Chat with Pierre LeBrun
Based in Toronto, LeBrun joined ESPN in September 2008 after spending 13 years with The Canadian Press as its national hockey columnist. LeBrun was also a contributor to Rogers Sportsnet and a regular guest on CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada."
Send your questions for now and join LeBrun in The Show on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Pierre LeBrun (3:59 PM)
I'm ba-a-a-a-c-c-c-c-k-k! Let's get it on puck heads
Ryan (St Louis, MO)
Who will be taken first in the draft?
Pierre LeBrun (4:01 PM)
Ryan, I think John Tavares. Obviously if the team that wins the lottery has a bigger need on defense maybe they'll take Victor Hedman but the NHL scouts I talk to all agree Tavares is the No. 1 rated player.
Are the Islanders easily the worst team in the NHL?
Pierre LeBrun (4:01 PM)
Hello Steiny, welcome back. I would say based on current form, the Colorado Avalanche are by far the worst team in the NHL right now.
King (Howell, NJ)
Pierre, what's up with the Devils? Their defense has been terrible lately. 42, 48, 37 shots against in the last three games is not Devils hockey!
Pierre LeBrun (4:03 PM)
King, great question. Wish I had the answer. I don't want to B.S. you _ I just don't know. Ever since Marty broke the wins record they've been terrible. Very very surprising to me.
Finney Calgary, Alberta
I'm getting pretty excited about the way the Nucks are playing, with two scoring lines, and lots of grit through 3 and 4, and with Luongo playing at close to his best... can you see the nucks going deep in the playoffs this year?
Pierre LeBrun (4:04 PM)
You should be excited about Vancouver, I think they're a very dangerous team heading into the playoffs, one that has the potential to win the Stanley Cup. I'm serious. Check out my weekly column Thursday afternoon on the site to find out more. Vancouver is my topic this week.
Logan: St. Louis, MO
If the blues make it to the playoffs, do you think they will make it past the first round? And if so, can they win the whole thing?
Pierre LeBrun (4:06 PM)
They're certainly a dangerous upset team if they get in, given their second-half record. San Jose and Detroit will be tough to beat but with the Wings, for example, there's the chance to perhaps exploit their shaky goaltending unless Osgood turns on the switch and becomes last year's goaltender... The Blues are a dangerous team right now
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
If you were a team in the East who makes the playoffs but doesn't win their division, what seed would you want to be?
Pierre LeBrun (4:06 PM)
ah... the four seed? Home ice.
Rick (San Diego, CA)
Hi Pierre -- How do you rate the Ducks deadline trades now that it seems like the team is energized and heading toward the playoffs and not out? Would any of the teams want to play the Ducks now in the first round?
Pierre LeBrun (4:08 PM)
Rick, you really have to credit Ducks GM Bob Murray. He was in a very tough position heading into the deadline. His team was on the bubble,not playing very well, and he had a number of UFAs he knew would be walking July 1. So he got some returns, some fresh younger faces, and Whitney and Wisniseski in particular have really impressed me. The thing about the Ducks if they make the playoffs is that they've been there. They've got guys still left from '07 who know what it takes and won't be nervous come puck drop.
Dan (Rochester, NY)
Hello Pierre, my Sabres played through the weekend with a new found desperation it seemed in the way they played. Is it still to little to late? Also, what did you think about Lapierre's hit on Kaleta? Did it deserve suspension?
Pierre LeBrun (4:11 PM)
I think the Sabres really need to run the table to have a chance, but I wish they had played like this earlier this month ! They really, really missed Ryan Miller. That will be the big factor if they miss the playoffs. Yes I think Lapierre is lucky he didn't get suspended.
Corey, Middletown CT
The Bruins currently sit second in the league, are 6-1-1 in their last eight, have the best goals for/against differential, second in goals for and first in goals against. Is there a concrete reason that this team is part of the "rest" of the league behind San Jose and Detroit?
Pierre LeBrun (4:12 PM)
The concrete reason Corey is the East is inferior to the West. The Bruins deserve their top seed and all the accoldates they get, they're a fabulous story, but the fact remains they mostly beat up on weaker Eastern teams. Remember who finished first last year in the East? Montreal.
What goaltenders will be available after this year? Do you think any big name guys will move, say in a place like Philly or Washington?
Pierre LeBrun (4:15 PM)
Off the top of my head, some of the unrestricted free-agent goalies include Khabibulin, Roloson, Biron, Thomas (although I think he's re-sign), Fernandez, Gerber, Kolzig. But guys that might be available via trade include Toskala, Lehtonen and maybe J.S. Giguere although he has a no-movement clause
Knights, Maple Ridge BC
Which game as the season closes out could we expect to see a dony brook break out to set the tone for the playoffs? Also, Our Canucks... could the Nucks see another parade to the penalty box like in Chicago except hopefully no 2nd tier fighters speed bags like eager who only like to swing first when their dance partner has their back to them.
Pierre LeBrun (4:16 PM)
Well, Montreal is at Boston on April 9, Possible first-round matchup and two rivals that don't like each other
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
The Sharks' injuries are no secret, yet they continue to win important games and are on the verge on a Presidents trophy with guys named Jamie McGinn, Ryan Vesce, Brad Staubitz and Tom Cavanaugh providing desperately needed depth. In your view, are all these injuries McLellan playing it safe or do you see the Sharks needing some (or all) of these rookies come playoff time, and who do you think will get that chance?
Pierre LeBrun (4:17 PM)
My guess is that they'll go with the most veteran roster possible. This is a great team trying to get over the hump and intot the dance. They need guys who have been there before.
Jim Bourbonnais, IL
With Detroit scuffling a bit lately, are they ripe for an early playoff exit? Which team is most likely to make that happen?
Pierre LeBrun (4:18 PM)
They are still a great, great team. Their recent losses will just help Mike Babcock get his players' atttention when it really matters now. But i do think they're some concern with their goaltending. If Osgood and Conklin can't do an adequte job, they're indeed vulnerable no matter who they play in the first round
Claude Girouxs playoff numbers in juniors were amazing. DO you think he could be that good in the NHL playoffs? and is Mike Richards a real candidate for the selke award?
Pierre LeBrun (4:20 PM)
Claude Giroux of Hearst, Nothern Ontario _ great people come from that tiny town 12 hours northwest of Toronto :) Giroux is a dynamite offensive threat. He reminds me of a younger Daniel Briere. Not too shappy at all. Richards might end up a caniddiate for the Selke for sure but I don't see how Datsyuk doesn't win again. Crazy numbers !
Alex M., Frederick, MD
Does Bruce Boudreau start Simeon Varlamov at all in the playoffs if Jose Theodore is playing mediocre?
Pierre LeBrun (4:21 PM)
I think Theodore will be on a short leash and Boudreau won't be scared to use Varlamov. Keep an eye on that one.
Kevin (Chicago, IL)
Your my hero!
Pierre LeBrun (4:21 PM)
aim higher Kevin !!!!
Paul (New Jersey)
Pierre, do you think the canadiens will make the playoffs and if they do who do you feel would be a good first round matchup for them to pull off a first round upset.
Pierre LeBrun (4:24 PM)
Given their good performance of late, they've picked up points in seven of 10 games, it looks like they'll get in. But I'm not sure any of the top seeds are a good draw for them. Mind you, they've always had Boston's number at playoff time _ as lower seeds they upset the Bruins in 2002 and 2004. This is much, much better Boston team ,however.
David - Ca
Hey Pierre, Won't the ducks playoffs hopes fall on those 2 back to back games with SJ. Lose and they are most likely out of the playoffs right?
Pierre LeBrun (4:25 PM)
True or False: Among NHL divisions, the Central has the best set of head coaches.
Pierre LeBrun (4:26 PM)
Do you think the canucks would call up Cody Hodgson for the playoffs if his OHL team gets knocked out early? i hope they do i think he is better than raymond n im sure the experience would prepare him down the road
Pierre LeBrun (4:26 PM)
yes usually teams call up kids for the playoffs drive. Whether or not they dress is another matter
Hey Pierre, I did some research: four of the past five Stanley Cup Champions have won no more than 5 of their last 10 games (for example, Anaheim was 5-3-2, Carolina was 5-3-2, etc). The teams with the best record in the last 10 have never done well at all (see last year's Caps or any year's Sharks). Do you think that streak will change? If so, who will break it?
Pierre LeBrun (4:28 PM)
I think the last 10 games is a tricky thing to study because some top seeds take the foot off the pedal before entering the playoffs in order to stay rested and healthy... I think the most compelling stat is the last 41 games....sercond-half records
Who do you think is the most solid team top to bottom in the West right now?
Pierre LeBrun (4:28 PM)
San Jose _ followed closely by Detroit and vancouver
Shawn New York
Do you think the Bruins have found there game again.
Pierre LeBrun (4:28 PM)
yes, they look a lot like they did earlier this season. Bodes well for the playoffs
Drew (Duluth, MN)
Do you think the Wild have a chance in making the playoffs and if so what do they need to do in order to get it done?
Pierre LeBrun (4:29 PM)
You know, they played really really well last night and got robbed in a 2-1 OT loss to the Canucks... so at least they're playing well... but they need to almost run the table at this point
Mike: Bronx, NY
With Nik Zherdev being a RFA after this season and Nik Antropov being a UFA after this season, if it comes down to re-signing one or the other who do you take if your the Rangers?
Pierre LeBrun (4:32 PM)
well it's not that simple. I mean, RFAs generally don't leave, so Zherdev will be re-signed whether it's through arbitration or normal negotiation.... But Antropov has looked dynamite for the Ranger. I actually checked into it last weekend and was told there has been no talks between Antropov's people and the Rangers so it obviously looks like they'll wait after the season before deciding what to do with him. I believe in Toronto, the Leafs offered $2 M a year to Antprov but he wanted $3 M so that's why he was dealt..
Hey Pierre, are the Sedin's worth the 6 mil each they're asking for? And in-line with Vancouver, what are their chances of making it out of the first round? Thanks!
Pierre LeBrun (4:33 PM)
Definitely. I think the Sedins are worth around $6.5 mllion a season. They've been the highest and most consistent point producers in the NHL since the lockout. Time to pony up
Drew (New Prague, MN)
Where do you think Marion Gaborik will end up next year and how do you think he will do in a different system other then the primarily defensive one of Jacques?
Pierre LeBrun (4:34 PM)
Just a wild guess but how about LA ?
i am worried that chris mason run out of gas soon , so how much of that tank of gas he got left since been playing every night.
Pierre LeBrun (4:34 PM)
That's a valid concern. You see that Dwayne Roloson finally hit a wall in Edmonton. Hopefully Chris can handle it !
John: (Gulf Breeze, FL)
How far do you see the Pens going in the postseason after their successful deadline moves?
Pierre LeBrun (4:36 PM)
John, I've said this many many times over the last few weeks and I'll say it again: the East is wide-open. I think Boston, Wash, NJ, Pha, Pitt and red-hot Carolina all have realistic chances at making the Cup finals out of the East. I don't feel as confident about NYR and Mtl/Fla
Spencer Miami, FL
Pierre, Every spring it seems there is a big question around Detroit's goaltending. Babbles seems to want to stick with Osgood but my gut say's he's not the man. What are your thoughts?
Pierre LeBrun (4:37 PM)
I think it's simple Spencer _ you start with Osgood in Game 1 and if it goes off the rails you quickly try Conklin. There aren't many other otpions.
Jake (Apex North Carolina)
The Hurricanes are easily one of the hottest teams in the league right now, but after last years infamous late season failure that resulted in going from 3rd-9th seed, is it crazy to think the Hurricanes won't fall apart again? Also if they do make the playoffs, how far do you think they will go?
Pierre LeBrun (4:38 PM)
Acutally jake I've got a blog coming out tomorrow morning on your Canes after I spoke with Paul Maurice and Eric Staal today... They're 15-4-2 since Feb. 15 _ hello !!!! I don't see them falling apart. They're playing much better defensive hockey.
Kenny (Boston, Ma.)
Pierre, huge B's fan here! I'm not really a fan about hearing a good deal of sports writers say how the Bruins don't have enough talent, but at the same time this team has the most 20 goal scorers than any other NHL team, with those stats spread out across 4 lines how would that formula not provide for a potential cup appearance, your thoughts?
Pierre LeBrun (4:40 PM)
THere is a ton of talent on this team, I'm not sure who is questioning that. I think the only thing you can question on Boston is the lack of experience of being a top seed with Cup aspirations. That takes time to adjus to sometimes. Remember how many years Ottawa wasa top seed before finally going to the Cup finals in '07? Detroit for many years iin the early 1990s also struggled with the pressure to win before devlivering big time... So the question with Boston is: are they ready to win come playoff time? No one knows the answer. We'll find out soon enough.
Is there any chance the Flyers can have James van Riemsdyk on the roster in the playoffs, or do they have to wait until next season for him to come up?
Pierre LeBrun (4:41 PM)
I just exchange text messages with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. He confirms that the kid can't play in the playoffs. Your playoff roster is set at the march 4 trade deadline
Mark: (St. Louis, MO)
Pierre should either of the 1 seeds in the playoffs worry about the 8 seed team they play?
Pierre LeBrun (4:43 PM)
In the West, definitely. In the East, not as much. Montreal and Florida haven't been nearly as impressive as St. Lous, Nashville, Aaneheim, etc..
Rob: Boston, Ma
Pierre, How far will the Bruins go in this years playoff? Will they go with Tim Thomas exclusively in the playoff or will you see Fernandez as well? Who will the two goaltenders be for next year? Thanks for taking my question. - Rob
Pierre LeBrun (4:44 PM)
I Thomas plays every single playoff game. next year it's Thomas and Rask. Bye bye Manny
Mike, Salt Lake City
I have to ask... Even though the Canucks have been getting great results, they don't appear to get any respect for what they have done. How far do you think they can\will go, and what do they have to do to get that respect... walk on water?
Pierre LeBrun (4:44 PM)
Mike, read my weekly column coming out Thursday afternoon !!!!
After carey prices terrible post season last year is he ready to have a good post season this year?
Pierre LeBrun (4:45 PM)
Well obiously no one knows but one thing that's interesting is that of late he's really looked comfortable as the habs put together some wins... sign of things to come???
Dustin (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
If the Capitals and Penguins end up meeting up sometime this season in the playoffs, who do you see coming out on top of that series and how important do you think it would be in helping the popularity of hockey in the states?
Pierre LeBrun (4:46 PM)
Would be a great series, great for the NHL, and a seven-gamer in my mind .... caps in seven?
Sean (TR NJ)
Both the West and the East have spots pretty wide open including the 8th spot. When the dust settles where do you see things ending up. I have my 1-8 for both, but I may be biased and I am looking for an objective point of view. Thanks for your time
Pierre LeBrun (4:48 PM)
East 1. Boston 2. Wash 3. NJ 4. Pittsburgh 5. Philadephia 6. carolina 7. rangers 8. Montreal West 1. San Jose 2. Detroit 3. Vancouver 4. Calgary 5. Chicago 6. Columbus 7. Anaheim 8. St. Louis
joe (foster city, ca)
The Sharks are plenty hurt and have a home-and-away with the Ducks this weekend. Should they rest up or should they try to knock Anaheim out of the playoffs?
Pierre LeBrun (4:48 PM)
Rest up. Take care of your own house. Don't worry about others.
Joey (Columbus, Ohio)
Hi Pierre, could you give your opinion on the job Scott Howson has done in the short time he has been with Columbus?
Pierre LeBrun (4:50 PM)
I think he's done a good job. He had to overpay a little for some UFAs last summer (Huselisu, Commodore) but frankly he didn't have a choice because his team wasn't high on the list of A-list players... he's smart guy and the Jackets made a wise move in hiring him
Mikko (Atlanta, Ga)
Pierre - NYI, COL, TB, ATL, PHX. Do any of these teams consider Hedman as their #1 pick if they win the lottery?
Pierre LeBrun (4:51 PM)
You would think TB given their horrible blue-line... but I'm told they would take Tavares... who knows....
Billy (Charlotte, NC)
Why is there so much hype surrounding the Caps and people predicting them as champs? As shown last year, they can not survive a four round playoff with the physical teams is the East. In my opinion they are a one trick pony, altough its a heck of a trick, who will get bullied out by teams like Philly, Boston, and the Rangers. What do you think?
Pierre LeBrun (4:52 PM)
I agree that they're at least one more year away from being a true, slam dunk Cup contender. But because the East is mediocre, who knows !
Casey (Allentown, PA)
I believe the Penguins have a better team this year going into the playoffs than last year. Do you agree? Also, was the coaching change the reason for the turnaround? Or would they have pulled it out anyway?
Pierre LeBrun (4:53 PM)
Disagree. Kuntiz and Guerin were terrific pick-ups but they still don't make up for Hossa and Malone
What is your take on the Stars going from the Conference Finals to not making the post season?? Poor team management in the off season? Not replacing the void left by Nordstom and signing Sean Avery to a moronic four tear deal?? Tippet? I know they have been bitten by the injury bug pretty bad but, come on.. What is the deal in Dallas?
Pierre LeBrun (4:54 PM)
1. Sergei Zubov injured 2. Brenden Morrow injured 3. Brad Ricahrds injured 4. Jere Lehtinen injured 5. Steve Ott injured You can't make the playoffs in this league when five of your core players miss significant time. Not sure how you can blame the coach or the GM for that.
hey pierre can you post this if you can? what are the jackets chances of making the second round of the playoffs so we can see derrick brassard back in the lineup before next year. also, who do you think the jackets will try to pick up over the summer since we have some cap room?
Pierre LeBrun (4:57 PM)
With Steve Mason in net, you have to consider Columbus a legtimate shot at upsetting somebody. Mind you, if the season ended today they'd be playing red-hot Vancouver and there's no goalie advantage in that series !
sean (maple shade, new jersey)
ever since the flyers traded Scottie Upshall they just havent looked as the same team to me. Do u think that trade has hurt them and how do u see them doing in the playoffs
Pierre LeBrun (5:00 PM)
Theyve got a ton of depth up front; I can't imagine they miss him that much Sean, especially since it created a roster spot for Claude Giroux...
Pierre LeBrun (5:01 PM)
Sorry to the more than 300 questions I'm leaving in the queue.... My 60 minutes are up. Talk to you next week cool cats
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