Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside will stop by to chat about the NHL's latest news and events.
Before joining ESPN 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 Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Scott Burnside (4:02 PM)
Hello hockey fans. Slightly jet-lagged but back on the continental U.S.A. after a week in Sweden. Good to be Back. So, where were we?
The AVS are off to fast start. Do you think they can keep up this pace? They have a new coaching staff, Joe Sakic retired, yet, they'r playing awesome right now.
Scott Burnside (4:03 PM)
Chizzie: Wonder what the odds in Vegas would have been at the start of training camp that the Avs would knock of Cup hopefuls San Jose and Vancouver to open the season. It can't last but a nice way to put all of the critics and skeptics (yours truly included) in their place at least for a few days. Still, watch for Craig Anderson to make the Avs a lot better than their talent may warrant.
Doug (Long Island)
Scott, Were you impressed with the Isles in their opener? They outplayed the Pens for 2 periods and Rolosson looked good.
Scott Burnside (4:05 PM)
Doug; I didn't get to see the game but saw some of the highlights and read the reports after and it looked pretty impressive. If the Isles can get that kind of consistency out of Roloson and Martin Biron they will definitely be a more competitive squad than a year ago.
Tim V (San Jose, CA)
Hey Scott! I love your column and after watching every Atlantic Division team play this weekend I couldn't decide which top line on each team was more exciting to watch. So I was wondering which top line you think will have the best year, or will simply be flat out the most fun to watch?New Jersey: Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie LangenbrunnerPhiladelphia: Scott Hartnell-Jeff Carter- JVRN.Y. Rangers: Chris Higgins-Vaclav Prospal-Marian GaborikN.Y. Islanders: Sean Bergenheim-John Tavares-Kyle OkposoPittsburgh: Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Bill GuerinIf not in the Atlantic, then best/most fun in entire NHL?
Scott Burnside (4:07 PM)
Tim; You are clearly a man of great taste and character. But I digress. I know there are some who think the Central Division is the deepest in hockey but love to watch those Atlantic Division teams go after each other. Not a lot of love lost from top to bottom. As for exciting lines it's going to be interesting to see what becomes of the James vanRiemsdyk experiment in Philly. He made it impossible to send him down and now he's playing quality minutes. As if the Flyers needed another offensive weapon.
Bobby (Greenville, NC)
Do you think Carolina fans have anything to worry about? Erik Cole is out 4-6 weeks and they've looked pretty bad their first 2 games. Time for panic mode yet?
Scott Burnside (4:08 PM)
Bobby; No one should panic after two games. But it's interesting to see the 'Canes come out flat in their first two games. Paul Maurice and I were talking during the pre-season and he lamented the team's historically poor starts. Yikes. Look like history is on the verge of repeating itself in 'Canes country.
Alex (New York)
From what you've seen from the Rangers so far, do you think they have finally ended the offensive woes that seem to forever plague them?
Scott Burnside (4:10 PM)
Alex; I think it's pretty early to suggest the Rangers' offense is fixed. Marian Gaborik is the real deal and seems to work well with Vinny Prospal but it's going to take more than a couple of nights to convince me that Brandon Dubinsky is a number-one center capable of playing that role for an entire season.
Scott - Barker was such a huge force on the PP for the Hawks last year. Why is he not getting prime PP time so far? Is a return to healthy scratches like last year next for Cam?
Scott Burnside (4:13 PM)
Pete; I am just guessing as I wasn't in Helsinki and I haven't spoken to my colleague Pierre LeBrun about this but with Seabrook and Keith getting top time on the power play and the desire to wring as much out of Brian Campbell as humanly possible maybe head coach Joel Quenneville just doesn't feel Barker is deserving of any more time. And while i doubt Barker will often be a healthy scratch the bottom line for Quenneville is performanace Barker had better remember that.
Do you think the Pens will end up missing Hal Gill or Scuderi, or do you think Mckee and Goligoski can effectively replace them?
Scott Burnside (4:15 PM)
Jason; I'm not sure we'll know the answer to that until April when the playoffs start but I do know Jay McKee is a solid player when he stays healthy and a terrific guy in the room. Goligoski is the wild card. Got a big taste of the NHL last year and then saw the Pens win it all from the sidelines. He's got lots of up-side so the movement of Gill and Scuderi may accelerate his development. Playoff time, though, is when the real accounting of those moves will come.
Maple Leafs will bounce back and get to the playoffs. Confirm or deny?
Scott Burnside (4:16 PM)
Chris: Which year?
Mike (South Jersey)
After many years of agonizingly average goaltending from my Flyers, I'm very excited about what I've seen from Ray Emery so far. Is this a flash in the pan, or is Emery for real?
Scott Burnside (4:17 PM)
Mike: I don't think it's a flash in the pan at all. The guy did take the Sens to the finals in 2007 and was pretty darned good. This team playing in front of him may be even better than that Sens team. Again, though, this isn't about making the playoffs it's about making a run so we'll see then. But so far so good for the re-made Ray Emery.
What's the deal with Trotz and goalies? This might be the 4th year in a row where the goalie situation undergoes a shift. Can the team ever succeed with this kind of uncertainty year in and year out?
Scott Burnside (4:20 PM)
Mikey; I know, curious decision to start Dan Ellis in the opener. But Barry Trotz got it right as the Preds won. And give credit to Trotz for rewarding Ellis whom he thought had a better camp. Long-term though, Pekka Rinne has got to be the guy if the Preds are going to be in the playoff hunt. If you're seeing a lot of Ellis that can't be a good sign.
Bud (North Carolina)
Yo Scott, how many goals do you think Big Daddy Kane (aka Patrick Kane) will score this year?
Scott Burnside (4:20 PM)
Bud; Kane's off to a great start and from watching on the tube in the press room in Stockholm looked like the best player on the ice in both those games.Let's say 41.
Talk about the Coyotes getting no respect!! We're 1-0. Look for us to dominate the west, eh?
What do you think are Cam Ward's chances of making the Olympic team after his past two starts?
Scott Burnside (4:23 PM)
Lloyd; Go 'Yotes, go.Can't think of a nicer reward for those guys and for head coach Dave Tippett. Good on them. It'll be one of the Cinderlla stories of all time if they can sneak into the
Scott Burnside (4:26 PM)
Aaron; Sorry, dumped your question too early. Well, the problem for Cam Ward is if his next 10 or 15 starts look like the first couple of outings. Don't think that will be a problem but he will really have to turn it on to have a shot of making that team as I figure he's fourth on the depth chart right now behind Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Marc-Andre Fleury.
what do you think of nick bonino boston university center? and why doesnt anyone talk about the getzlaf line its always oh sidney crosby and alexander ovechkin. everyone hates or doesnt care about the ducks in my opinion
Scott Burnside (4:30 PM)
albert; Must admit to not knowing much about Nick Bonino other than that he's a junior who is expected to lead BU in the Hockey East. And I agree that the Getzlaf line doesn't really get the kudos it should. I wouldn't be surprised to see Getzlaf in the top five in scoring by the end of this season and he's a lock to be Canada's first or second-line center in Vancouver.
tom (st. louis)
Thoughts on erik johnson thus far? kid seems to have bounced back nicely from ACL surgery and looks primed for an all-star type year? think so? love him on the PP
Scott Burnside (4:32 PM)
tom; Having watched up close the first two nights I thought he looked like a young player who'd missed an entire year. He got eaten alive by Pavel Datsyuk but was much better in the second game. He can blast it, that's for sure, and he's going to be a good one. But it's going to take some patience I think.
Chris (Silver Spring, MD)
We know you're a Pens guy, but Knuble and Morrison are already producing. Ovi, Laich and Semin are on fire. Erskine is punishing people on the boards. Three-or-Four and Varly seem to be in healthy competition. I know we're only two games in, but things are looking great at the Verizon Center. Whenever you want to change your Cup and Hart predictions, Ovi and the Caps will be waiting.
Scott Burnside (4:36 PM)
Chris; Not necessarily a Penguins guy, just have been to an awful lot of Pens games the last three playoff years (okay, last two). If the Caps hadn't spit the bit in Game 7 people might be accusing me of being a Caps guy. But agreed that the Caps are built for the long haul. Like some of the teams/guys we've been talking about today it's not about 'do the Caps make the playoffs?'; they should run away with the Southeast; it's about what then. Me, I'm up for another Pens/Caps re-match. Don't think the NHL would mind either.
Phillips Arena was electric Saturday night for the home opener against Tampa.No way we miss the playoffs if we are scoring 6 goals a game with this high flying offense!
Scott Burnside (4:41 PM)
Matias; Agreed. If the Thrash put up six a night even Kari Lehtonen ought to be able to get them into the post-season. But the question is whether Ondrej Pavelec can win enough of those 3-2 and 2-1 games to keep the Thrashers close. Nice to see the folks coming out to Philips, that's for sure.
Do the Caps really have to worry about their goalie situation when they have 4 of the top 5 point leaders?
Scott Burnside (4:42 PM)
Jeff; Only if they want to win more than one playoff round.
Jim (Grand Rapids, MI)
Hi Scott, I know that two games in a season aren't a good measuring stick, but they do show some of the glaring problems that the Wings are showing. Mental breakdowns and give aways are still there from last season and inconsistent goaltending is back. Detroit needs a great goaltending to get anywhere this season. Thoughts?
Scott Burnside (4:49 PM)
Jim; I think the goaltending issue has to be addressed. Chris Osgood will be fine but the Wings don't want him to be playing 65 or 70 games and then trying to lead them in the post-season. That means Jimmy Howard has to prove he's NHL material. He didn't look good Saturday and now has more pressure coming home. If he can't deliver the goods it forces GM Ken Holland into looking for help and that costs either in terms of prospects or draft picks. Other stuff will come around but it all starts between the pipes.
C'mon Scott - you can say bad things about the greatest player of all time as a coach. Do you think that the reall problem with the Coyotes the past few years was behind the bench, and not so much on the ice?
Scott Burnside (4:52 PM)
Paul; Not sure how you got from saying Dave Tippett is a fine coach to besmirching Wayne Gretzky. Thought Gretzky had taken some strides with a very young team. But it'll be interesting to see how Gretzky's tenure as coach is viewed if Tippett takes this team to the post-season, no?
Jason (Aracta, CA)
Hey Scott, I guess the good thing for my Ducks is the fact that they can't play worse then they did versus the Sharks. Ducks defense looks pedestrian at best, I am nervous. Insights?
Scott Burnside (4:53 PM)
Jason; That is the glass is half-full way of looking at the opener. Remember this is a blue line that has been dramatically re-made since last training camp. They'll get better.
why do you hate detroit so much? Almost all of the hockey guys at espn sip that hatorate for detroit, canadian teams and smaller markets. All i hear you talk about is the Pens, Caps and Blackhawks. Its annoying man there are more teams in the league besides those 3.
Scott Burnside (4:54 PM)
joe; Relax. Have a latte.
What's your predictions for the Avs this season?
Scott Burnside (4:55 PM)
Jordan; I still think the Avs are in trouble and a draft lottery team but goaltending covers a lot of blemishes and Craig Anderson is proving he's a good one.
Joe (Baltimore, MD)
Scott, What do you think about the Bruins this year? I think they'll do fine in the regular season, but do you think they'll have the depth to go farther in the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (4:57 PM)
Joe; I think the Bruins are again the best team in the Northeast Division and so will start with at least the third seed. They'll have to find some more offense with Phil Kessel gone but they've got a bunch of guys including Blake Wheeler, who may mature more quickly with more opportunity. Once you get to the second round, though, that's where the men are separated from the boys and one expects the Bruins will have to get to a conference final to be considered successful. Not sure they're there yet.
Erik (San Francisco)
The Sharks have sacrificed depth on D but appear more balanced & gritty through lines 3
Scott Burnside (4:58 PM)
Erik; Agreed that the blue line isn't as deep as it was a year ago but they are loaded with talent and grit up front. The issue will be in translating what should be a Stanley Cup recipe into something real next spring.
Scott, say something positive about the Red Wings.
Scott Burnside (5:00 PM)
Dan; Love Marian Hossa. Oh. He's a Blackhawk. Just kidding. Lots to love about the Wings; coaching, management, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Ville Leino is a terrific player no one knows yet, Jonathan Ericsson is the kind of gem only the Red Wings find in the draft; how was that?
Brian Snyder (Battle Creek, MI)
Will this be a breakthrough year for Hitch in Columbus this year?
Scott Burnside (5:01 PM)
Brian: You mean Ken Hitchcock? Well, I think last year was the breakthrough year, this year it's about trying to take another step forward and frankly I think that's a tall order.
Scott Burnside (5:01 PM)
Okay folks. Many thanks as always for hanging out. See you next week.