Chat with Scott Burnside
Send your questions now and join Scott in The Show Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:01 PM)
Scott will be here soon!
Scott Burnside (4:05 PM)
Welcome post All-Star weekend. Now is the time when things get interesting with the trade deadline approaching and less than half a season left befoe the playoffs.
Will Gonchars return have enough of an impact to get the pens into the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (4:06 PM)
Yes it will. That is the simple answe to that. Although things are more complicated than that. But there is bno doubt that the PP has not produced at last year's level and Gonchar is part of that. Also Ginchar logs a lot of kinutes and plays against other teams' top lines. He was a big part of their success last year and will be a big part in the Pens' run to making the playoffs.
Mike (South Jersey)
Who will win the Atlantic division?
Scott Burnside (4:08 PM)
Great question. I am going to say the Flyers. I know this will enrage Devils fans, but that's alright. Won't be the first time. I think the Flyers win it by no more than three points. NJ comes in second, the Rangers third, Pittsburgh fourth, and all four teams, once again, make the playoffs.
Jon (Holly Springs)
Now a few months down the line do you agree with the Hurricanse firing Peter Laviolette?
Scott Burnside (4:11 PM)
I think that move was done with a view to the big picture as opposed to what the Hurricanes might be capable of this season. I think the fact that the team did not respond in the first half of the season and looked like the team that missed the post season was troubling to GM Jim Rutherford. And if Ron Francis, the face of the franchise, is serious about perhaps one day coaching then the situation where he gets to learn working with another familiar face in paul Maurice then I think that is a big part of the reason the move was made. The Hurricanes obviously do not want to miss the playoffs again, and they are still in the mix this season. Certainly the postseason is a possiblity. They hold down the 8th spot, although they have played 48 games. But the change was made looking to the future, beyond this spring.
Joe (Virginia Beach, VA)
When Brodeur comes back, do you see the Devils reverting back to their old ways and see their goal totals drop? They have opened it up some since he went down.
Scott Burnside (4:16 PM)
Yes, very much so. People just assume that because he has been out for so long that they are continuing to squeek out games 2-1, 3-2, but they have opened it up. They have a very solid offense and are a very hard group to score against. They are not afraid to open up against teams. It is hard to imagine that they would stop doing it once Brodeur returns, but you nevr know. I think the Devils will keep scoring and they may be even better now that Shanahan is back and starts getting in the groove.
Do you see the Bruins making any big moves before the deadline?
Scott Burnside (4:19 PM)
Well, there are a couple of moves that could be made. First Manny Fernandez will be an UFA and has played very, very well. He is getting over some back spasm issues, but may be marketable. And Bergeron is expected to come back in the next few weeks, but if there is a delay, perhaps there may be a desire to bring in some offensive depth for the playoffs, and Fernandez may be the asset that could bring something in like that. But I think they will be very careful not to upset what is clearly great chemistry in the Bruins' locker room.
Jon (Des Moines, IA)
Is Gaborik as good as gone? I can't help but think Minnesota needs to cut ties with him which is a shame, but he can't stay healthy, and they'd have to be wise to spend money elsewhere.
Scott Burnside (4:23 PM)
Yes, I think his days in Minnesota are numbered. The issue for GM Doug Reisborough is when to trade him. He is unlikely to be back in action before the deadline. Will they deal him before the draft in June? More likely. But the fact that he may go an entire season and play only six games really hurts his value. It is more than nothing and less than what it should be given his talent. Interesting to see how it unfolds. Teams will be reluctant to give up much, not just because of his health, but also because they may have no chance to sign him long-term. It is a very interesting set of circumstances for a player that when healthy, is one of the most dynamic players in the NHL.
Mike (San Jose)
Any thoughts on the Malkin/Ovechkin antics this weekend? Was the supposed feud ever there or just not that big to begin with?
Scott Burnside (4:27 PM)
There has been bad blood between the two, but certainly there appears to be a public mending of the fences has got to be good news for the Russian hockey federation with the 2010 Games approaching. Perhaps the issues that led to the animosity are not so important anymore. It does seem like the two are closer to being friends than they were a month ago. It does make you think about what is possible for that Russian team if they are on the same line along with Kovalchuck, who repotedly helped broker the peace, or Kovalev...it makes for some great possibilities at the Olympics.
King (Howell, NJ)
What would Lou have to give up if the Devils wanted to acquire Bouwmeester?
Scott Burnside (4:29 PM)
Interesting question. I do not have a sense yet as to what specifically they would have to give up. But I think Florida would be looking for a package similar to what Hossa brought in...a first round pick, a top prospect anda young position player. Would the Devils give up such a package? I think a lot of teams would. He is just coming into his game and is one of the top young defesemen in the NHL, who really can do it all. The Devils will have company if the Panthers decide they need to move Bouwmeester before March 4th.
Is Phoenix for real? And if they are, why aren't they getting any respect from (some) media outlets?
Scott Burnside (4:32 PM)
I do not knwo if they are for real. I am a bit baffled by Phoenix. They are so young and they keep getting points. The young guys are buying into the system and in fifth place in the West, and only four place out of ninth place. So it is very tight and a bad week can drop you out. But they are full value for being where they are. I think they do not get the respect from the media is because a lot of the attention is focused on the off-ice, financial problems. That deflects the attention from the on-ice success, which is too bad. ticket sales are up and that is because they are winning and great at home. But there is a long road to go with this young team before they make the postseason.
Scott Washington DC
Do you see the Caps making any significant moves at the trading deadline or will they stand pat and hope to get completely healthy?
Scott Burnside (4:36 PM)
I would think it would be the latter. Would they like to be better on defense? A little bit. But some of that is due to injury. It is a testament to the team and Bruce Boudreau's coaching that they are where they are. Many of the players have grown up together and have had a taste of the playoffs, so I think GM George McPhee will be cautious about trying to do too much. Also, there will be some overvalued players at the deadline. So maybe there are better off going with a lineup they know, instead of bringing in players.
Jeff (Boston, MA)
What do you see in store for Buffalo in the second half of the season? Are they playoff bound and will they make any moves before March 4th?
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
The Sabres' history is to be pretty conservative at the deadline but they are a team that has started to come around recently. It would not surprise me if they tried to move Afinogenov, who has shown promise, but has not been able to deliver. If you are looking for a big deal, than you are looking at the wrong place. And with the way the standings look, it's clear that there will be a four team battle for the last two postseason spot. Three points seperate the three, and I cannot imagine that will change much. Those four will be in the hunt for the last few months and I think Buffalo is a good bet to get one of the last two spots.
How awesome was A.O. this weekend! He looks to have the personality the league so desperately needs. What do you think?
Scott Burnside (4:42 PM)
Absolutely. He really does get it. He enjoys the spotlight and I do not mean that in a negative way. He embraces having fun. Watch how he plays in any regular season games. He jumps on teammates, goes up on the glass, and it is not just about him. And at the All-Star game, where it is about having fun and selling the game and not taking yurslef too seriously Ovechkin was a breath of fresh air. And not everyone can be like that. Ovechkin was the perfect person to help raise the event of the All-Star weekend.
Mark (Columbus, OH)
Can the Jackets realistically trade for a top-line Center, or would they have to give up "too much" to get one?
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
There really are not too many top-line guys, unless LeCavallier suddenly wants to move to Columbus, it is not going to happen. But there are some decent guys that may be available and may fit well. Nic Antropov will almost certainly be in play. he has nice hands, and is a big player. Maybe he is a nice option, and it would not cost too much. I am sure they will be looking for someone whose power play is dead last and only two points out of a playoff spot, for a team that has never made the postseason. There will be pressure to make a move.
Tyler (Rochester Hills, MI)
Do you see the Blackhawks dealing Khabibulin to Detroit before the deadline? If not, do you see another goaltender being dealt to Detroit otherwise?
Scott Burnside (4:48 PM)
I think the chances of Khabibulin going to Detroit are about zero. They are not going to deal Detroit goaltending depth. I do not think he will be traded at all. He has played well, and the Hawks need a center, so no doubt they will look at how they can get depth down the middle, but it will not be in dealing with Detroit. Now I think Detroit will look to improve their goaltending and on defense they are middle of the pack and you would have to give the Sharks the edge in net if the two met in the postseason.
What do you think of the league punishing players like Lidstrom and Datsyuk for missing the weekend festivities?
Scott Burnside (4:51 PM)
It is part of the rules. It is a league policy and if you are going to have a policy then you might as well enforce it. Now that does not mean they are bad guys. They made their choices and the fine was enforced. It is too bad Lidstrom got caught up in this, but he has gone to 10 previous games, but it is a disservice to the guys who do go to the game. So I like it. I think it is a perfectly acceptable move by the league.
Kentt (Gothenburg Sweden)
Will Vancouver improve and be in the Playoffs and will Sundin help them there? Are they a contender?
Scott Burnside (4:53 PM)
The injury to Luongo has been the biggest problem and they are an ordinary team right now. They may miss the playoffs. Luongo must get into a groove and Sundin must produce. If that does not happen then I think you have to look at Minnesota, Dallas and even Colorado for teams that are better equiped to make the playoffs. If I had to guess, I would say they do not make it.
Scott Burnside (4:54 PM)
Thanks for coming out. Let's do it again next Monday!