look like this:

    Chicago (1) vs. Minnesota (8)

    Anaheim (2) vs. Detroit (7)

    Vancouver (3) vs. San Jose (6)

    St. Louis (4) vs. Los Angeles (5)

    When the buzzer rang at the end of the Ottawa Senators' 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins in a game that was rescheduled due to the Boston Marathon bombings, the East playoff picture was cemented in stone and the final three matchups were settled:

    Pittsburgh (1) vs. NY Islanders (8)

    Montreal (2) vs. Ottawa (7)

    Washington (3) vs. NY Rangers (6)

    Boston (4) vs. Toronto (5)

    • Because of Ottawa's win on Sunday night, that ruined the chances for a opening round series between the Senators and Maple Leafs. Sure, CBC will be happy with Bruins/Leafs, but they were drooling over a potential Habs/Leafs series.

    • This is the third time in four years that the Capitals and Rangers will meet. Washington has taken two of those three meetings. Last year the Rangers needed seven games to get by the Capitals.

    • How many times are we going to see David Volek's goal from 1993, the last time New York won a playoff series, during Penguins/Islanders?

    We'll have the full playoff schedule, with dates and times, posted once its released by the NHL later tonight.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Senators beat Bruins in regular season’s final game; first-round playoff matchups set
  • Getty Images

    After Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said of his future: "I'm going to go about business as usual, just like I always do ... I enjoy coaching this team. It's a young group and it's certainly headed in the right direction. As far as those decisions that will be made, those are not my decisions, so I'm not really worried about that right now."

    Now he's really not worried about it. The Avalanche announced on Sunday that he had been fired.

    From the Avalanche:

    'The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. “Joe has worked for this franchise for eight seasons and he is a dedicated and hard-working coach. We appreciate all he has done and wish him the best in the future.”

    In four seasons as head coach in Colorado, Sacco compiled a 130-134-30 record with one playoff appearance in 2010, his first year behind the bench. Sacco still had one year left on his contract.

    No replacement has been named, which is a wise move considering there's probably a good chance Sherman joins Sacco soon enough in receiving a pink slip.

    Colorado went 6-17-1 in their final 24 games and finished 29th overall during a disaster of a season that was highlighted by veteran netminder J.S. Giguere's rant about players on the team looking toward a postseason trip to Las Vegas rather than focusing on their remaining games.

    That moment was a clear sign that Sacco would be a goner. Once a coach loses a room and the focus of his players, even in a lost season, it's hard to regain that concentration and it's usually time for a new voice.

    That new voice is coming, but will he be given the opportunity by Greg Sherman or a new GM?

    UPDATE: According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, Avalanche VP of hockey operations, Eric Lacroix, has left the organization as well. Team president and Eric's dad, Pierre, and GM Greg Sherman will remain on.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Joe Sacco fired by Colorado Avalanche after four seasons as head coach
  • Getty ImagesFor all the Columbus Blue Jackets did to make a run at the second postseason berth in franchise history, little did they know their former General Manager would come back to haunt them.

    Entering the third period down 1-0 the Nashville Predators in a game they needed to win, the Blue Jackets scored twice in a span of 5:19 to take the lead. Cam Atkinson would add an empty-netter to secure the all-important two points. But in the end, it would not be enough.

    With the Detroit Red Wings shutting out the Dallas Stars 3-0 to secure the Western Conference's No. 7 seed, the Blue Jackets' hopes came down to the Minnesota Wild. A Colorado Avalanche win in any fashion meant Columbus would be playing hockey next week. But Devin Setoguchi's goal midway through the second period would be the difference maker to send the Wild to the playoffs with a 3-1 win.

    The final West standings show Minnesota and Columbus tied at 55 points, but the ROW (regulation and overtime wins) tiebreaker rests in the Wild's favor, a tiebreaker that was brought up former GM Scott Howson at an NHL Board of Governors meeting three years ago.

    (UPDATE: As Aaron Portzline points out, even without the ROW, under the old tiebreaker rules the Wild finished with more wins than the Blue Jackets.)

    But despite his idea three year-old idea coming back to haunt his former team, Howson, now the senior vice president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers, did leave the Blue Jackets in a good place going forward.

    There were breakthrough seasons up and down the roster, most notably Sergei Bobrovsky, whose year could earn him Vezina and Hart Trophy nominations. John Davidson took over as president of hockey operations and installed Jarmo Kekäläinen as the team's new GM. There will be three first round picks available for Columbus to play with at the draft.

    And the combination of their late-season surge with the bitter taste of falling short could have a positive affect heading into next season. The Blue Jackets know what it takes now. Just a little bit more.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Blue Jackets’ playoff dream ends as Red Wings, Wild grab West’s final two seeds
  • How will the Western Conference playoff picture fill out?

    Getty ImagesMike Yeo tries to put his finger on what went wrong Friday night.

    The Eastern Conference's eight playoff teams have been set since Thursday night. Now all they need to do is figure out who's playing who. Over in the Western Conference, by the end of Saturday night we'll know all eight teams who will be playing postseason hockey, with three games deciding the final two spots.

    Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cullen called it a "Game 7." It's do-or-die for the Wild who, after getting thrashed 6-1 by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, need to defeat the Colorado Avalanche or hope the Columbus Blue Jackets fall to the Nashville Predators in order to clinch a playoff berth.

    The pressure is on for the Wild, especially when owner Craig Leipold was not pleased watching his team blow a chance to clinch in spectacular fashion on Friday night.

    Read More »from How will the Western Conference playoff picture fill out?
  • Where do the Dallas Stars go from here?

    Getty ImagesOnce again for the Dallas Stars, it's another season of coming up short. On Thursday, the Stars were officially eliminated from playoff contention after their 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, making it five straight seasons of early summers.

    After the game, head coach Glen Gulutzan had an eye toward the future. "There is a ton of optimism around this team," Gulutzan said. "The young players that are here, [Alex] Chaisson, Reilly Smith, [Matt] Fraser, and there’s more on the pipeline. It’s just a test to what they’ve been doing here the last three or four years. It’s not that easy to acquire the players that they’ve had. Now we’re seeing the fruits of those drafts. Young and hungry guys.”

    You could take that same quote, dial it back to 2009, have it coming out of the mouth of Dave Tippett and switch the names of Chaisson, Smith and Fraser with those of Loui Eriksson, Matt Niskanen, James Neal and *gasp* Fabian Brunnstrom (17 goals that season).

    The future was looking pretty promising then, too. But today Niskanen and Neal are playing postseason hockey for the second year in a row in Pittsburgh; Brunnstrom petered out the following season and is now back in Sweden. Only Eriksson remains and he's posted three straight 70-point seasons since 2009.

    Now there's a new crop of up-and-comers in Dallas, but where will they be in five years time?

    Read More »from Where do the Dallas Stars go from here?
  • Getty ImagesNo. 1 Star: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

    The old man still has it. The 37-year old St. Louis recorded his seventh career hat trick and passed Sidney Crosby in the NHL's scoring race as the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Steven Stamkos scored his 29th of the season and added an assist to tie Crosby for second overall in points with 56.

    No. 2 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackawks

    The Blackhawks downed the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 and clinched their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1990-91 season. Kane led the way with his 22nd goal of the year and two assists. Jonathan Toews also scored his 22nd goal, while Corey Crawford stopped all 14 shots he faced in relief of Ray Emery, including this one on Jordan Eberle:

    No. 3 Star: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

    The San Jose Sharks missed an opportunity to go two points up on the Los Angeles Kings as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Coyotes. Smith backstopped Phoenix to their 20th win of the season with 33 saves. First period goals by Michael Stone and Keith Yandle were the difference. Coyotes captain Shane Doan assisted on both goals.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: St. Louis nets hat trick; Blackhawks clinch Presidents’ Trophy
  • Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

    Getty Images

    Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET. The Lightning attempt to stop a 6-game losing streak as the Maple Leafs play out their final three games with eyes on moving up from their current No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. While the Red Wings wait for Todd Bertuzzi to re-join the lineup on Thursday, they host the Kings as they battle for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots. Currently one point behind Columbus for eighth, Detroit has a game in-hand on them with their 21-season playoff streak hanging in the balance.

    Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET. With a victory, the Blackhawks will wrap up the second Presidents' Trophy in franchise history and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Oilers are looking to stop a five-game slide at Rexall Place. Patrick Sharp will be back in the lineup and 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc will make his NHL debut.

    Preview: San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes, 10 p.m. ET. The math says they're still in it, but the Coyotes sit five points out of a playoff spot with three games to go. They'll need lots of help to find a way in. Meanwhile, the Sharks clinched a berth Tuesday night against Dallas and now look to move past the Kings and gain home-ice in the first round.

    Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Goalie Post.

    Read More »from Blackhawks go for Presidents’ Trophy; Ryan Suter Norris Trophy infographic (Puck Previews)
  • Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown's regular season is over.

    With two games left before the playoffs, the Kings will be without Brown as they fight for the Western Conference's No. 4 seed after he was suspended Wednesday by the NHL for elbowing Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville in the head:

    From the NHL:

    Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Brown will forfeit $34,324.32. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

    As Brendan Shanahan notes, Brown could have attempted to protect the puck along the boards with cleaner contact. Getting his elbow up while being aware Pominville coming toward him is what makes this suspendable. Initiating contact is fine, but pretending you're Gordie Howe and getting connecting your elbow with a face is why Brown will sit for two games.

    The Wild finish their season Friday at home versus Edmonton and Saturday on the road in Colorado. They're two points ahead of Columbus for the seventh seed, but losing Pominville for any period of time would be a huge blow. He's played well of late record nine points in 10 games.

    After the game, Brown told Mike Russo of the Star Tribune that he was bracing himself to be hit by Pominville. Russo reports Wednesday that the Wild forward is "day-to-day" with an upper-body injury.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from NHL hands Kings’ Dustin Brown 2-game suspension for elbowing Jason Pominville


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