Puck Junk Podcast: 2024 Stanley Cup Final Recap

Plus: The Chantilly Card Show
Episode #192: June 28, 2024

Sal Barry and Clemente Lisi discuss the 2024 Stanley Cup Final: how the Panthers looked unbeatable, then the Oilers stormed back, then the Panthers finally getting the job done – and if Connor McDavid really deserved to be the playoff MVP. Plus, Clemente talks about his visit to the Chantilly Card Show last weekend. It’s 50 minutes of hockey goodness!

Follow Sal Barry on X/Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on X/Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Follow Clemente Lisi on X/Twitter @ClementeLisi
Podcast music by Retro Game Remix – follow them on YouTube

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Defense Wins Championships – But Offense Wins MVP?

The Panthers Win…and So Does McDavid?

Monday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 7 between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers was certainly…something.

Exciting? Sure. It was a close Game 7 that was decided by one goal. But honestly, I feel that a lot of the excitement was the anticipation leading up to the game, and maybe not the game so much.

Did the game have exciting moments? Sure, that mad scramble in front of the Panthers’ crease, where both Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman were unable to tie the game, was intense. So was the breakaway goal scored by Oilers center Mattias Janmark. The game had its moments for sure. 

But the bottom line is that this was a game that was won by one goal because the Panthers played their suffocating style of defense, knowing that they could win the game 2-1 but not 8-7. 

And the saying goes, offense wins games, but defense wins championships.

Apparently, offense wins the MVP award, too. Continue reading “Defense Wins Championships – But Offense Wins MVP?”

Connor McDavid is For Real!

McJesus Went from Zero to Hero in a Hurry

In last week’s newsletter, I mentioned how stellar Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was through the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. He allowed just one goal in the first two games, leading the Panthers to a 2-0 series lead. The Panthers also won Game 3 and looked poised to sweep the series.

Meanwhile, Oilers captain Connor McDavid was all but absent, scoring one assist in Game 2 and two assists in Game 3 in two losing efforts. 

Then McDavid woke up. Continue reading “Connor McDavid is For Real!”

Why I Want the Edmonton Oilers to Win the Stanley Cup

We All Want to See McDavid Win It Sooner Than Later, Right? 

This Saturday is Game One of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final between the Edmonton Oilers and the Florida Panthers – and I’ll admit that I want the Oilers to win the Cup. 

Not because I want to see a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 31 years. I could care less about that. Continue reading “Why I Want the Edmonton Oilers to Win the Stanley Cup”

Snap Shots: Nicklas Backstrom Scores 1,000th Point

I didn’t have as much time as usual to focus on this week’s edition of Snap Shots. So, here is a very quick rundown of the top five hockey stories over the past week. 

Continue reading “Snap Shots: Nicklas Backstrom Scores 1,000th Point”

Rookie Cards of the 2019 St. Louis Blues Players and Coaches

The St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup in grand fashion last night, winning Game Seven 4-1 on the road against the Boston Bruins. Goaltender Jordan Binnington shut down Boston’s offense and kept the Blues in it, and Ryan O’Reilly’s four goals in four Cup games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

For those who are looking to build a rookie card collection of the 2019 St. Louis Blues team — or just want to see what that collection looks like — here is a visual checklist of RCs for every Blues player who appeared in at least one 2019 playoff game.

Continue reading “Rookie Cards of the 2019 St. Louis Blues Players and Coaches”

Review: 2017 Upper Deck Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Champions Set

When the Pittsburgh Penguins captured their second title in as many years, it didn’t take long for the Upper Deck Company to continue their tradition of issuing a limited-edition set to celebrate the achievement. Released in August 2017 was this 18-card Penguins Stanley Cup Championship set, featuring the players instrumental to the Pens’ pursuit and capture of Lord Stanley’s mug.

Continue reading “Review: 2017 Upper Deck Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Champions Set”

A History of the Triple Gold Club

Pavel Datsyuk became the newest member of hockey’s Triple Gold Club on Sunday when the Olympic Athletes of Russia beat Germany 4-3 to win the Olympic gold medal. The Triple Gold Club is a list of hockey players who have won a Stanley Cup Championship, an IIHF World Championship gold medal and an Olympic gold medal. And with less than 30 members, it is probably the hardest “club” to get into. 

Think about it. Players on teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs cannot compete in the World Championships, since they take place at the same time. Sure, a player might win the Cup one year, and then be on a crummy NHL team the next year that misses the playoffs or gets eliminated in the first round, and go on to win a gold medal in the World Championships. 

But then there is the added challenge of winning a gold medal in the Olympics, which take place every four years didn’t include current NHLers this time around, and might not in the next one, either. 

Thus, being a member of the Triple Gold Cup is just as much about skill — being talented enough to make a team a champion, like Sidney Crosby does — as it is about good timing. 

Here is a rundown of every Triple Gold Club member and an explanation of how he got there. Continue reading “A History of the Triple Gold Club”

The Tragically Hip Stole This from a Hockey Card


Yesterday, Gord Downie, lead signer of the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, announced on his band’s website that he has terminal brain cancer.

Hockey is not often the subject of songs, but this sad news reminds me of a song by The Tragically Hip called “Fifty Mission Cap,” which is actually about a Pro Set hockey card issued during the 1990s.

Continue reading “The Tragically Hip Stole This from a Hockey Card”

The NHL’s Big Spenders vs. Big Winners: An Interactive Chart

Click the above image to activate the bar graph. Not working? Click here.

The tenth year of the NHL’s “Salary Cap Era” has wrapped up. To the surprise of perhaps no one, no team that had the highest-paid roster has won the Stanley Cup in the past decade. The Vancouver Cancucks — who were paid a league-high $70,975,000 in 2010-11 — almost did it when they came within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Above is an interactive chart that displays the highest-paid team and the Stanley Cup-wining team, plus the teams that scored the most goals, that allowed the fewest goals, and that had the best record during the regular season. The chart also notes where each team ranked overall in league payroll for that season.

To learn more, check out the interactive bar graph. ■


Salary data from USA Today (2005-06 to 2013-14) and and NHL Numbers (2014-15).
Special thanks to Hockey’s Cap.