Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:14 PM)
Hang on everyone. Scott's got tied up. He'll be here at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Scott Burnside (4:29 PM)
Sorry all, a bit of a hectic few days. So, where were we?
Rob (New Castle,Pa.)
The Pens now have 12 starters out due to injury of which 2 are in the top 5 or 6 players in the league yet the n pens still have the second best point total in the EAST. Does Bylsma get some serious consideration for coach of the year? I guess the same could be asked about Shero if the have a GM of the year award.
Scott Burnside (4:31 PM)
Rob; I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after the second-last Washington/Pittsburgh game. I said at the time that both Bylsma and Bruce Boudreau should get consideration for the Jack Adams. I doubt it happens just because the way the voting usually goes to teams that really over-achieve and don't have a monster payroll. Still, does nothing to diminish the job Bylsma has done in the face of crippling injuries. Likewise I think Shero's ability to bring up quality players from the AHL and to add pieces like James Neal and Alex Kovalev without taking away from his core has been commendable and should give him some votes for the GM of the year award now in its second year.
Joey No-No (LA LA LAND)
Do the KINGS make the playoffs? Who in the Pacific will NOT make the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (4:32 PM)
Joey; Like the Kings' chances very much. The Ducks, not so much. The Stars' chances not at all.
Cdub (South Pasadena, CA)
IF Matt Cooke had blown out Ovie's knee in their game a few weeks back do you think that would of finally forced the NHL to take a hard look at the lack of player respect on the ice?
Scott Burnside (4:34 PM)
Cdbu; No, not really. I think the NHL thinks it's taking a hard look at the respect factor or lack thereof but I don't think we're close yet. I will be interested to see what the GMs come up with in March in Florida before I pass total judgment but I think until they start thinking big picture and not just how rule changes etc. impact them I am not optimistic we will see the radical change that needs to be undertaken.
Jim D. (Springfield, Mo.)
I really like the trade the Blues made with Colorado. If you can take a guess, what would you say the ceiling is for point totals in a year for Stewart and Shattenkirk? Is Stewart a 30 to 40 goal scorer?
Scott Burnside (4:36 PM)
Jim; I can assure you the responses to that big deal within the game are all over the map. I think Stewart has the tools to be a 30-plus goal guy. And got a chance to chat with Shattenkirk in Denver and then in Raleigh at All-Star, really like his game and I think depending on how much power play time he sees 40 points is reasonable. With Alex Pietrangelo developing nicely there will be less pressure on Shattenkirk to be 'the guy that replaced Erik Johnson' which I think is a good thing for him and the Blues.
Les (City of Brotherly Love)
Hey Flyer Hater, why wasn't Zherdev claimed by any teams? He has scored 15 goals in a limited role, so he does have some value.
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
Les; You've confused me with someone else, I'm Devils/Sharks/Caps/Leafs/Wild/Islanders hater.As for Zherdev I think the fact no one touched him even though he's not making all that much money ($2 million) and will be UFA at the end of the season tells you GMs feel he's way more trouble than he's worth. Obviously teams feel his skill set (high) is not worth the possible disruption to a team's chemistry at this point in the season. What a waste.
Hey Scott,I've got Derek Roy as the sabres future 2nd line center. Do the sabres trade Connolly at the deadline? They need to get another center if they lose Connolly this year if they want to still make the playoffs. Who would you go after if you were Darcy to fill the 1st line center spot?
Scott Burnside (4:43 PM)
drew; Feel bad for Derek Roy who was having a great season and really establishing himself as an elite player when he went down. I think Darcy Regier would like to unload Connolly but his cap hit is $4.5 million and he has only eight goals. If Regier does move Connolly he won't be getting much back in return that's for sure. Which is about right given the team that acquires him won't be getting much on their end.
Simple Question... Devils with the biggest turnaround in history or too little too late?
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
Chris; Logics tells us it's too late in spite of the Devils' admirable run back into the playoff race. But the good thing for them is that all of the teams within range are vulnerable. Not like the west where picking up three or four points and jumping three or four places is a monumental task the east is more open. Would be a phenomenal story if it happens.
Whats goin on with Mike Green, does he have a concussion?
Scott Burnside (4:46 PM)
eo; Saw Mike Green in the Caps room after Monday's game and I read today where they're saying flu.
Bouch or Bob? I think the players trust Bob more and play a more offensive, loose game with him in net. Bouch faces fewer shots and is the king of 3rd period let downs
Scott Burnside (4:48 PM)
Matt; That's going to be fascinating to see how Peter Laviolette handles his playoff goaltending. I am guessing Boucher gets the start but you know the leash will be pretty darned short. I expect the Flyers to playing for awhile this spring and I think it's entirely possible you see a bit of both. Check out how Laviolette used Gerber/Ward during the 'Canes run to the Cup in '06.
What team has dealt with the most devastating injuries this season? Pens? Wings? And who is your Dark horse team out of the East? West?
Scott Burnside (4:50 PM)
John; Sadly there are a bunch; Colorado, St. Louis, and yes Detroit and Pittsburgh are in there. New Jersey especially early on was really whacked. Dark horses? I don't like any of the lower seeds in the East to knock off a higher seed. Just like last year.In the west I think it's going to be interesting to see who Vancouver draws in the first round. Right now they have to hope to avoid Calgary and Chicago I think. Both would qualify as dark horses in my book.
All of us in Montreal, and those in Detroit and Vancouver don't really sympathize w/ the folks in Pittsburgh complaining about injuries. At least they had their players for some of the year.Anyway, will the Habs make a real trade or is the bored local media just drumming up anything they can?
Scott Burnside (4:52 PM)
Greg; Good point, the Hab blue line has been ravaged, too, by injuries. Interesting deal today to pick up Brent Sopel. He and Paul Mara add some nice playoff depth. Not sure if GM Pierre Gauthier will do much up front. If he gets Mike Cammalleri back and healthy and with Max Pacioretty and others chipping in nicely I don't see him making the kind of move that strikes at top draft picks or assets.
Greg (Fort Cherry)
Scott do think the Avs will try to move Liles and/or Hejduk?
Scott Burnside (4:54 PM)
Greg; I saw Greg Sherman insist he wasn't going to try and trade Milan Hejduk who has had a nice season and could become a UFA this summer. I think there's a better chance Liles is dealt. Might be a pretty decent market for a guy who can move the puck smartly and help on the power play.
Greg (Coral Gables, FL)
Scott, with the additions of Brewer, Bergeron, and Rollison, and improved play of Lecavalier, do the Bolts have enough pieces to make a deep run in the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (4:56 PM)
Greg; I do like what Steve Yzerman has done there and with Vincent Lecavalier really starting to heat up the Bolts can really bring it with their top six forwards. That will be crucial when/if they tangle with Philadelphia that boasts such great offensive depth. I think it's important for the Lightning to hold off Washington and win the Southeast giving them an easier first-round match-up than playing Pittsburgh which is likely to finish in the 4th/5th hole in the east.
scott, you blamed kovy and not maclean in your december article. from a devs fan who has watched every second of every game, you seriously need to watch closer.
Scott Burnside (4:59 PM)
Joe; You may be right. But I'm pretty sure the Kovalchuk you're watching now and have been for the last five or six weeks isn't the same one we were all watching the first six or seven weeks of the season when the Devils' chances went down the tubes. Is that the coach or the player? Maybe both.
Ryan (Damascus, MD)
Any chance the Rangers don't do anything before the deadline?
Scott Burnside (5:01 PM)
Ryan; I think Glen Sather would like to add in a couple of places including a puck-moving defenseman that could help out on the power play and a big center. Brad Richards is at the top of the list but the asking price may be too high. Teams will be trying to grab some of the nice homegrown assets Sather has assembled. I would think it's pretty important he resist the temptation.
Melrose didnt get to my question. Maybe you will.Ottawa sucks, I get it. But is there any hope for next year? Or should we just got ahead and sign a year lease for the East cellar now?
Scott Burnside (5:03 PM)
Corey; Barry's a busy man. Someone asked a similar question about what the Sens need. There are some bright spots with Erik Karlsson, Bobby Butler and Robin Lehner in goal. But depth down the middle will be crucial. A decent veteran goaltender to share the load and tutor Lehner, improved blue line. It's a big mouthful for Bryan Murray or whoever is going to be manning the ship. I am guessing the Sens will be closer to a draft lottery pick again next year than the playoffs.
Elisabeth (NY, NY)
Doe the Bruins have enough depth to hold up in the playoffs? How far do you think they go?
Scott Burnside (5:05 PM)
Elisabeth; A lot will depend on whether you think Tomas Kaberle is the missing link. The Bruins are one of the best five-on-five teams in the NHL. That's good. But I'm not sure they have enough offensive juice to play with a Washington, Pittsburgh, Philly or Tampa in a second round match-up. Do they have enough leadership to get past one of those elite teams? Right now I say they win one round and that's it.
Steve (san jose)
do you like the Sharks' new emphasis on defence? the points havent been there for their top players, but this is the most defensively commited Sharks team i've seen in a LONG time. Joe Thornton is hounding the puck like a mad man. Leading the league in takeaways.
Scott Burnside (5:06 PM)
Steve; This is an impressive run the Sharks are on. Watched that game against Pittsburgh last night and it was entertaining even though as you point out the emphasis is different than we've seen in the past. And one thing about Antti Niemi that sets him apart from the departed Evgeni Nabokov, he's been there when the temperature goes up in the playoffs.
Hey Scott, I really hate the trade the Avs made with St. Louis, and am also really questioning their dealing Craig Anderson for Elliott. I'm thinking Peter Stastny called it correctly, the franchise just got set back a couple of years or more. Any brilliant insight for another way to see it?
Scott Burnside (5:08 PM)
Jason; As I mentioned earlier, the assessment of this deal is all over the map. For me, Erik Johnson has the potential to be a franchise defenseman. For whatever reason he didn't become that in St. Louis. If he becomes that in Denver people will quickly forget Stewart/Shattenkirk. He's a terrific kid and I think this may push him onto that track. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised to see both the Avs and the Blues in the playoffs next year. First-round match-up? How sweet would that be?
canes girl (tampa)
canes going to make the playoffs??????
Scott Burnside (5:10 PM)
canes; Tough one but I say yes, the 'Canes will hold off Buffalo, Atlanta, Toronto et al. And they will give the Flyers all they can handle in the first round.
Joel (Minneapolis, MN)
Do the Wild make the playoffs? They are certainly playing better than was expected of them this year. It is nice to see Clutterbuck develop into a more productive offensive player what are your thoughts of his future in the NHL?
Scott Burnside (5:12 PM)
Joel; Spent some time in Minnesota last weekend and was impressed with the Wild and their team play. Injuries aren't making it easy on them but maybe I've got a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome but I think the Wild sneak in. They may not last long once they get there but they'll give Wild fans some much-needed post-season action.
Barney Gumble (Moe's Tavern)
Any word on if Ryan Suter is going to suit up for the Pred's tonight? We looked awful vs CBJ the other night - although his replacement Jon Blum, played really well in his first NHL game...
Scott Burnside (5:14 PM)
Barney;Checking for you.
Is Shero done?
Scott Burnside (5:14 PM)
Frank; No. Look for him to add a defenseman to fill for Orpik while he is out with broken fingers.
Dean Lombardi is pretty cautious, and his team is on the bubble. Do you see him changing course and pulling the trigger on a big trade to put his team over the line? Or do you see him continue to stockpile prospects and let nature take its course (read: still a couple of years away from playing at the top of the standings)?
Scott Burnside (5:16 PM)
John; I think Lombardi will pull the trigger on something significant. Is it Ales Hemsky? Maybe. Will he take a run at Brad Richards? Would be shocked if he doesn't take a hard look. Everyone is talking Brayden Schenn as the prospect Lombardi may have to part with but sometimes you have to give to get and the Kings have played so well I think Lombardi will want to reward them and send them into the playoffs on a high.
Scott Burnside (5:17 PM)
Thanks to our good friend Kevin Wilson of the Predators can report Ryan Suter will play. He was cleared by docs to play yesterday.
Jeff (The library....where I'm procrastinating)
Any word on trade deals in Washington? Has GM GM gotten us a second line center yet?
Scott Burnside (5:17 PM)
Jeff; Nothing yet.
Alisa (Los Angeles)
Do you think that it will come down to the last day of the season to finalize the remaining spot(s) in the west for the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (5:18 PM)
Alisa; I do. It may not be as tightly packed as it is today - four points separating 5th through 12th - but I wouldn't be surprised to see four teams fighting for the final two spots on the final weekend of play.
I know the Devils are hot right now but the Islanders aren't that far behind in the impressive turn around conversation. Can you give my Isles some love......its been a rough go of it pretty much since 1993.
Scott Burnside (5:20 PM)
Pete; Fair request. And have to give Garth Snow some credit where it's due in terms of picking of Michael Grabner who has wormed his way into rookie of the year chatter. Matt Moulson has been rewarded with an extension and proved last year wasn't a fluke. Impressive start for Al Montoya, too, maybe he becomes the long-awaited answer in goal. Lots of other ugliness on the Island but scratch beneath the surface and it's not all that bad. Can't believe I just wrote that.
Tom (West Loop)
Scott, I've seen in a couple of different places that the Red Wings should take a look at Mike Smith as a backup goalie given Osgood's injury/age and Joey McDonald's general averageness in net. Is there anything to that?
Scott Burnside (5:21 PM)
Tom; As much as I like Mike Smith and wish him the best I don't see him as much of an upgrade over Joey. Here's my guess. If there is a sense Chris Osgood won't be ready then perhaps Ken Holland takes a run at old friend Ty Conklin. Good guy who played exceptionally well for the Wings.
Another early round exit for Washington?
Scott Burnside (5:23 PM)
TJ; Too many variables right now. If, as I expect, the Caps draw Pittsburgh in the first round so much depends on the relative health of both teams and specifically, of course, the health of Sidney Crosby. If they can overtake Tampa for the Southeast Division title no way they lose in the first round.
Do we Devils fans ever get an apology for that article in December?
Scott Burnside (5:24 PM)
mike; As soon as the Devils apologize to their fans for misleading them about the initial Kovalchuk contract and they make the playoffs.
Scott Burnside (5:25 PM)
Okay folks, time to close it out. But stick around for our trade deadline coverage where Pierre LeBrun and I will be descending on Bristol and eating the ESPN cafeteria out of pastries of all shapes and sizes. Til then.