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 (3:58 PM)
It's a beautiful day here in Montreal and the Hab fans are hoping there'll be at least one more tilt for their heroes. We'll find out. Now, where were we?
Antony Minter (Northern Virginia)
hey scottOn sunday when you were in Montreal what was the feel like amongst the players? Do the feel like they can really win this series? Also being a caps fan and loosing on Friday, I am extremely nervous about Game 6. what do you think the capitals will look to focus on in order to close to door on the series?Thanks GO CAPSSSSS!
Scott Burnside (3:59 PM)
Antony; I've never got the vibe that the Habs think they're out of this. But the vibe doesn't always tell you anything. I was talking to Pierre LeBrun yesterday and he said he thought from the body language of the Coyotes after Game 5 they were cooked and, well, guess they weren't.
Sam (State College)
Who is the best match up for my pens in round 2?
Scott Burnside (4:01 PM)
Sam; I think Boston is a favorable look for the Penguins given the problems they've had scoring. But if Marc Savard comes back that will change. And of course there's still the matter of the Buffalo Sabres for the Bruins to contend with. But as far as moving I think the Penguins would handle the Bruins and they will be happy to avoid Philadelphia and the physical game they bring. Unless of course the Habs and Bruins both win in which case it would be Pens and Flyers for the third straight year.
Is Boucher better fit for the Columbus job than Hitchcock was?
Scott Burnside (4:04 PM)
Andrew; I assume you're talking about Guy Boucher the coach of the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs and the hot coaching prospect this year. In much the same way Pete DeBoer was 'the guy' a couple of years back it seems a number of teams including Columbus will be interested in him. I don't know much about his style but he does appear to be a top coaching prospect which would appear to fit with what direction the Blue Jackets want to take their team.
Bill (Washington, DC)
True or False: Jimmy Howard faces the most pressure to win out of any Red Wing or Coyote in Game 7?
Scott Burnside (4:04 PM)
Bill; I think that's probably fair. I read somewhere that he said after Game 6 that the Coyotes were "lucky". Yikes. But he's responded to pressure all year. Can't wait for that one.
Mike (Rochester, NY)
Do you think Joe Pavelski may have just beat up a monkey that has been hanging out on some teal backs?
Scott Burnside (4:06 PM)
Mike; Well, beating Colorado is sure better than the alternative. But with all due respect to the plucky Avs, the Sharks should have won. Pavelski was terrific. So was Ryane Clowe and David Setoguchi. But Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau combined for one goal. Now if they get rolling in the second round, who knows where Shark train stops. But, well, Sharks fans know what that 'but' means.
Scott, Vanek is back tonight and that gets me pumped, what are your thoughts about the game and his contribution?
Scott Burnside (4:07 PM)
Joe; Sabres are one of two teams (Nashville the other) that hasn't scored a power play goal in the playoffs. Vanek will help out there. This is a good test for him to see if he's ready to accept a leadership role. Sabres will spend a long summer kicking themselves if they lose to an under-manned Bruins team in the first round. And they should.
Charles (Taunton, MA)
Scott, I just want to know what you think the Bruins chances are closing out the series tonight against Buffalo...i say if it goes to a Game 7 the Bruins are done...agreed? Thanks again for the chats...keep up the good work!
Scott Burnside (4:08 PM)
Charles; Thanks. Further to the question from above (below?) I think you're right on. The Bruins don't want to be heading back to Buffalo for a Game 7 having to ask questions about possibly blowing another 3-1 series lead, blah, blah, blah. I think tonight is their best shot at moving on.
Adam (Southern Maryland)
Mr. Burnside, do you foresee a situation where the Caps could collapse, much like they did last year in the Pens series?
Scott Burnside (4:10 PM)
Adam; Will be able to better answer that question in about six hours. But they're a good team, better than a year ago, I think. They're deeper up front, more experienced. As long as Semyon Varlamov continues to play as he has the Caps are going to be a handful for anyone they face starting tonight with the Habs.
David (Dallas, TX)
Where do the Kings go next?
Scott Burnside (4:11 PM)
David; I think they continue on the path that's right in front of them. I think the biggest question is going to be whether Jonathan Quick can use what was a real up and down playoff experience in his first test as a player to get better. We saw Carey Price struggle with consistency after having a miserable playoff with Montreal two years ago. Quick has to grow from this and not let it set him back. And he'll get a real push from Jonathan Bernier in goal which will be good, too. Still, lots of reason for optimism in Los Angeles.
Michael (Oakland, CA)
After that heartbeaking loss on Saturday, I just cannot see Nashville coming back. With that said, who is a more favorable opponent for the Sharks: Phoenix or Detroit? I see the Sharks as the underdog against either of the two.
Scott Burnside (4:13 PM)
Michael; I think you're right. As well-coached as the Predators are that loss is just one of those kicks in the teeth that will be hard to get over. A Chicago win would mean they would play Vancouver and the Sharks would draw the winner of Detroit/Phoenix. I think the Coyotes are a better draw for the Sharks just because, at least on paper, the Coyotes don't match up offensively. Of course tell that to the Wings where the same argument was made. The Wings' experience, though, makes them very dangerous especially if they escape a 7th game in Phoenix.
Alex Ovechkin (D.C.)
How come Hossa doesn't get suspended for same hit I make?
Scott Burnside (4:14 PM)
Alex; Because that's not what the black eight ball told Colin Campbell to do when he turned it over and read the message on the bottom.
Andrew (Chicago, IL)
Hi Scott,I'm a Hawks fan and I have no affiliation with Vancouver, but this season I've thought that the Canucks have been consistently underrated. I really think they have a shot at the cup. Thoughts on that?Thanks.
Scott Burnside (4:16 PM)
Andrew; You'll get a close-up view of the Canucks for the second straight post-season if I guess correctly on how the next couple of days play out. But they are definitely a more dangerous team than a year ago. Much deeper offensively. Mikael Samuelsson is having a monster playoff. The Sedin twins are rocking. The blue remains a real question mark though and that's something I think the Blackhawks will try and exploit if they meet.
Scott, what was your take on the Hossa hit? Personally, I don't think it deserved a suspension. There was no clear malicious intent to Hossa's slight push like the Ovechkin thrust of Campbell into the boards.
Scott Burnside (4:17 PM)
Dave; I thought the two hits were very similar. Dangerous but not malicious. Still don't know why Hossa wasn't ejected from the game as Ovechkin was at the time. And given the two-game suspension handed down to Ovechkin I thought Hossa deserved a one-game sit in the playoffs. The suspension is supposed to be for the act not the outcome but the NHL constantly changes its basis for handing out discipline so who knows?
Where do the Devils go after Lemaire's retiring?
Scott Burnside (4:19 PM)
Jim; A bit shocking wasn't it, to hear that Jacques Lemaire had announced he was retiring instead of carrying on after just one year in Newark. The folks at The Rock will start to get a complex. But it's a telling sign and not a good one for a franchise that appears to be slipping into decay. They haven't been beyond the second round since 2003 and have gone out in the first round in three straight seasons. It will be interesting to see who Lou Lamoriello goes after but maybe a guy like Craig MacTavish would help turn things around.
What do you think about Bruce's recent "outbursts" about Green?
Scott Burnside (4:20 PM)
Anthony; I think it's a coach who is trying to insulate a player against criticism. His point is a good one but I still don't think Green has been all that effective thus far. It's early, though.
I think we can all agree that the Rangers should can Sather, but whats the realistic chance of that actually happening?
Scott Burnside (4:21 PM)
Dustin; Zero. Ah, owners. Makes you wonder how they ended up with all that money to begin with doesn't it?
Scott, Buff and Pitt would have to win for Philly-Pitt to be a second-round matchup -- not Boston and Pitt.
Scott Burnside (4:23 PM)
Drew; You're right. If Pittsburgh, Boston, Philly and Montreal all advanced it would be Pittsburgh and Montreal in the second round.My mistake.
walt (mobile, al)
you should get an award for your pens prediction last year, do you think the pens have the heart left-over to make it to the finals again?
Scott Burnside (4:25 PM)
walt; Trust me I've been dining out on that for a full year in the hopes that it will make people forget I have now taken the Canucks to lose in the first round in two straight years and they've instead gone 8-2. Oh well. But, yes, I do think the Pens have what it takes to get to the finals again. I still have them penned in to face Washington in the conference final and must admit to really hoping that happens just for the drama that series would bring.
Niedermeyer and Selanne - what's your hunch on whether either one will play next year?
Scott Burnside (4:26 PM)
Kirk; Absolutely no inside knowledge on this but I wouldn't be surprised to see Selanne back given the injuries and the fact the Ducks missed the post-season in spite of a spirited charge down the stretch. Niedermayer I think may be at the end of the line, though. Just a hunch.
Scott, Which one will happen first a Semin goal, a Capitals power play goal, or a loss to the Habs?
Scott Burnside (4:26 PM)
Bill; Great question. Hmmm. A Caps power play goal by Semin. How's that. In the first period.
Is it fair to say that during these playoffs, Jordan Staal may be a more important factor than Evgeni Malkin? I only say this because Sid and co have picked up the scoring, while Staal's two way play is extremly impressive and underrated. He makes guys work so hard to get the puck from him.
Scott Burnside (4:29 PM)
Jason; It's an interesting point. I think in a series against let's say Boston or Buffalo, yes, Staal's two-way play will be crucial in what will likely be low-scoring affairs. I still don't think you can underestimate the dynamics that occur when both Crosby and Malkin are cooking. We saw it in the Washington series last year. Still, love Jordan Staal and thought he was full value for his selection as a Selke finalist.
tony (LA, CA)
is Brodeur on his way down? he made some good saves this playoffs, but still didnt play great.
Scott Burnside (4:30 PM)
tony; Well, none of us is getting any younger and that certainly includes Martin Brodeur. Too many games in my estimation as he once again seemed to wear down in the post-season. He hasn't had a dominant series since 2003.
do you put any stock into being 'rusty' if your team beats an opponent in 4 or 5 games then you have to wait til your opponent to finish their series in either 6 or 7 - does the time in between provide rest or does it just throw off chemistry and momentum?
Scott Burnside (4:32 PM)
brett; I don't think so. Although it's funny my colleague Chris Stevenson of the Sun chain of papers in Canada did some research last week and found that most of the teams that have won the Cup in the last 13 years have actually played more games than their opponents in the finals. So maybe rust is a factor just as perhaps playing lots of games isn't the negative element you would imagine.
Scott, great stuff as always. Let's talk John Carlson. Have you ever seen a rookie blueliner not get called up until the end of the season and be this effective in the playoffs? I'd argue he's been the Caps most consistent puck-mover back there since being brought up from Hershey.
Scott Burnside (4:35 PM)
Bryan; You are too kind. And you're right John Carlson has been a revelation. Bruce Boudreau has no hesitation having him on the ice at key moments whether the Caps are up or down. He has been their most consistent player on the back end this series. Interesting to see that P.K. Subban another dominant junior/AHL player was called up by the Habs today and will likely play tonight. Both are terrific young blue liners.
Is it that the Flyers just own the Devils and not have a shot against anyone else? Losing Cater and Gagne have to catch up with them at some point? I just don't see Hartnell and JVR scoring the goals they would!
Scott Burnside (4:37 PM)
Jay; I think the second round will be tough for the Flyers no matter who they play. There has to be some emotional drop-off after getting such great performances from Brian Boucher and Dan Carcillo et al and then losing Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter long-term. But, that said, Peter Laviolette is a good coach and the big man on the blue line, Chris Pronger, has dragged teams from Edmonton and Anaheim a lot further than people thought they'd do. One thing, no one gets a free walk through the Flyers. Whoever it is had better be ready to pay the price.
Why no Sabres love? Vanek is back, they dominated the last game...yet all I see is how the Pens would prefer to face the Bruins instead of Flyers or other scenarios not involving the boys from B-lo.
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
Troy; Love Buffalo. Any city whose fans party under an interstate freeway overpass before games is okay with me. And I think the Sabres win tonight and force a 7th game which they will win at home.
Prediction for the games tonight?
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
Mike;Buffalo 4 Boston 2Washington 4 Montreal 3 OT
If the Preds can win tonight, do you think the Hawks will be reeling in Chicago? They haven't put teams away very well the latter part of the season and with Hornqvist potentially returning, Nashville's PP will get much better.
Scott Burnside (4:41 PM)
Josh; Preds power play couldn't get much worse. But if Nashville can somehow get to Antti Niemi again, not just beat them but maybe force him into a couple of bad goals, yes, there will be tremendous pressure on him going back home for Game 7. Still think the 'Hawks smell blood and this will be over tonight.Chicago 3 Nashville 1
The Sens pushed the Pens about as hard any anyone could've hoped, and this all without Michalek and Kovalev and with Alfie playing with a sports hernia. Is their great play, and the development of Karlsson, enough to give Sens fans reason to be very optimistic about next year, or does the uncertainty in goal loom too large?
Scott Burnside (4:44 PM)
Luke; Yes and No. Kovalev wasn't very good for much of the season. And the goaltending still remains in a state of flux given Pascal Leclaire's awful regular season and Brian Elliott's mediocre post-season. And it doesn't look like the Sens will have the money to lock up Anton Volchenkov long-term which would be a huge loss.
Jonny Nashville (Nashville (duh))
What kind of impact will PK Subban have tonight?
Scott Burnside (4:44 PM)
Jonny; The way the Montreal media was on this story this morning you'd think he was the second coming of Lapointe/Robinson/Savard all rolled into one. I am thinking modest at best.
Will the Wings win game 7 at Phoenix?
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
Tom; Yes.Detroit 3 Phoenix 2 OT
Given how far they are under the cap, it's safe to say the Isles will end up with Kovalchuk or Iginla, right?
Scott Burnside (4:46 PM)
Vance; Given that Kovalchuk will be an unrestricted free agent they would have to throw an awful lot of money at him to get him onto the Island. That's just the reality. A trade could bring in Iginla but I would think Garth Snow would have to be pretty sure he's on the cusp of having a playoff team before he'd send young talent away for a veteran like Iginla whose production appears to be on the wane.
Other than the Flyers, who has been the most impressive team you have seen in round 1?
Scott Burnside (4:47 PM)
Carl; Well Vancouver has looked pretty darned good. And San Jose showed pretty good bounce-back. But I think Philadelphia has been the hands-down surprise. Even though I picked them to win with their injuries the fact they were able to deal with the Devils in five games was shocking.
Gary (Los Angeles)
Do you think a Kolvachuk type player is a big piece to the Kings furthering their advancement?
Scott Burnside (4:48 PM)
Gary; I wouldn't be surprised to see the Kings explore that kind of impact player. They've got tons of cap room and will want to keep fans energized in that market.
Everyone talks about Nashville being a well coached team. Do you think Coach Trotz would fair as well on a team "loaded" with talent...or is he better suited to handle what he has here in Nashville?
Scott Burnside (4:50 PM)
Mark; That's always one of those great questions because it doesn't necessarily translate that the more talent you have the better coach you will be. Remember Trotz had a team in Nashville that was loaded with talent; Forsberg, Kariya, et al, a couple of years back and they still couldn't get out of the first round.
Does Hal Gill have the opportunity to spoil AO's post season 2 years in a row?
Scott Burnside (4:51 PM)
Joe; Hal has been getting lots of love from the media here in this series. He deserves. Very underappreciated player.
What's with the caps habs serie. Everything i hear is about the caps. When the caps win you go on how they're awesome. And when the they loose it's because they played a bad game. Why is anybody giving montreal a little credit?
Scott Burnside (4:52 PM)
Vez; That's the problem when you're the underdog although I think Jaroslav Halak got lots of kudos after his big game in Game 5. Habs win tonight and you'll get some love.
dennis (glendale, az)
i think you have to be impressed with Phoenix, too, taking Detroit to 7 so far.
Scott Burnside (4:53 PM)
dennis; Yes. Absolutely. An oversight by me. Love Glendale.
Daniel P (Toronto)
How long does Todd McLellan keep Marleau-Thornton-Heatley together? Marleau continues to miss Thornton's passes, Heatley has one good leg...of the three, Thornton is playing the best but maybe splitting them up is the way to go.
Scott Burnside (4:55 PM)
Daniel; That will be interesting to monitor as Todd McLellan will now have to worry about upsetting his other lines - his top lines as it turns out now - if he mixes up the Big Three. If they end up playing Detroit as I suspect they will, McLellan will have to find some way to get them going.
Marc-Andre Bergeron has really struggled in this series offensively and always is a defensive liability. Is there a thought that he could be scratched tonight with the call-up of Subban? I know Subban won't play as many minutes, but he has to be better defensively, if by default. Thanks, Scott!
Scott Burnside (4:56 PM)
Rob; Am guessing that Bergeron could be in the press box to make room for Subban. Could go with seven defensemen, though, and use Bergeron on the power play or even a few shifts up front as he has done periodically throughout the season. No question, though, he's struggled in this series.
Do you see the Sedins and Samuellson continuing to play big or will they lag in the second round? Will Burrows appear?
Scott Burnside (4:58 PM)
Alex; I think that big line will continue to roll but the Canucks will need buys like Burrows and Ryan Kesler to get into the flow especially if they play the Blackhawks. Both teams have great offensive depth and the Canucks will need to have theirs on display.
steve (san jose)
shame on youDEVIN setoguchinot DAVID
Scott Burnside (4:59 PM)
steve; Devin Setoguchi. Fingers moving out of sync with brain. Again.
Scott Burnside (5:00 PM)
Well folks on that note, off to the Bell Center. Let's do this again next week.