Chat with Matthew Barnaby
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Thursday, ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby will stop by to take your questions on the NHL.
Barnaby played 14 seasons in the NHL for eight different teams. He netted 113 goals and 300 total points. He was also one of the league's tough guys, accumulating 2,562 penalty minutes.
Send your questions now and join Matthew Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:02 PM)
We're getting Matthew!
David (San Jose)
Hey Matthew, Who wins tonight at the tank Van or SJ. Could be a conference finals preview.
Matthew Barnaby (3:03 PM)
It certainly could be. Two very good teams. Two teams playing very well. These are games that are statement games. Everyone wants to win these because it means a lot to your teams going forward and to where you stand.
Tyler (New Hampshire)
Was reading on espn.com that police are investigating the Chara hit on Max Pac., Is this a bit outrageous? Over the top?
Matthew Barnaby (3:04 PM)
I think so. He wasn't even suspended by the NHL and he's being investigated, or they're looking into it.
Matthew Barnaby (3:04 PM)
Obviously, we all feel bad for Max, but it's time to let this go and move on.
Edward (Bristol, PA)
What's going on with the Flyers?
Matthew Barnaby (3:05 PM)
They haven't played as well of late. Goaltending wasn't a very good part of their game all year long, but they played better last game. To me, they're still the favorites in the east.
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Any other better Jekyll and Hyde team as the NY Rangers. They start off the week bad and then get two wins. What gives?
Matthew Barnaby (3:06 PM)
This team is what it is. I think they have an identity and that's a hard working team. I think they're a middle of the road team and will have to get great goaltending down the stretch if they're going to make the playoffs. I think Buffalo will make it, so it's between Carolina and NY for that last spot.
Who wins southeast division; Capitals or Lightning?
Matthew Barnaby (3:07 PM)
I want to say the Capitals. Since the trade deadline, it seems they're a different team. They are finally competing with a team that knows they were missing something. Arnott has fit in very well and has already helped out the power play a lot. Great little run they're on.
I said it all along, even while we were stocked with AHLers... the Penguins aren't going anywhere. Tough to play against, tough to beat Marc-Andre, will themselves to victory no matter who is in the lineup. Great stuff from Danny B - epitomized by Shero's extension for the man. Now that Kunitz is back, and Orpik well on his way.... what do you think the Pens' shot is in the playoffs....?
Matthew Barnaby (3:09 PM)
I think it's hard to judge because when the best player in the world might have a chance at coming back in the playoffs, this team is dynamic. Without him, they'll be lucky to win a couple of series. With him, they could challenge for the Eastern Conference. Bylesma deserves some consideration for coach of the year with everything this team has been through this year.
MEL (WEST SENECA NY)
IF BUFFALO MAKES THE PLAYOFFS DO YOU SEE THEM BEING VERY DANGEROUS
Matthew Barnaby (3:10 PM)
To me this is a Cinderella team. I do see them making the playoffs. If Ryan Miller gets hot, they could go far. Again, this is a Cinderella team.
Matt; who do you think are the most legitimate Stanley Cup contenders? Also, do you think the Red Wings' recent slide is something to worry about or just a hiccup in a long season?
Matthew Barnaby (3:11 PM)
I don't think so, no. Detroit is my favorite in the West. There is so much parity in the league right now and so many teams on good runs that both conferences are wide open.
Matt Why can't the Thrashers win anymore these days?
Matthew Barnaby (3:12 PM)
They've struggled. They had a great run at the start of the year. This team has struggled at keeping pucks out of the net and scoring goals. But I just don't think this is a very good team.
Not to diminish the injury, but do you see the attention from the hit having lingering affects on the Bruins? Also, how do the Habs respond (not necessarily against Boston but as a team for the rest of the year)?
Matthew Barnaby (3:13 PM)
I would be concerned more for the Canadiens as they're still very upset there was no suspension. The Bruins will move on and be fine. I don't know about you guys, but I would love to see a Boston-Montreal first round matchup.
Justin (Thunder Bay, ON)
Minnesota had been on a nice hot streak since the new year and now they struggle to to beat below average teams and are playing themselves out of the playoff race. What caused the drop-off? It can't all be Backstrom's struggles.
Matthew Barnaby (3:14 PM)
No, it isn't. Again, you lose guys to injury, like Koivu, and goaltender struggles, then you struggle to find offense. This team will have to overachieve and play above their capabilities if they're going to make the playoffs.
Kris Leteng (Pittsburgh)
WHat are my chances of winning the Norris? I am a complete stud!
Matthew Barnaby (3:16 PM)
He really is. He's been absolutely awesome. As for the Norris, he will get some consideration, but he is going up against guys like Yandle, who's also having a good year, and Lidstrom, whose team's challenge for the conference lead. I don't think he'll win, but he has had one heckuva year.
Dan (Buffalo, NY)
Matthew, the Sabres probably cannot leap frog to the 6 spot in the east, but both current potential match-ups (flyers/caps) seem to favor the Sabres, right?
Matthew Barnaby (3:17 PM)
I don't know if I would say "favor" the Sabres, but I don't know if there's a matchup that they don't feel comfortable with. If I were Buffalo, I would rather play Washington, just because I think Philadelphia is a very deep team.
Mike L (Reading, PA)
Will it be April before we know if Sidney Crosby is returning? And Kris Letang was a Norris candidate in the first half but he hasn't been the same player without Crosby
Matthew Barnaby (3:18 PM)
I think the earliest we're looking at right now is the last week of the season. We haven't heard anything new and that's not good for Pens fans. Right now the Penguins are preparing for the playoffs without him. If they get him back, it will only be a bonus.
Tomas Kaberle (Boston)
What's the deal with the Bruins PP? Wasn't I supposed to be the savior? 0 for the last 16??? Really?
Matthew Barnaby (3:19 PM)
You know what, he has not quarterbacked the PP like he's capable. He's been trying to get it going. There's too much talent on it, not to succeed. Some times it takes a little bit of time and I believe they'll figure it out very shortly.
Chris (Vancouver, BC)
When are you going to come out of retirement? The Canucks could have used your grit and would have picked you up at the trade deadline. Next Year?
Matthew Barnaby (3:20 PM)
Absolutely not! If you saw me without a shirt on, you'd never ever make those comments. That's what I get a high desk to sit behind to hide it all.
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Serious question -- what's it like getting punched in the face in a hockey fight?
Matthew Barnaby (3:21 PM)
It really is as intense as it looks. The nerves start in the afternoon when you know you're going to be getting into a fight later that night. When you're in that fight, some times you don't really feel the punches because you flip into a different zone and become another person. Unfortunately, once that's turned off, you feel it a lot.
What are your thoughts on the Kubina suspension today? Also, did you think Martin St. Louis shootout goal should have counted?
Matthew Barnaby (3:22 PM)
I thought the suspension was just and right and a perfect amount of games. The Marty St. Louis goal, I thought was absolutely awesome. I don't know whey he wasn't taking the shootout in the game before.
Will the Kings make the playoffs?
Matthew Barnaby (3:23 PM)
Yes. I think they got a huge win last night in Detroit. The additions they made have helped. This team is starting to play like we all thought they would.
Do you think the defensive style that teams like the Bruins and Habs play can win a Stanley Cup in the new NHL?
Matthew Barnaby (3:24 PM)
It sure can. When you get into the playoffs, you have to tighten up. It's much easier to play like that in the regular season then try to turn on that switch in the playoffs.
Dan (Vernon, NJ)
Do you think the Devils can keep up the hot streak they've been on for the last 2 months or was the hole they dug early in the season too much?
Matthew Barnaby (3:25 PM)
They're on a tremendous streak. But unfortunately, they dug themselves too big a hole. I give credit to the players for not quitting and Jacques for leading them. But they will not make the playoffs.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Matthew, I really enjoyed yesterday's podcast with EJ. What team from each conference, who is on the outside looking into the playoffs, do you think will get in? Thank you!
Matthew Barnaby (3:27 PM)
I'm going to say Dallas does not make the playoffs. Richards coming back from injury will effect his play. I think this team has overachieved all year long and will be caught. In the East, I'm going to take the New York Rangers.
Chris (Falls Chuch)
Do you think the Caps will attempt to resign Jason Arnott or Marco Sturm for next season or are the just rentals?
Matthew Barnaby (3:28 PM)
For the most part, I think they're all rentals. But everything will depend on their playoff run and how they fit in player wise and financially.
Matt (Peoria, AZ)
Hey Matthew, quick question. Do you think it's the location or the franchise itself that prevents the Phoenix Coyotes from getting the credit I think they deserve? I think they've shown they can skate with the best of teams in the league and still no one gives them any credit.
Matthew Barnaby (3:29 PM)
I think we give them a lot of credit. Unfortunately it's everything else with the Coyotes, ownership, etc., that we've been talking about.
Matthew Barnaby (3:29 PM)
Phoenix is a good, young well-coached team. But the real question is, how long will they be there?
Matthew Barnaby (3:31 PM)
Some great races will continue tonight. A lot of wins will be needed for a lot of these teams. Good luck to all of you and we'll talk next week.