Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside will stop by to chat as Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is just hours away.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Before joining the Web site in 2005, he was a reporter for the Windsor Star and Toronto Sun. Burnside has won numerous awards, including the 1990 National Newspaper Award, and also co-authored the best-selling true crime book "Deadly Innocence" in the mid-1990s. He is based in Atlanta.
Send your questions now and join Burnside on Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Patrick (Pittsburgh, PA)
With Babcock getting final change and playing the Zetterberg on Crosby matchup, what can Coach Bylsma do to try and counteract it and hope this games outcome is the reverse of games 1,2, and 5?
Scott Burnside (1:01 PM)
Patrick, I'm not sure at this stage Dan Bylsma is going to do all that much. He'd obviously like to get Jordan Staal's line out against Zetterberg as much as possible but it's probably just as important to make sure that Crosby and Malkin aren't short-changed minutes in an effort to get away from the match-up.
KL Groenevelt (GR MI)
Any thoughts on how the officiating will go in Detroit tonight, Scott?
Scott Burnside (1:03 PM)
Actually ran into Paul Devorski who will call the game along with Bill McCreary at the morning skate. The officials had their kids down for their on-ice workout which was before the Wings' skate so it's a big day for them too. Given that they're a veteran pair I think you'll see some latitude but it's not going to be like an old wild west show. I would guess it might be called a little looser than some others but they won't be letting stuff go just because it's Game 7.
John (Pittsburgh, PA)
I look for tonights game to be decided by an unlikely hero because of the way both team's stars seem to be canceling each other out. Who is your pick to be the hero?
Scott Burnside (1:04 PM)
John; Well I'm not sure he's unlikely but Dan Cleary has had a knack for scoring the big goal. He did so late in Game 7 against Anaheim and has a nose for the net and isn't afraid to get dirty. On the Penguins' side how about Chris Kunitz. He's been snakebit most of the playoffs and would love to finish off one of the many nice Crosby feeds he's been unable to handle this spring.
Is this the last we see of Draper, Maltby, Chelios, McCarty?
Scott Burnside (1:06 PM)
Certainly this will the swan song for Darren McCarty and Chris Chelios, at least in Detroit. Wouldn't be surprised, though, to see one or both of Maltby and Draper back but the clock is definitely ticking on all those old Grind Liners.
Shawn (Garden City, MI )
Do you believe that the 2 days rest and being at home gives Detroit a little edge over the Penguins? It appears as thought the Pens haven't figured out how to beat Detroit at home this postseason.
Scott Burnside (1:07 PM)
Shawn; Yes, I think the extra rest will help Detroit especially given the bumps and bruises on guys like Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk. Now having said that the Pens sure took advantage of the extra day off to prepare for Game 6 in Pittsburgh. Both teams will be fresh which should make for a dynamic start.
Steve (Florham Park NJ)
What are the rammifications for Sid the Kid as the face of the NHL if the Pens win the cup without him scoring a goal in the series?
Scott Burnside (1:08 PM)
Steve; I don't think it will have any bearing on his status as the league's most identifiable player. He'll still be the one to get the Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman and that's what people will remember. It may cost him the Conn Smythe Trophy but I doubt if he really cares too much.
Kevin Groenevelt (Grand Rapids MI)
Scott; Nice fromat for Q/A - Thanks to You and SN! We are wondering if Hossa is ailing, and must he have a big game for the Wings to be in it for a chance to prevail?
Scott Burnside (1:09 PM)
Kevin; Yes, the new format is pretty funky, no? As for Hossa, perhaps ailing a bit but no more than anyone else in either dressing room. The Wings have managed to succeed without meaningful contributions from Hossa to this point so I'm not sure they need him to win but they wouldn't mind if he mixed in a goal or two tonight. Personally, I don't see it happening.
who do you see winning the conn smythe trophy this year if detroit wins the cup? pens? thanks in advance for taking my question.
Scott Burnside (1:11 PM)
Shareef; I think it's pretty cut and dried right now. If Detroit wins it'll be either Chris Osgood or Henrik Zetterberg. I have a vote and will cast mine for Osgood if the Wings win. If the Penguins win I think it's much tighter between Malkin and Crosby. Malkin has more points but has shown less discipline, taking bad penalties. Might come down to a Game 7 moment to tip the balance if the Pens win.
Sean (Pittsburgh, Pa)
As a penguin fan, I absolutely dread the thought of overtime with Marion Hossa getting the cup winning goal. It'd be a great story line for you, but would be a deathblow to this city. If Hossa or say, Kunitz get the deciding goal, does that vindicate their lackluster postseason performance?
Scott Burnside (1:12 PM)
Sean; If Hossa scores the OT winner that one will pretty much write itself sorry to say. As for vindication perhaps but both players have been inexplicably unproductive which must be troubling for both Detroit GM Ken Holland and his counterpart Ray Shero.
Ron Walker (Pittsburgh, PA)
What are the odds Crosby drinks Hossa's tears our of Lord Stanley's Cup if the Pens win tonight?
Scott Burnside (1:13 PM)
Did you see the Adam Proteau (sp?) article in The Hockey News, suggesting to leave Bettman out of awarding the cup because of the booing. Instead, have last year's captain or team Legend hand it out. Thoughts?
Scott Burnside (1:13 PM)
Patrick; I did see and think that the commissioner should always hand out the Cup even if he does get booed. Wonder why that is?
Kyle (Los Angeles)
Do you think the pens have a chance without Malkin or Crosby getting on the score sheet? I think that both are due for a big game, but the onus is really on Fluery. The support scoring has been alright for the pens (with Staal being the main man), so which is more important to the outcome, the stars getting on the board or Fluery playing like he played in game 6?
Scott Burnside (1:15 PM)
Kyle; I agree that both Malkin and Crosby are due and likewise agree that Marc-Andre Fleury's solid play, especially early on, will be crucial to the Pens' chances. The Pens did manage to win their first game of the post-season without Malkin or Crosby getting a point in Game 6 but I don't think you can go to that well a second game in a row.
Make your pick Scott!!!
Scott Burnside (1:15 PM)
All in good time my friend.
John (Livonia, MI)
Why should Crosby win the Conn Smythe? He is -3 in this series and 1 goal? Surely Malkin is so far ahead of him.
Scott Burnside (1:16 PM)
John; Well, it is an award based on the entire playoffs and Crosby does have 15 playoff goals.
At this point, game 7, home ice certainly plays an advantage, but not as much as earlier in the season. With Detroit having noticibly "soft" boards that seem to guide the puck towards the net, shouldn't the Pens be more accustomed to this now, possibly giving them increased confidence?
Scott Burnside (1:17 PM)
Jason; I thought it strange the Pens didn't practice at Joe Louis Arena yesterday but Dan Bylsma said he felt the number of times they'd played/practiced here have given them enough of a feel that it was better to spend as much time at home. We'll see if he's right.
obviously scuderi has been huge for the pens this postseason and being a free agent after the year he is getting more expensive by the shift. any chance he resigns with pittsburgh or will he be too expensive?
Scott Burnside (1:19 PM)
Matt: It will be interesting. Like a lot of players whose teams advance deep into the post-season Rob Scuderi's stock is way up. And it should be. He's been a rock. Not to mention saving Game 6 in the dying seconds. But he's a smart guy and I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay in Pittsburgh for less money and a longer term. That's the allure of playing with guys like Crosby and Malkin.
Billy (South Florida)
Best storyline for the night would be goals in this order:Malkin (1-0)Hossa (1-1; 1st Intermission)Crosby (2-1)Hossa (2-2; 2nd Intermission)Hossa (3-2; Final in OT)Picture perfect right?
Scott Burnside (1:20 PM)
Billy; Perfect scenario if you're a Wings fan or Hossa's family.
Scott, do you see Dan Bylsma putting Crosby and/or Malkin on the PK? If you remember, Malkin killed penalties at a very high level in the 2006 Olympics and Crosby has done it intermittently throughout the year - this could be a way to get the two to 24-25 minutes of ice time, like they should be getting.
Scott Burnside (1:21 PM)
Ben; I think one of the reasons neither player has spent much time on the PK is that Bylsma likes to watch their minutes. But since there's no tomorrow if the Pens get behind or get into penalty trouble I think you'll definitely see them out there in that situation.
Dany Heatley (Ottawa)
Where am i playing next season?
Scott Burnside (1:21 PM)
Dany; You're not making many friends in Ottawa that's for sure. My guess is Los Angeles.
are the wings too tired to win tonight? at times their age really shows.
Scott Burnside (1:22 PM)
Keith: I don't think anyone will be tired tonight.
Mikael Samuelsson (Detroit)
Where am I playing next season?
Scott Burnside (1:23 PM)
Hmmm. Mikael I don't know why but I see you in Atlanta.
Lee (Traverse City MI)
I am wondering about the Det Defense as an offensive weapon. Any thoughts? Thanks. My guess is that the Detroit BlueLiners win this game tonight, either straight, tipped or rebounded, with Ozzie standing tall in goal. But I won't be able to watch it-now that will be tough!
Scott Burnside (1:24 PM)
Lee; That's sad that you won't be watching. The Wings' blue line, at least on paper, has so much more firepower than the Pens' rearguards so your prediction may well come true. Nicklas Lidstrom has been largely silent in this series but if ever there was a big-game guy it's Lidstrom.
Nick (Royal Oak)
Could we really see the numbers......5, 13, 30, and 40 in the rafters at the Joe one day?
Scott Burnside (1:25 PM)
Yes. But luckily for Wings fans 13 and 40 have miles to go before they sleep.
Joey Troupe (Pittsburgh, PA)
Who is more likely to score tonight? Hal Gill, Brooks Orpik, Chris Chelios, or Me?
Scott Burnside (1:26 PM)
All I know is if I pull your name out of the hat for the winning goal pool my chances will be about the same.
marc-andre fleury (austin,tx)
Allons Pittsburgh!!!!!!! Allons Pittsburgh!!!!!!!
Scott Burnside (1:26 PM)
Oui. Ouvre la fenetre.
Ken B (Chicago)
Scott, what are your thoughts on the hiring of Marc Crawford in Dallas?
Scott Burnside (1:27 PM)
Don't like it. Not one bit.
Pick a winner for tonight and why
Scott Burnside (1:29 PM)
All right, here we go. At the start of the playoffs I picked Pittsburgh to beat Detroit in the finals. I see no reason to stray now even though the Wings are dominant at home.Pens 4 Wings 2 with an empty-netter.Enjoy. Nights like this don't come around very often.