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.

  • Rangers looking for better execution, neutral zone play in Game 4

    NEW YORK, N.Y. — The scoreline read 3-1 as the Pittsburgh Penguins took Game 3 against the New York Rangers following 60 minutes of suffocating hockey.

    The Rangers finished with only 17 shots, making Matt Murray’s NHL playoff debut a fairly easy one. He wasn’t tested much, with the best Rangers chances shot directly into the logo on the Penguins netminder’s jersey.

    Pittsburgh had 47 shot attempts to New York’s 33, with most of the Rangers’ coming from outside the high-danger areas in front of Murray.

    Via War on Ice:

    War on IceWar on Ice

    (M: missed shot, S: saves, B: blocked shot)

    According to Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy, keeping the Rangers’ shots to the perimeter was discussed ahead of Game 3 by making New York work for them and winning the neutral zone battle.

    “I think we were smarter with our puck decisions,” Lovejoy said. “Our goal is to make their defense turn. We want to do everything we can to make life for their defensemen difficult. We were able to clean up our possession through the neutral

    Read More »from Rangers looking for better execution, neutral zone play in Game 4
  • Pens turn to Murray again for Game 4; Fleury remains 'day-to-day'

    NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Pittsburgh Penguins will go back to Matt Murray in goal as they attempt to take a 3-1 series lead on the New York Rangers Thursday night.

    Murray made 16 stops in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, his NHL playoff debut. 

    The other piece of goaltending news coming out of the Penguins’ pre-game optional skate was that Marc-Andre Fleury, who’s been out and dealing with a concussion since March 31, wasn’t on the ice again. Head coach Mike Sullivan said that the goaltender has not skated in the last two days.

    “He’s going through a process,” Sullivan said. “When he’s ready to play we’ll be sure to let you guys know. Right now his status is day-to-day.”

    "He hasn't had a setback. He's been progressively and incrementally improving on a daily basis," Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, told Sportsnet. "He hasn't been getting worse. But he's not 100 per cent yet."

    Murray’s play down the stretch for the Penguins instilled confidence in the rest of the lineup, so when he

    Read More »from Pens turn to Murray again for Game 4; Fleury remains 'day-to-day'
  • Thatcher Demko signs entry-level deal with Canucks

    The Vancouver Canucks’ long wait to sign goaltender Thatcher Demko has come to an end as the Boston College product put pen to paper and inked a three-year deal on Wednesday.

    This means the Canucks won’t have to endure any Jimmy Vesey-type drama had Demkos chosen to return for his senior season.

    Demko, a 2016 Hobey Baker Award finalist and Mike Richter Award winner, was phenomenal for the Eagles in his junior season. He posted 10 shutouts and a .935 save percentage in 39 games, leading Boston College to a share of the Hockey East title and a Frozen Four appearance.

    A second-round pick by the Canucks in 2014, the 20-year-old Demko has only improved as his young career has gone on, as Lambert noted earlier this month over at Canucks Army. Vancouver has both Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom signed for at least one more season. This will give Demko time to season in the AHL and be groomed as the franchise’s goalie of the future.

    “Once you start facing shooters who can really rip the puck

    Read More »from Thatcher Demko signs entry-level deal with Canucks
  • Flyers turn to Michal Neuvirth in hopes of avoiding sweep

    If the Washington Capitals are going to finish off their sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, they’ll do so against Michal Neuvirth, not Steve Mason.

    With their season on the line, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol will turn to Neuvirth, who last started in the regular season finale on April 10. It was be the netminder’s first postseason start since May 4, 2011 when he was a member of the Washington Capitals.

    After being a valuable piece of the Flyers’ surprising season, Mason has had a tough go of it in Round 1 against the Capitals. From the unfortunate Jason Chimera goal to the pounding Philadelphia’s penalty kill unit took in Game 2, there’s no way his confidence is anywhere it needs to be while facing elimination, nor is his .922 even strength save percentage. A change could do some good, maybe … but probably not given the way Washington has played.

    But while Mason could have been better, the bigger issue has been the lack of scoring among the Flyers’ top players. Claude

    Read More »from Flyers turn to Michal Neuvirth in hopes of avoiding sweep
  • Pens' Matt Murray beats nerves before beating Rangers in Game 3

    NEW YORK N.Y. — Nerves? Yeah, Matt Murray had a few prior to making his NHL playoff debut in Tuesday night’s Game 3 against the New York Rangers.

    But Murray cooly dealt with those nerves and helped the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

    Murray suffered a concussion in the regular season finale against on April 9 and didn’t return to practice with his Penguins teammates until Monday. His showing that day was enough for the 21-year-old netminder to feel ready and for his head coach to feel comfortable in naming him the Game 3 starter.

    “I’m not a guy who likes to take a lot in practice anyway,” Murray said. “I don’t need much to really feel like I have to stay sharp. I think one practice was enough. I just tried to really push myself in that practice, obviously, because I hadn’t seen any action in a long time.”

    The butterflies were there for Murray, a 2012 third-round pick by the Penguins. But once the Rangers got the first of their 17 shots on him, he started to

    Read More »from Pens' Matt Murray beats nerves before beating Rangers in Game 3
  • Metallurg, Alex Semin capture second KHL title in three years

    Six months after firing Mike Keenan as their head coach, Metallurg Magnitogorsk claimed their second Gagarin Cup in three years.

    As they did in 2014 when winning their first KHL title, Metallurg went the distance, this time defeating Alex Radulov and CSKA 3-1 in Game 7, meaning former NHLers Wojtek Wolski (again) and Alex Semin (15 points in 22 playoff games) are champions, and Evgeni Malkin is a happy man.

    Sergei Mozyakin was named MVP after posting 25 points in 22 games.

    With the score tied 1-1 late in the second period, Chris Lee gave Metallurg the lead for good.

    Down 2-1 with under a minute to play in the third period and their net empty, CSKA pressed, but defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich couldn’t get control of the puck, which allowed Evgeny Timkin to force a turnover and pot the insurance tally for his second of the night.

    Then it was all about watching the clock tick down to 0:00.

    Metallurg finished second in the KHL’s East Division with 103 points and powered their way through

    Read More »from Metallurg, Alex Semin capture second KHL title in three years
  • Evgeni Malkin confident game is coming back after 'so-so' return

    NEW YORK, N.Y. — The extra day of rest between Games 2 and 3 has served Evgeni Malkin well.

    Deeming his Game 2 performance as “so-so” after a rewatch of the tape, Malkin said on Tuesday that he feels his game is coming back to 100 percent following his return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup after missing a month with an upper-body injury.

    “I skate a little bit more everyday. I feel more my legs, my stick,” he said from his stall inside Madison Square Garden. “Everything is coming back. I not play long time, little bit lose my hands. Now it’s all back and I try to control puck today a little bit more, play at center whole game and try for my best game.”

    The Penguins dropped Game 2 to the New York Rangers 4-2, evening the series 1-1, and Malkin’s rust showed. He played the second-most even strength minutes for the Penguins, but their possession numbers were much better without him (57.1 percent) than with him (41 percent).

    As Lambert wrote on Monday, it’s a tough call to sit an elite

    Read More »from Evgeni Malkin confident game is coming back after 'so-so' return
  • Tanner Pearson nets OT winner, gives Kings life vs. Sharks (Video)

    Heading into overtime in Game 3 the San Jose Sharks had won every playoff game against the Los Angeles Kings that needed bonus hockey.

    That changed late Monday night/early Tuesday morning — depending where you live — when Tanner Pearson's overtime goal gave the Kings a 2-1 victory.

    San Jose leads the series 2-1.

    The goal was created following a couple of big hits during that shift, including a pair by Kings captain Dustin Brown, with the second knocking the puck loose from Joonas Donskoi — who was dangerous in the third period and overtime — before Pearson grabbed possession of it and said a quick goodbye to Logan Couture.

    Things started off great for the Sharks when Joe Thornton scored his first of the postseason 30 seconds into the game, but Anze Kopitar answered eight minutes later. The sides would exchange chances for the remaining 52 minutes of regulation before needing Pearson's goal to decide the winner.

    Los Angeles’ victory gives them life after facing down a potential 0-3

    Read More »from Tanner Pearson nets OT winner, gives Kings life vs. Sharks (Video)
  • NHL Three Stars: Carlson powers Caps; Pearson helps Kings

    No. 1 Star: John Carlson, Washington Capitals

    The Capitals defenseman recorded a three-point night with a power play goal and two assists in a 6-1 rout of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3. Carlson’s power play goal was one of five on the night for Washington. He also played 24:14, second only behind Matt Niskanen among all players.

    No. 2 Star: Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings

    Pearson’s goal 3:47 into overtime helped give the Kings a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks and avoid falling into an 0-3 hole in their series.

    No. 3 Star: Jason Pominville, Minnesota Wild

    Pominville tied the game in the second period, put the Wild ahead and later added the empty-net insurance goal as Minnesota downed the Dallas Stars 5-3. The Stars lead the series 2-1. According to the NHL, the Wild won for only the second time in their playoff history after facing a multi-goal deficit.

    Honorable Mention: Washington’s power play scored five times, setting a franchise record for power play goals in a game …

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Carlson powers Caps; Pearson helps Kings
  • The Washington Capitals held a 4-1 lead in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3, which meant it was time for things to get out of hand.

    After Brooks Orpik left the game in the second period, his Capitals teammate, Dmitry Orlov, was lucky to skate away from what could have been a catastrophic hit by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. 

    Bellemare was given a major and game misconduct. He saw Orlov’s numbers the entire way and there’s a good chance we’ve seen the last of the Flyers forward, which could be only one more game after Washington went on to win 6-1 and take a 3-0 series lead.

    Flyers fans didn’t react too well and threw wristbands that were handed out pre-game on the ice causing officials to issue a warning, which meant if it happened again a penalty would be assessed. The Wells Fargo Center PA announcer pleaded with fans to stop.

    Of course, Alex Ovechkin would score on the ensuing power play and the fans resumed tossing the bracelets, causing a delay of game

    Read More »from Bellemare ejected for hit; Flyers fans litter ice with bracelets (Video)

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