Chat with EJ Hradek
Keep up with what Hradek has been up to through his blog on ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Hradek in The Show on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
EJ Hradek (3:02 PM)
Let's get to it!
Ron from Columbus [via mobile]
Do the Blue Jackets make the playoffs or will the Blue Jacket faithful be disappointed come Sunday?
EJ Hradek (3:03 PM)
I think they have done what they need to do. I expect them to be in...that simple. I think they will take care of business and I think it will be exciting to see what they're first playoff series will look like.
Do you think the Blueshirts will make the playoffs?
EJ Hradek (3:05 PM)
That will be tough. I think the most important game is tonight against Montreal. Montreal is depleted and this is a must game for the Rangers. A win tonight will put a lot more pressure on Florida.
What do you think is really going on in Sean Avery's head? Is it all an act or does he actually have a real problem controlling himself?
EJ Hradek (3:08 PM)
It is hard for me to get into his head and I'm not sure I want to be there. I think Sean is calculated, though. Maybe he does not think things all the way through, like when he hit Tim Thomas; I think he was trying to stir the pot there and bring out emotion, and help his team in his mind. I think he tries to change the dynamic of games. He needs to play on a certain edge to be effective and sometimes he goes over that edge.
Jason: (hackettstown, nj) [via mobile]
Which non playoff team or teams will make the biggest turnaround and make a playoff push next season?
EJ Hradek (3:10 PM)
I think there are a bunch of teams can improve. St. Louis, even if they do not get in, have a lot of young players who have emerged. I think the Islanders are on the right track now and will have a chance to pick up another high-end player. I think the Kings are another team with a lot of young talent, that can improve next year. As are the Coyotes.
Matt from Illinois [via mobile]
With the Hawks in the Playoffs, do you think that home ice will do them well considering their slide at home in the second half?
EJ Hradek (3:11 PM)
I think once you get to the playoffs it is a different picture and it depends on which teams you play. But you want home ice, it helps dictate the matchups and allows you more say in how the game is played.
John (Brownstown TWP, MI)
If Pavel Datsuk is not the best two-way player in the game I would like to know who is and why doesn't he get nore consideration for the Hart Tropphy?
EJ Hradek (3:14 PM)
I agree with you, I think he is an amazing talent. I think the Selke is here, and I think he deserves consideration for the Hart as well. I think it goes against him that he is a quiet guy, not a self-promoter, and that he is on a team with a lot of high-end players. When people think of the Red Wings they think of guys other than just Datsuk. But he is a very dynamic guy and every time I watch him I have similar questions as the one you posed as to why he does not get more attention.
Brian (Pittsburgh, PA)
If you were an Eastern Conference team, would you rather play the Pens or the Canes in the playoffs and why?
EJ Hradek (3:16 PM)
Good question. The Canes have played so well lately. I think both teams present problems. I guess if I could stay away from Crosby and Malkin, I think that is a positive. So I guess I would rather play the Canes, but boy they have been great and Ward has done a great job in net. Carolina has a lot of confidence now, and in recent times, when they make the postseason they have success. Very tough question, but I'll go with the Pens just because of the high-end guys up front and their good balance with their acquisitions and the return of Gonchar.
William (New Jersey)
If rangers miss the playoffs, will they finally fire sather?
EJ Hradek (3:17 PM)
I do not think they will. I think he had a unique relationship with the owner and as much as many Rangers fans do not want to hear this, I do not think Glenn Sather will be fired anytime soon.
Matt (The 810,MI)
Who would you rather play in the net? Osgood or Conklin?
EJ Hradek (3:19 PM)
I would still go with Osgood. I know it's been a tough year for him, but he won the Cup with them last year as their goalie. I think it will be the same story as last year, when Osgood was on the other end. I think Osgood will start and Mike Babcock will have a short leash, as he did last year with Hasek. And I would do the same thing.
Andy (Rochester, NY)
The Sabres need to blow up this team at the end of the season don't they? They have gotten no where the past two seasons with guys like mair, hecht, paille, tallinder, teppo, and peters. Rebuild around Roy, Pommer, Vanek, Connelly, and Miller. How about getting some capable defensive defensemen too?
EJ Hradek (3:22 PM)
I'm not sure about blowing it up. There are some young guys there. But yes they could get better at the back. But they have some young forwards who can score. I think the Sabres need to tweek more than anything else. I think they could be better on defense. They also need an answer as far as a backup goaltender. Connelly also needs to stay healthy. He has been hurt a lot. If he can stay healthy that will be a big plus for them.
Deep (Berkeley, CA)
I dont know if you caught the activity after the Sharks-Ducks game, but do you think someone will get suspended for a game in the playoffs? Specifically Corey Perry?
EJ Hradek (3:23 PM)
They would get suspended now. And I do not think it will happen. It got a little rough, but that is typical between these two teams.
EJ Hradek (3:23 PM)
If these two teams meet in the playoffs it will be fun. It will get nasty.
With all the talk about teams leaving cities and the poor markets in Phoenix and Atlanta, has anyone ever thought of a possible team moving to Milwaukee? College hockey is huge in Wisconsin and they could easy use the same arena as the Bucks? Any thoughts?
EJ Hradek (3:27 PM)
Interesting idea. I do not know if there are any territorial issues with the Blackhawks there, but I am sure there is a reason why teams have not made that push. I guess there has not been ownership willing to commit. I think if the league is going to push any new markets, they would like to go west, to Seattle or Las Vegas and balance out the league geographically for a number of reasons.
EJ Hradek (3:28 PM)
We're down the stretch. Talk to you again come playoff time!