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 (3:57 PM)
Hello all, welcome back. Where were we?
Logan Marin (Louisiana)
YES!!!! A hockey fan in Louisiana....I'm a long time Phoenix Coyote fan ever since living in Phoenix, but the question is do you believe in the Coyotes to seal the deal on a truly remarkable season and get far into the playoffs? I believe!!!
Scott Burnside (3:58 PM)
Logan; Now if we can just find some hockey fans in Phoenix. But you are right, a truly remarkable season. I worry that their lack of offense will catch up with them but they are going to be a formidable team to play against in terms of their team defense and goaltending. Define deep. I think they can win at least one round.
Greg (Red Rocking, VA)
Which teams represent the worst matchups for the CAPs and why?
Scott Burnside (4:00 PM)
Greg; I doubt if there are many teams that represent a bad match-up given the way the Caps are playing. They are the cream of the crop right now. The one team I think presents the greatest challenge will be Pittsburgh because of their recent playoff history and the fact Crosby has bested Ovechkin where it matters most in team competition. Can't wait for that playoff re-match.
Scott, whats up with my Devils. They can't beat anyone not named the Penguins. Is Kovalchuk ever going to do anything or was this just a wasted trade?
Scott Burnside (4:02 PM)
Dan; That's the risk in adding a singular talent that is used to having his own way (like playing an entire power play and not having to backcheck). No one will care if Kovalchuk lights it up in the playoffs but he's only played in four post-season games in his career so his body of work in the pressure cooker is pretty limited. The Devils should get through the first round easily enough but I'm interested in how they match up against a Buffalo or Pittsburgh or Washington in the second round. Frankly I don't like their chances.
Mike (St. Louis)
Scott, what do you see the Blues doing with Davis Payne as coach for next season? If they go in a different directions what big names will be around in the open market?
Scott Burnside (4:04 PM)
Mike; Great question. Assuming the Blues fall short in making the playoffs - their loss to Nashville yesterday was a killer - I wouldn't be surprised to see new GM Doug Armstrong put his own stamp on the team with a more experienced coach. That said, if Armstrong feels young players like Alex Steen, having a breakout year, and David Backes, T.J. Oshie et al are thriving under Payne he'll get a chance at least early into next season to prove he's an NHL coach.
Can you remember the last time one team beat the buzzer in back-to-back games like Detroit did? Crazzzy....
Scott Burnside (4:06 PM)
Dan; You are right on with that. Those extra two points (one in a shootout loss to Edmonton and the other in the overtime win against Vancouver) may well be the difference between making it and not for the Wings.
Why can't the Rangers get back to being one of the elite teams in the NHL?
Scott Burnside (4:07 PM)
Rob; Pretty simple. Look at the guy wearing the GM's hat and you'll find your answer quick enough.
Pete (Helsinki, Finland)
Hey Scott! Big fan out here, follow every game of the Red Wings because I love Valteri Filppula. However, the news here today is all about Selanne and his number 600 last night, he looks as if he will pass Kurri soon for the greatest scoring Finn. Is there any doubt that he is the greatest Finn to play the game? And do we get to see him play another season in the NHL (maybe in Detroit?) :) All the best! Kiitos! (thank you)
Scott Burnside (4:09 PM)
Pete; Welcome. And I think if Selanne feels healthy enough at the end of the season he'll give it one more shot. The thing about him, though, is he doesn't need the money so he won't be sticking around unless he truly thinks he can play at a top level. He can but his durability is a real issue. Doubt if he'd go anywhere but Anaheim. And yes, I think it's fair to call him the greatest Finn of all time.
Philly Dan (Philly)
With carter now out, where do u see the flyers finishing in the east
Scott Burnside (4:11 PM)
Philly; Luckily for the Flyers they play in the abysmal Eastern Conference but with shoddy goaltending like we saw on the weekend and now with Jeff Carter out with a foot injury for a month it's not looking good for the Flyer faithful. I am guessing they hang onto the sixth spot maybe seventh with Montreal jumping into fifth. Beyond that? Hard to imagine them beating anyone in the top of the bracket although I do think they match up pretty well with New Jersey.
Mike (St. Louis)
Hey Scott thanks for the chat, Heard the rumors bout Iginla maybe being asked to lift his NO trade clause I think he'd be a great fit in St. Louis what would it take in a trade to get him and would that make a good fit?
Scott Burnside (4:13 PM)
Mike; Better question will be who would ask Iginla to waive his no-trade as I think it'll be hard for Darryl Sutter to hang onto his seat as GM if the Flames don't make the playoffs. As for that Iginla rumor I say no chance even if he would look good in St. Louis (and Nashville and Toronto and Atlanta and...).
Kevin (Chesterfield, MI)
Do you think there will be any relocation of teams during the off season? Columbus? Atlanta? Nashville?
Scott Burnside (4:13 PM)
Kevin; Only team potentially on the move this off-season will be Phoenix if potential buyers (Ice Edge or Jerry Reinsdor et al) can't get a new lease done with the City of Glendale.
Caps + Pens or the field to represent the East for the Stanley's?
Scott Burnside (4:14 PM)
Owen; Caps or Pens.
Will Marian Hossa make it to the Finals and third year in a row and lose again? oh the humanity...
Scott Burnside (4:16 PM)
Andrew; Unless the 'Hawks start to get their act together and I don't just mean get better goaltending Hossa won't have to worry about facing all those three times in a row a bridesmaid questions from us hockey writers.
B-Diddy (Munstoeville, WYO)
Hi Scott- The Avs are in big trouble if they don't win their next 2, what gives? You think they can take the home-and-home with LA? Something tells me they'll win this one (because they rarely have 2 stinkers in a row), it's Wednesday's game at home I'm worried about.
Scott Burnside (4:18 PM)
B-Diddy; You are right on about the Avs having fallen down the rabbit hole. With Detroit, Nashville and to a lesser degree Calgary all playing well the Avs aren't going to be able to back into the playoffs. I think getting at least two of four points from the Kings is crucial. This is where you wonder if the pressure will start to get to a team with so little playoff experience.
dion phaneuf has not produced this year quite like in the past, even after the trade. what do you think is the cause for this? he is still getting plenty of ice time and taking shots...just not getting the bounces?
Scott Burnside (4:19 PM)
tom; It's a great mystery as I agree he is getting quality minutes in Toronto. Now the team is playing a lot better which is, big picture, more important, and I think his play is part of that. I think he'll bounce back and be among the top 10 point producers among defensemen next year. This has been a real slap in the face year for Phaneuf, discarded by the Flames, left off the Olympic team etc. etc. He should be better next season.
Do you see the Thrashers sneaking into the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (4:21 PM)
Scott; We will know in about 26 1/2 hours. Tuesday's tilt with Boston in Atlanta is this team's defining moment, I think, a chance to take over 8th on their own, no scoreboard watching. I like their chances, too, as they have Toronto and home and home with Carolina later this week. Bottom line is the last time the team faced a scenario like this - masters of their own destiny - they lost six in a row.
Scott, I just log in, scroll down and already see you doubting the Devils twice. Why do you never, ever believe in them?
Scott Burnside (4:23 PM)
Charlie; The fact they have failed to win more than one playoff round since 2003 and the fact there is really nothing about this year's team that suggests this year will be any different.
Hey Scott. What is wrong with Henrik Zetterberg? He's got 60 points this season after having some nagging injuries that haven't cost him that many games. He's gone from 39 to 43 to 31 to 20 goals this season. I realize he's talented defensively, but for a 29 year old who makes $7.5 million a year, that's not good enough.
Scott Burnside (4:25 PM)
Cam; I think it's a combination of personal health issues and the overall health of the team that has seen Mike Babcock constantly juggle lines and line-ups. But agreed, Zetterberg needs to be better. Of course come playoff time if he plays like he has the last couple of springs no one will remember the regular season.
Hey Scott, Has anybody outside of DC noticed Jose Theodores play in 2010? Can anyone beat the Caps if he keeps this up?
Scott Burnside (4:27 PM)
Bill; The single-biggest factor in whether the Caps win a Cup or bust out. He has been terrific and his is a terrific story given his personal tragedy in the off-season with the loss of his infant son. But (and you knew this was coming, no?) the proof will be in Theodore's ability to consistently bring that high level of play beyond say the first round.
What is with the Coyotes? Are they actually that good that they are tied for first in the West?! Everybody picked them to be last!
Chances the second seed in the EC goes to a northeast divison team?
Scott Burnside (4:31 PM)
Nick; Yes they are that good. Not flashy - obviously - but they have bought into Dave Tippett's system and they have been rewarded. I'm not sure they've got the horses to get beyond one round but they play playoff style hockey pretty much every night, aren't afraid to grind out one-goal games and with San Jose and Chicago showing some weakness I think the west is wide open. And, yes, I had them dead last in the west.
Scott Burnside (4:33 PM)
Andrew; Sorry about that. Good point. Sabres are rolling and just a couple of points behind Pittsburgh/New Jersey. That would be a great feat for the Sabres, I think, good for the soul heading into the post-season. I think it'll be neck and neck as it is now but the Sabres do have an easier time of schedule-wise.
jeff (newport beach , Ca)
Scott my brotha, the ducks........ umm where do we begin. who's to blame. one of the most talented teams in the nhl and playing in one of the best arens around the league. 8 olympians(including whitney)it seems like the philosophy of a deep, ruthless, fighting team lead by defense and an intimidating forecheck is a thing of past, what happened to my Ducks?
Scott Burnside (4:35 PM)
jeff; All true although I think the change in personnel and fortune illustrates the fleeting nature of dominance in the NHL. Giguere's play fell off, Pronger had to be dealt because of Niedermayer's return, Sammy Pahlsson, Travis Moen left because there's always a market for Cup winners with grit. Still like the core of this team and Hiller is the real deal. They'll be back.
Derek Felici (West Virginia)
Scott, what do you think about Fluery's current inconsistent play, and i am a penguins fan, and im going to be brutally honest, im worried due to the amount of hockey we have played over the past two years, i dont care how young we are, its been two long seasons, your thoughts
Scott Burnside (4:36 PM)
Derek; If I'm a Pens fan all I do is take a look at any of the 16 playoff wins Fleury collected last spring and my pulse rate goes down. But you make a very valid point about fatigue, mostly mental, given the amount of hockey they have logged. That might be the difference in an emotionally charged series against a Washington or New Jersey.
Andy (Newport Beach)
Scott,Out of all the teams pushing for a playoff spot in the west, which team do you think the top teams in the west do not want to see the most?
Scott Burnside (4:38 PM)
Andy; The way the Sharks are playing they won't want to face anyone but the Tampa Bay Lightning. But seriously, I think Detroit for obvious reasons (skill, character and experience) and Anaheim with their experience, too. Calgary's a funny team. If they make it I wouldn't be surprised to see them knock off a team like San Jose or Phoenix but they could just as easily get swept.
Tommy (Fairfax, VA)
Ovechkin mvp? How impressive would it be given he's missed 10 games?
Scott Burnside (4:38 PM)
Tommy; It's going to be an interesting voting process. The numbers mostly favor Ovechkin and I think ultimately he will get the hardware.
Is it fair for me to start really disliking Joe Nieuwendyk? Fire Tip and hire Crawford...trade for Lehtonen and get nothing for Turco (not to mention giving up on Vishnevsky at age 21)...I understand Nieuwy had a vision for this franchise but boy is this ship sinking fast. What's going on here?
Scott Burnside (4:41 PM)
Josh; I think you have to cut Nieuwendyk a little slack. Agreed, hated the Tippett firing and liked the Crawford hiring even less. But rookie GMs often make similar mistakes (see Peter Chiarelli hiring Dave Lewis). There are lots of interesting moving pieces in Dallas; Neal, Benn, Fistric et al and it was time for Turco to go. Don't think Lehtonen is the answer, either, but there you go. Keep the faith.
Mike (St. Louis)
Scott, there was alot of talk about the Ownership in PHX in the pre-season this year, how has this run and there terrific season effected there future in Arizona?
Scott Burnside (4:42 PM)
Mike; It all comes down to the City of Glendale agreeing to a new lease agreement. I think the on-ice performance has brought into sharper focus the potential for the game to succeed there but if city officials can't get it done the Coyotes will be on the move - likely back to Winnipeg. How ironic would that be?
What's your thoughts for the Canucks out on the West? With San Jose and Chicago suffering, could this be a good opportunity for the Canucks to meet the CAPS or PITS in the finals?
Scott Burnside (4:44 PM)
Mike; Love the way the Canucks play. Deep down the middle. Defense okay. Goaltending, potentially superb. Like the Canucks to go to at least a conference final and they would give Washington or Pittsburgh all they could handle in a final. Think the City of Vancouver would have had a good year with an Olympics and Stanley Cup championship to celebrate?
Scotty, Where do the Flyers go from here? I mean really...What a mess.
Scott Burnside (4:44 PM)
What do you think of the Bruins playoff chances?
Scott Burnside (4:46 PM)
Bob; I think we'll know a whole lot more tomorrow in Atlanta. There is just something about the Bruins that leaves me a bit cold. Yes, they can't score for the most part and they just seem, lots of times, to be so tentative compared to the team that rolled through the regular season last year and into the second round. No better than 50-50 I would say.
Rob (McLean, Va.)
Scott...So how good is Nick Backstrom...I think he's the best center in the NHL...
Scott Burnside (4:48 PM)
Rob; Funny you should ask but our boss, Joy Russo, and Pierre LeBrun and I were talking about Backstrom and his strangely low profile given his season and his talents. Best player on Team Sweden, I though, in the Olympics, but he doesn't appear on most hockey peoples' radar if you asked them to list the top 10 players in the game. These playoffs will be a great test for him, a real potential coming-out party.
Scott, judging by your questions and responses, do you think there is next to a zero percent chance it is not Wash or Pitt in the Finals representing the East?
Scott Burnside (4:50 PM)
Charlie; I'm not saying 0% but let's assume Atlanta, Ottawa, Philly (barring a miracle in net), Boston or even Montreal (too small I think for the long haul)don't factor in I think it's Washington, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and New Jersey. You know my feelings about the Devils and their ability to make a long run and Buffalo I think isn't quite there in terms of leadership and go-to guys up front. Process of elimination suggests Washington/Pittsburgh (pending, of course seedings).
Does Miller finish in the top 3 for hart trophy?
Scott Burnside (4:53 PM)
Andy; Drew? Just kidding. It will be interesting to see where Henrik Sedin fits in. I think he's worthy of being on the ballot and so I think it will come down to Miller and Sedin in the final accounting. I know some writers/voters who feel the goalie has the Vezina and are reluctant to vote for a goalie as a Hart candidate. I'm not one of them but not sure I can find room for Miller among my top three.
Do you think the Devils are in the Pens heads as far as being winless against them this year? the players are saying its a whole different ballgame if they meet in the playoffs.
Scott Burnside (4:54 PM)
Scott; It is fascinating that the Devils have owned the Pens this year, going 6-0. And if the Pens hadn't won a Cup maybe there would be something to that, 'in the head' theory. But I don't think any of that stuff matters come April.
Argonbeast0034 (St. Paul)
The Flyers should trade Giroux to Minnesota for Harding and Shepard.Harding has proven this year that he is ready to be a no. 1 goalie, and Shep can develop into a solid third line center.Giroux is a young sniper that would fill in nicey along with koivu and bruno.
Scott Burnside (4:57 PM)
Argon; It will be interesting to see what Chuck Fletcher does with Harding who will a restricted free agent. Does appear to be a nice asset to dangle at the draft perhaps. Assuming of course you believe that Niklas Backstrom's injury problems won't become a chronic thing.
Which goalies do you think are capable of stealing a series or two? Old standbys and newbies both welcome here.
Scott Burnside (4:58 PM)
Owen; I think Ryan Miller is an obvious one. Great personality for holding the fort. Ilya Bryzgalov, too. People forget he played some important minutes in the playoffs for the Ducks in '06 and '07.How about Pekka Rinne? Solid.
What flexibility do the Leafs have in the offseason? What do you see Burkie trying to do?
Scott Burnside (4:59 PM)
LMB; Leafs have tons of cap room and will be looking to add significant offensive pieces come the draft and July 1. Brian Burke isn't done yet. Not by a long-shot.
Austin (Sled dog and igloo country. Eh?)
Who is your Stanley cup underdog?
Scott Burnside (5:00 PM)
Austin; Outside the obvious I think Vancouver is the team that has the best shot at winning it all (not sure if that counts as an underdog but there you have it).
Scott Burnside (5:00 PM)
Thanks all. See you next week.