Author: Jason Brough

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Sabres name Bylsma head coach


It’s finally official — the Buffalo Sabres have named Dan Bylsma their new head coach.

Byslma becomes the 17th head coach in franchise history, replacing Ted Nolan, who had two stints as bench boss in Buffalo.

The Sabres will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. ET to introduce Bylsma, who has reportedly signed a five-year deal.

Bylsma won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. He also received the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s most outstanding coach in 2011.

The Pens will reportedly get a third-round draft pick in 2016 as compensation for hiring Bylsma, who was still under contract to Pittsburgh through 2015-16.


According to the Penguins, the 2016 “pick will be one of the third-round selections that the Sabres have previously acquired through trades with the New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks. Pittsburgh will receive the higher of the picks between those two teams.”

Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers prepares to tends net in the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 24, 2015 in New York City. The Lightning shutout teh Rangers 2-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

How has Henrik Lundqvist been so good in Game 7?

That’s what reporters wanted to know today in New York, where Friday night the Rangers and Lightning will play the seventh and deciding game of the Eastern Conference Final.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Lundqvist has won six straight Game 7s. He’s only lost one of them in his career, back in 2009 against Washington. Amazingly, the two goals he surrendered in that 2-1 defeat are the most he’s ever surrendered in a Game 7. Since then, he’s allowed one, one, zero, one, one, and one.

In other words, seven Game 7s. Seven goals allowed. Total.

Yet the 33-year-old doesn’t have any special trick that he uses to rise to the occasion.

“I just try to go out and do my job,” he said. “You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork. I feel comfortable when we’re in the right place, when we’re doing good things out there. I feel like it’s easier for me to focus on my game, and that’s a big part of winning these games too. You focus on the team concept and the things that brought you to this moment.”

He added, “You need to stay in the moment really. Just control the things you can control. I keep saying that every time. Tiring of hearing it. But I think that’s the most important thing.”

Lundqvist has already won a Game 7 in these playoffs, stopping 35 of 36 shots in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Capitals in the second round.

But despite all the history on his side, he knows the Lightning won’t go down easily. Tampa Bay has already won two games at MSG in the series.

“They’ve been playing really well in our building,” he said. “You have to respect that. They’re a really good team, so we have to play our best.”

Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

From the Associated Press:

A person familiar with the discussions tells The Associated Press the Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement in principle to hire former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

The person said Thursday that one holdup is a discussion over whether the Penguins are due compensation from the Sabres for hiring a coach who is still under contract with Pittsburgh.

Byslma was fired by the Penguins last summer, but remains under contract to Pittsburgh through next season.

The draft-pick compensation issue is one we can expect to hear more about, as many believe it should not apply to coaches or executives who have been fired:


Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ take job as Hakstol’s assistant

Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings
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Terry Murray has been the head coach of four NHL teams; however, all that experience (over 1,000 games) wouldn’t stop him from joining the staff of a guy who’s never even coached professional hockey players.

According to CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, Murray is being considered for a role on Dave Hakstol’s staff. The Flyers made Hakstol their new head coach earlier this month, despite the successful college coach having zero NHL (or even AHL) experience.

For the past three seasons, Murray has been the head coach of the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, during which he’s guided a number of the club’s prized prospects.

“Obviously, if there were another head-coaching position with another team in the NHL, I would want to do that,” the 64-year-old said.

“I’m also very realistic where things are in the game and my age now and years of experience I have in the game as a head coach. Would I embrace an assistant’s role? Absolutely.”

Related: For NHL rookie Hakstol, the right assistant coaches will be key

Boudreau: Ducks were ‘nervous Nellies’ in last year’s Game 7 versus Kings

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

The last time the Anaheim Ducks hosted a Game 7, they came out of the gates and fell flat on their faces.

The Ducks would go on to lose 6-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in last year’s second-round series-decider. It was 3-0 before the first period had even ended.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is hoping to avoid a repeat of that performance on Saturday when the Ducks host the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, with a chance to play for the Stanley Cup on the line.

“I think last year’s Game 7, we were just a bunch of nervous Nellies,” he said. “Hopefully that happened in Game 6 and won’t carry over to Game 7.”

As you might have inferred, Boudreau did not think his team played with much poise in last night’s 5-2 defeat at United Center.

“We lost our composure for the first time I thought in the playoffs,” he said. “They scored the one goal. It was like, ‘Ah, what’s going on?’ We started scrambling all over. They got the momentum. We lost our composure.”

Related: Getzlaf: ‘I was terrible’ in Game 6