Puck Daddy

  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – For the first time in franchise history, the San Jose Sharks are hosting a Stanley Cup Final game, as the action with the Pittsburgh Penguins shifts to the Shark Tank for Game 3 on Saturday night. 

    And for the first time in my career, I’m covering a Stanley Cup Final game at the Shark Tank, so let’s take a tour of the environs, shall we?

    Via @KTVUVia @KTVU

    As you’ve no doubt heard, the San Jose Sharks are going with a ‘Sharknado’ theme for their Game 3 towels and shirts, featuring little tiny Penguins in the twister.

    No word if the between periods entertainment will in fact be Tara Reid being eaten alive by a space shark and then giving birth inside of that space shark’s belly, because that actually happened in ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No.’

    SharksSharks

    Look, if nothing else, the San Jose Sharks’ journey to the Stanley Cup Final produced this amazing JAWS homage shirt. 

    Sharks

    Well, you work with what you got, right? 

    Although it looks like he could use a little man-scaping on that lower back. Yikes.

    SharksSharks

    Read More »from Photo Expedition: What Game 3 looks like in San Jose
  • 11:41 p.m. ET: Even though the Penguins outshot the Sharks by a wide margin, San Jose held the territorial advantage for Game 3. They took 79 shot attempts to the Penguins' 76. 

    Screen shot from NaturalstattrickScreen shot from Naturalstattrick

    11:39 p.m. ET: The Sharks were outshot 42-26 but still figured out how to win. The boxscore from Game 3:

    Screen shot via NHL.comScreen shot via NHL.com

    11:29 p.m. ET: Joonas Donskoi with the overtime winner at the 12:48 mark of the extra session. Goes around the net and fires high on Matt Murray from a tough angle in front. Series now 2-1. 

    11:24 p.m. ET: A two-bearded argument. 

    11:21 p.m. ET:  Another fantastic chance by Joe Thornton. On a 2-on-1 took a feed from Joe Pavelski but just couldn't put the puck past Matt Murray. Evgeni Malkin just mised a deflection on the ensuing rush. 

    11:16 p.m. ET: Excellent chance by Joe Thornton early in overtime. Again the strategy for the Sharks is to go high glove on Matt Murray. Thornton doesn't shoot much but when he gets a hold of a shot he can

    Read More »from Sharks vs. Penguins: Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Live Blog
  • SAN JOSE, Calif.  – The San Jose Sharks return to the Shark Tank facing an 0-2 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. 

    Can the Pittsburgh Penguins dig them a deeper hole? Will the Sharks use home ice to finally control play?

    Here are five keys for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final:

    1. FEEDING FRENZY

    After going 18-20-3 on home ice during the regular season, the Sharks are 7-1-1 at home in the playoffs, and for good reason: They control play, score at will on the power play and generally dominate. They’ve outscored opponents 33-17 on home ice.

    So they need a solid start, and center Logan Couture said their fans will be up to the task.

    “The fans feel like they’re right on top of you, and they’re loud, from before the puck drop. We can hear them in the dressing room,” he said. “I’ve heard from guys that have visited this building, and they talk about how difficult the early minutes are in this building when we’re playing Shark Hockey.”

    2. POWER-PLAY CHANCES

    The Sharks have nine goals on 30

    Read More »from Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Preview: 5 keys for Sharks, Penguins
  • Photo via 96.1 KISS on TwitterPhoto via 96.1 KISS on Twitter

    A Pittsburgh area radio station hung an 8-foot fiberglass shark from a crane next to the Parkway West roadway in order to show support for the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

    The giant Shark is currently being hung by its neck with a sign that says “Let’s go Pens, Kill The Sharks.”

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explained how the Shark was hung above the highway on Friday afternoon. It is “near the WDVE Clear Channel Radio building in Green Tree.”

    The shark and sign was provided by iHeartMedia, which operates WWSW-FM 94.5; WKST-FM 96.1; WDVE-FM 102.5; WPGB-FM 104.7; WXDX-FM 105.9; and WBGG-AM 970. It was purchased from Florida, shipped to Pittsburgh and raised Friday afternoon.

    People were pulling into the parking lot Friday evening to take pictures from their cars before pulling away. The hashtag #ParkwayShark began spreading on Twitter, and 3WS radio dubbed it #SharkwayWest.

    The unloading of the Shark and putting on the crane was quite the delicate process as this video shows.

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

    It’s also

    Read More »from Pittsburgh radio station hangs 8-foot fiberglass shark from crane
  • What do Jason Spezza, Henrik Zetterberg and Anze Kopitar have in common?

    They all made in the neighborhood of $7.5 million in salary this season in the NHL. In fact, only 19 forwards in the NHL this season made $7.5 million or more in base salary. So joining that group would mean you’re a pretty elite player. 

    Which, if you ask Alex Radulov, he would undoubtedly tell you he is.

    Radulov, who turns 30 in July, is expected to rejoin the NHL next season after spending four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, as one of its best players.

    The Detroit Red Wings had already made an overture to him, according to MLive.com:

    The Red Wings are sold on his talent but were concerned about his off-ice demeanor. They believe signing him to a one-year deal, likely in the $4 million to $5 million range, would limit their risk, a source said. Radulov might be more motivated to prove himself and earn a longer contract and the Red Wings could part with him after one season if the move backfires.

    TSN’s

    Read More »from Is Alex Radulov worth $7.5 million per season?
  • Larry Messier had an idea. 

    It was 1983. His nephew, Mark Messier, was a 22-year-old burgeoning star for the Edmonton Oilers, along with another 22-year-old named Wayne Gretzky. Tasked with protecting them was Dave Semenko, a 6-3 enforcer from Winnipeg who would eventually amass 1,175 penalty minutes in nine NHL seasons, and earn the nickname “Gretzky’s Bodyguard.”

    Semenko, to some, was the heavyweight champ of the NHL at that time.

    Larry Messier, however, was working for the actual Champ.

    He was part of Muhammad Ali’s entourage, working public relations for him. Ali was 41 years old – two years removed from his ignominious defeat at the hands of Trevor Berbick in Nassau, and one year before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The greatest boxer – hell, the greatest sports celebrity – who ever lived was now more personality than pugilist.

    He had participated in exhibition matches before, like the infamous one against Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976. So Messier started to put a

    Read More »from When Muhammad Ali fought hockey’s heavyweight champ, Dave Semenko
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks will be without their “best player” for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. 

    Tomas Hertl, the team’s top-line winger, is out for the Sharks due to a lower body injury. He made a brief appearance at practice on Friday in a track suit, but did not skate with the team.

    “He's arguably been our best player through the first two games,” said coach Peter DeBoer. “Injuries are no excuse this time of year.  We have somebody that will go in for him, will roll out there and be ready to play.”

    Hertl was the most active member of the team’s top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, effectively forechecking the Pittsburgh Penguins’ defense and getting chances, to the tune of eight shot attempts in the first two games of the series. He scored a goal in Game 1, and has six goals and five assists for the postseason. Hertl saw two shots ring off the goal cage in Game 2.

    DeBoer said there are two options for which player takes Hertl’s spot on the

    Read More »from Tomas Hertl out for Sharks in Game 3, huge blow to lineup
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Since the news of boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s passing Friday night, it seems everyone has some story about meeting “The Greatest.” Count San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer as one of those people.

    DeBoer ended his media availability on Saturday ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final with an unprompted story about an interaction with Ali during his high school prom.

    Not one with a big sports memorabilia collection, DeBoer said he owns a Wayne Gretzky stick, and prints of Bobby Orr and golfer Mike Weir. He also has one other piece, which is very special and was given to him by Ali: a signed, personalized Quran. 

    “I got it 30 years ago. I was at my prom in the Royal Connaught Hotel in Hamilton,” DeBoer said. “I was a 17-year-old kid. Had my tux on. I was in the lobby and Muhammad Ali walked in with his entourage. He was there for some type of appearance.

    “I asked one of the entourage if I could meet him with my friends. He said just give me a minute. He came

    Read More »from Sharks' Peter DeBoer on meeting Muhammad Ali during his prom
  • Matt Levine still has the letter from CCM. 

    The Sharks had decided to go with teal as their primary color and the jersey maker didn’t love the decision – a choice that would define the franchise and change the hockey marketing landscape.

    The letter read:

    “Dear Mr. Levine. The country is excited about the Sharks. You haven’t played a game yet. You don’t have a player. I hear that you’ve designed a logo and selected your colors, the teal blue color and I’d like to suggest you take a look at the blue being used by the Blues, the Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. They are very established shades of blue, and would make it much easier for us if you selected one because if you select teal we’re going to have to create an entirely new yarn and that’s going to be very expensive for us and I was wondering if you would take our recommendations into consideration.”

    Levine laughed when he brought up that note, because of what happened after the Sharks decided to go ahead with teal.  

    In their first

    Read More »from From teal to logo, how San Jose Sharks set NHL expansion standard
  • St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen underwent shoulder surgery and will be sidelined the next four-to-six months the team announced Friday.

    The short end of that timeframe would make him ready for Oct. 3, right before the likely start of the NHL’s regular season. The long range estimate has Steen out until early December.

    His availability for the World Cup of Hockey for Team Sweden appears to be in doubt based on the timeline. The 32-year-old Steen was one of the first 16 players announced to Sweden’s World Cup roster.

    The World Cup will start Sept. 17 and run until Oct. 1 at the latest. 

    Steen originally suffered the injury on Feb. 20 against the Arizona Coyotes following a collision with Kevin Connauton. He then missed 15 games before returning for the last six games of the regular season and the playoffs. The Blues were ousted from the postseason in six games in the Western Conference Final by the San Jose Sharks.

    Steen had 10 points in 20 playoff games and finished the regular

    Read More »from Alexander Steen out 4-6 months after shoulder surgery
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – Just breathe. That’s how goaltender Matt Murray has been able to keep his calm in guiding the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final.

    “It's something so simple,” Murray said on Friday. “You think, ‘Can that really have anything to do with it.’ It definitely helps. As soon as you starting thinking about too much or you start to get too far ahead of yourself you just kind of come back to that, focus on your breathing, just take a deep breath and realize where you are and realize the moment that you’re in. That’s probably the biggest thing that I do.”

    After his first playoff start against the New York Rangers in Round 1 – a 3-1 Penguins win – Murray admitted to having some nerves, which would be natural for a 21-year-old thrown into the fire while the team’s regular No. 1 goalie was sidelined with a concussion. But we know how the story has played out with Murray usurping Marc-Andre Fleury for the starting job as his play improved over three rounds.

    Fleury

    Read More »from Marc-Andre Fleury on Matt Murray, mindset of a young goalie
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks didn’t back down from his post-Game 2 comments that, on faceoffs, Sidney Crosby “cheats and gets away with that [because] he’s Sidney Crosby.” 

    In fact, the Sharks center said he’s a cheater too. And that Joe Thornton is, too.

    “Everyone cheats on faceoffs. I cheat, Jumbo cheats. That’s how you try and win draws,” said Couture.  

    But Crosby gets away with it more than most.

    “He’s one of the best at it,” said Couture.

    [PUCK DADDY: How Sidney Crosby Cheats on Faceoffs]

    What Couture said, and reiterated on Friday at Sharks practice, is essentially true: Everyone who ever takes a faceoff cheats.

    Just like they do on jump-balls in the NBA. Just line a linesman illegally holds up a defensive player on every running play in the NFL. It all comes down to whether you can mask that cheating, or if your reputation is such that you earn the benefit of the doubt.

    But his comments about Crosby went viral after Game 2, with fans and media

    Read More »from Logan Couture admits he’s a cheater like Sidney Crosby
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Father Brendan McGuire of Holy Spirit Church in San Jose made a promise to Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. The promise was that if the team reached the Stanley Cup Final he would build a shark outside his home at the church.

    Pavelski, who is a parishioner at the Holy Spirit Church, would probably not have imagined what exactly the Father would end up building as the Sharks prepared to face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Following the last mass on Sunday, McGuire and parishioners Jed DeTorres and Andy Perrucci went to work, and the final product is quite remarkable:

    Father Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay AreaFather Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay Area
    Father Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay AreaFather Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay Area
    Father Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay AreaFather Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay Area
    Father Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay AreaFather Brendan McGuire via NBC Bay Area

    According to Father McGuire, Pavelski isn’t the only member of the Sharks who attends his church. Team strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Potenza is also a parishioner.

    “Way back in regular season, when Mike and his wife, Joe Pavelski and his wife were over for dinner we teased about making a full size Shark for Halloween for outside my house,” McGuire wrote in an email to Yahoo! Sports. “I promised

    Read More »from Priest builds penguin-eating shark for Joe Pavelski (Photos)
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – The NHL’s Board of Directors is going to decide before the NHL Awards on June 22 whether there will be expansion teams for Las Vegas and Quebec City. 

    While the Vegas bid is starting to take on a feeling of inevitability, one of the prominent voices behind the Quebec City group is telling fans that their bid is “not for tomorrow” and that the chances of landing a team in this round of expansion are “slim.”

    "Eventually, we will have a team in Quebec, I think, but it will not be for tomorrow,” Quebecor chairman of the board Brian Mulroney told La Presse (translated).

    The issue at the forefront is the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar. “For a team like Quebec, with the exchange rate, a deductible cost, depending on the day, between 650 and 750 million [Canadian]. While an American owner would pay $500 million. It presents challenges for us all,” he said.

    But his comments have also fueled speculation that Quebec City is the NHL’s fallback position in the event one of

    Read More »from Quebec City unlikely to land NHL expansion team now, per Mulroney
  • 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. 

    • Another take on the Florida Panthers’ logo with a Lion King twist. [Notorious Wojo]

    • How Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan made his group play as a faster. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

    • According to NHL records, Cup finalists who sweep the first two games at home win the series 91.7 percent of the time. The Penguins aren’t paying attention to that stat. They know they have a tough task upcoming in San Jose. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

    • How five teams have won the Cup after trailing 0-2 in the series. [Sports Illustrated]

    • Penguins third-string goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is drawing rave reviews for his blog on the Stanley Cup Final. [The Pens Blog]

    Read More »from Sullivan and speed; Ward's lasting impression (Puck Headlines)
  • SAN JOSE, Calif. – NHL expansion is going to happen, with either Las Vegas or Quebec City or both applicants getting franchises. 

    Or maybe it won’t.

    Or maybe it will, but a while from now.

    Those are the three scenarios that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is spelling out in the last week, both at his “State of the NHL” speech and in other media appearances. The Executive Committee will recommend on expansion well ahead of that Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas, which takes place ahead of the NHL Awards on June 22.

    Let’s take a look at where the various moving parts on expansion (and relocation) are at the moment.

    NHL EXPANSION TIMELINE AND DEFERMENT

    The “deferment” option was one that hadn’t really been mentioned by the NHL before, so that perked up some ears.

    Discussions about expansion have been seemingly centered on the 2017-18 season, and deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that “Nothing about our current timing precludes '17-18.” But there seems to be some smoke around the idea

    Read More »from What to know on NHL expansion, relocation as crucial vote nears
  • Photo sent by Sabrina WatsonPhoto sent by Sabrina Watson

    Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau gave a special birthday gift to a boy who lost his home in the Fort McMurray wildfire.

    The moment was posted by the Flames on Friday of Gaudreau video chatting with young Liam Watson for his ninth birthday.

    According to Liam's mother Sabrina, her son lost trophies, pictures, a Wayne Gretzky signed card and brand new goalie gear with a brand new Star Wars helmet in the fire.

    After the Watsons lost their home Sabrina called the Flames, knowing Gaudreau was her son's favorite player, and asked them if Gaudreau was going to be at any local autograph signings in the near future. The organization went much further. 

    Part of the gift pack sent by Gaudreau and the Flames included, a Calgary hat, a puck signed by Gaudreau, a No. 13 Gaudreau T-shirt, a picture and a Gaudreau hockey card.  

    The Watsons are currently staying with family in Spruce Grove, which is where the gifts were sent. They found a new home, but can't move there until August. Sabrina got

    Read More »from Johnny Gaudreau surprises child who lost home in Fort McMurray fire (Video)
  • Puck Soup Podcast: Doc Emrick on Pierre McGuire, Stanley Cup Final, glow puck

    (WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.)

    PUCK SOUP is the new hockey podcast on the Nerdist network for Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup." 

    In Episode 9, Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports talks about the Stanley Cup Final, how to balance chemistry with TV analysts, what we should actually like about Pierre McGuire, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the glow puck and the gender politics of the remote control.

    That, plus Greg and Dave on the San Jose Sharks vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, Logan Couture’s whining about Sidney Crosby, whether neutral fans should cheer for Pittsburgh or San Jose, rants about the World Cup, expansion, the NHL in the Olympics, “Now You See Me 2,” and a horrific

    Read More »from Puck Soup Podcast: Doc Emrick on Pierre McGuire, Stanley Cup Final, glow puck
  •  

    We can ascribe all the reasons we like for the Penguins being up 2-0 in the Cup Final so far, including but not limited to: 

    • Sidney Crosby cheats on faceoffs
    • The Sharks haven't played well in specific periods
    • Home ice advantage
    • The Penguins aren't committing penalties
    • San Jose wasn't ready for Pittsburgh's speed
    • San Jose was ready for Pittsburgh's speed but it doesn't matter
    • San Jose's lesser defensemen are getting exposed
    • San Jose's lesser forwards are getting exposed
    • Mike Sullivan is a genius
    • Peter DeBoer hasn't adapted
    • Peter DeBoer is trying too hard to adapt
    • San Jose just doesn't want it bad enough

    That might be it, but that at least seems like a good jumping-off point. They're pretty easy to address one at a time: 

    Sidney Crosby cheats on faceoffs the way everyone cheats on faceoffs all the time, but because he among the most skilled players in the world, it turns out he's really good at cheating. The Sharks have had, by my count, two actually bad periods in this series, and

    Read More »from How the Sharks are letting Stanley Cup slip away (Trending Topics)
  • When a player discusses the virtues he’d like in his next head coach, one can’t help but see those comments as an indictment of what the team was lacking under the previous head coach. 

    To that end: Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks discussed his team’s ongoing search to replace the fired Bruce Boudreau in a recent interview with Ben Kuzma of The Province. Boudreau, of course, was hired by the Minnesota Wild about 20 seconds after the Ducks let him go.

    While talking in general terms about the virtues of Randy Carlyle – who coached Kesler in the AHL and who has interviewed with the Ducks – Kesler explained what kind of coach he felt Anaheim needed after Boudreau’s dismissal:

    “We just need a good bench coach, a coach that does things on the fly and makes changes during the game and not just between periods,” said Kesler. “We need a coach that holds everybody accountable — not just certain guys. We need a coach to come in and just be a good motivator and do what a coach does.

    “The biggest

    Read More »from Ryan Kesler throws some indirect shade at Bruce Boudreau's coaching