Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at noon ET!
Scott Burnside (12:04 PM)
Hello all, settled in at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo California. Robyn Regehr skating some laps. Been awhile since we did this. Now, where were we?
It's no secret that Nashville does not love Shea Weber's contract. With the coaching change, they have said they are looking to be more offensively minded next year. Well, there is a team in SJ with lots of "talented" forwards (as long as you don't care about playoff performances). What would it take for SJ to get Weber (throwing in that EVERYONE not named Vlasic and Hertl is available)? Thornton, Demers, and a first round pick? Marleau and Pavelksi? Couture and Braun?
Scott Burnside (12:06 PM)
Mike; I think there are a number of teams that would love to have that kind of 'all in' discussion with the Preds about Weber. But GM David Poile has insisted over and over that he has no intention of trading Weber. They've paid out too much, frankly, for it to make real sense. And not sure it does much for the team's stability if they do an about-face on their most important player. My guess is Weber stays a Pred for the foreseeable future.
Whats your gut feeling, who do you think takes the rangers habs series?
Scott Burnside (12:08 PM)
G; Needless to say a huge win for the Habs last night and big, big night for Dustin Tokarski. Rangers have a lot more going on so in spite of the fact I picked the Habs in six (or was it seven?) I think the Rangers will prevail. Call it six?
Prust delivered a clean LATE hard hit with ZERO head contact... Why discipline? There has been many more questionable hits this playoff season. What's your insight?
Scott Burnside (12:11 PM)
Rob; It's the lateness of the hit that the league's office of player safety will look at. Agreed. No head contact and that may save Prust from supplemental discipline. Didn't leave his feet. But it's the lateness that the league will examine.
should the hawks be worried about giving up so many goals in game 2?
Scott Burnside (12:13 PM)
Jason; I think this is more of a pattern we've seen throughout the playoffs. Remember when the 'Hawks had a little wobble in the middle of the Minnesota series; looked a little out of it in losing Games 3 and 4. For me it's how they rebound tomorrow in Game 3. They're like the Kings, lots of bounce-back in that locker room. Not much panic. Crawford has traditionally bounced back as well so I think tomorrow will be a lot tighter.
which team is playing the best right now"?
Scott Burnside (12:15 PM)
kevin; Given how tight the two series are right now it's hard to say but I think the Blackhawks might be the 'best' team right now in spite of their third-period slumber in Game 2. Kings are, naturally, right behind them in terms of level of play. What I like about both those teams is that they have so many weapons. Rangers, by comparison, are obviously a step ahead of the Habs but aren't as deep and conversely not as dangerous.
I'm sorry, is the jaw not part of the head? It looked like Stepan's head snapped back at the point of impact on the late hit.
Scott Burnside (12:16 PM)
Matt; It's the point of principal contact that I think the league will be interested in and since it's not primarily the head, even though it's a hit that causes Stepan's head to snap back, I think that's the line they'll be looking at.
Does Los Angeles have the ability to contend with Chicago's speed over the course of 7 games?
Scott Burnside (12:18 PM)
John; That's going to be the great test of this series. For almost two full periods in Game 2 it was a mismatch with the Kings a full step behind. But we all know what happened in the third. But over seven games I have to think the Blackhawks speed is going to lead to too many odd man rushes and penalties for the Kings to overcome.
Chris (New Brunswick, NJ)
Hi Scott: I am not excusing Carcillo for elbowing the linseman, but let's not forget, if the ref did his job properly and at least called an int. on the Prust hit, then the Carcillo incident likely would not have happened. So, Carcillo will probably be suspended and NOT Prust? I have no idea why the officiating is under such scrutiny!
Scott Burnside (12:20 PM)
Chris; Agreed that A flows from B etc. etc. and had an interference call been made - and it would have been justified - then Carcillo doesn't lose his marbles (maybe). It is an ongoing issue for the NHL to have consistent high level officiating at the most important time of the season. I've had some GMs suggest they'd like to have one crew work an entire series so there's a comfort zone with how they'll call things. I wouldn't mind that.
How do the Hawks put the third period behind them?
Scott Burnside (12:22 PM)
Larry; I don't think it'll be a problem. The mark of all good teams is you move on quickly from the highs and the lows. The 'Hawks have done that consistently; versus St. Louis and against the Wild; so I expect you'll see them come out with renewed purpose on Saturday. Now the Kings will certainly be jazzed given their win in Game 2 so the first 10 minutes should prove interesting.
Prediction of who plays in the SCF and who wins...I won't hold you to your 3rd round predictions...
Scott Burnside (12:24 PM)
Adem; I had Chicago and Montreal at the start so I'll stick with that although I will say the Rangers are in more of a groove. It will be interesting to see if the Habs' win last night is the start of a trend or just a last-gasp kind of thing from a team that might be out of gas and without it's best player. A lot to ask Tokarski to do that three more times.
John (Los Angeles)
You said you think the Blackhawks' speed is going to be their biggest advantage over the course of the series. What would be the best ways for the Kings to chip away at and mitigate that advantage in order to impose their game on the Blackhawks?
Scott Burnside (12:26 PM)
John; I think the Kings' strength is always in their ability to punish opposing teams with their four lines. They are incredibly deep down the middle and if they can put pressure on the Blackhawks' defense that will put more pressure on Crawford and potentially lead to more PP opportunities and we saw in the third period in Game 2 the Kings know how to take advantage.
Do you think Pittsburg sticks with Bylsma for one more year? If it works out, great. If not, then they could potentially make a run at Babcock with his contract expiring.
Scott Burnside (12:30 PM)
Matt; I am puzzled by how this will play out. Lots of mixed messages coming from the Pens. Not sure how you can justify firing Ray Shero and not Dan Bylsma. If the Pens are simply hoping to bridge a year until Mike Babcock comes free in Detroit I think that is severely flawed and does a great disservice to the team and to Bylsma. Like Randy Carlyle in Toronto I'm not sure how you go back into that room after this collapse. But the Leafs saw a reason to return Carlyle so maybe the same will happen in Pittsburgh. I think it's probably time for a change for both coach and team though.
The Prust hit was a very similar hit to the one that Aaron Rome put Nathan Horton out with in the 2011 Finals. He got four games...I'm think that since there was no serious injury in this instance, Prust gets 1 or 2.
Scott Burnside (12:32 PM)
Marc; I'd need to look at them both more closely but I recall the Rome hit was much more a blind-side hit and as you note did a lot more damage. Don't see Prust getting anything in terms of a suspension.
What do you think the Wild need to do this offseason (other than nailing down a reliable goaltender) to end this trend of losing to the Hawks in the playoffs? Though my view is slightly biased I do think the Wild played a better series this year, they just need a little something more it feels like.
Scott Burnside (12:35 PM)
Josh; Well you pointed out the big issue; the goaltending. They need to find consistent secondary scoring. The emergence of Haula, Granlund, Brodin, Coyle et al makes that easier but obviously Moulson wasn't the answer. And watching Vanek go hot and then cold, cold, cold in Montreal is he a guy you want to fasten your wagon to long-term? I have my doubts. But the goaltending is key. Ryan Miller anyone?
Should the Ducks get rid of Boudreau, trade for Kesler?
Scott Burnside (12:36 PM)
Karl; No, I think Bruce deserves another shot at things. Think about where this team was at before he came over. Kids have really emerged under his tutelage. Need to get better down the middle and to your point had they acquired Kesler at the deadline I think the outcome is different versus the Kings. Will be shocked if they don't go hard after Kesler before the draft but they won't be alone and so the price will be steep.
do the Panthers trade the #1 pick and who is going to be our new coach?
Scott Burnside (12:38 PM)
dara; I doubt the number one pick gets traded unless Dale Tallon can find a team that's willing to trade a couple of NHL-ready prospects and I don't see that happening. As for a new coach I would have said that Dan Bylsma would have been a nice fit. I also think Barry Trotz would be a fit although he may end up in Washington. And John Stevens may be in line for the Vancouver job but if that doesn't work then I could see him as a nice fit with the Panthers.
John (Los Angeles)
The Kings and Blackhawks have shades of the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry from the late 90s-early 2000s between two evenly matched teams that were clearly better than everyone else in their conference and proved it come playoff time, minus the palpable hatred and bad blood (so far). What team in the Western Conference can turn into the early 90s-late 2000s version of the Stars and get in their and challenge this two-headed western monster, and how?
Scott Burnside (12:40 PM)
John; It's a great point and a great question. How about the Avs speaking of history? Next year will be key to prove this year wasn't a fluke. And Dallas isn't that far away as witnessed by their strong push to the playoffs.
Ed (Queens Village)
Are you surprise all division champions eliminated before conference finals?
Scott Burnside (12:41 PM)
Ed; Yes. I, along with a lot of people, thought the Bruins were built for the long haul. Also thought Ryan Miller was going to help the Blues to at least the final four. But that's the great thing about the playoffs, no?
With all this speculation about James Neal requesting a trade (which turned out not to be true) Would a Neal for Evander Kane trade straight up make sense for both teams? crosby gets a solid left wing, kunitz can play with Malkin, and the Jets are getting a young, pure goal scorer
Scott Burnside (12:43 PM)
Ben; My guess is that if the Pens are looking to shake things up and they will have to get creative to do it given their cap issues Neal is an obvious target. Not particularly good in the playoffs and really not much to his game other than scoring (and taking bad penalties) but would be attractive to the Jets who lack that kind of player. And it does appear that Kane might do with a change in scenery. I'd do that deal if I'm the Pens. Less attractive from the Jets' side of the equation.
In regards to Bylsma, does it seem petty to you? Hold him to his deal now while jobs like Vancouver and Washington are open, and then fire him when the new GM comes in, leaving Dan with no options.
Scott Burnside (12:43 PM)
DJ; If that's how it shakes down I do think it's small-minded. Bylsma deserves better than that and the team is better than that. Or at least it should be.
Scott (Los Angeles, CA)
Hi Scottwhat did you think of Islanders signing Halak. Do you think Islanders will make a big splash for scorer like Evander Kane or James Neal. Do you see a lot of blockbuster deals happening at the draft?
Scott Burnside (12:45 PM)
Scott; I am middle of the road on Halak which is what I expect he'll bring to the Islanders. Typical that a team needing to fill a glaring hole only does it half-way. I'd have taken a gamble on a younger guy like James Reimer. Halak has durability issues and outside of the 2010 playoff run not much of a playoff history. Slight upgrade on Nabokov but they needed more than a slight upgrade.
Suburban Rhythm (Pittsburgh)
Rick Tocchet was on Pittsburgh sports radio last week and said "If he'd received the right attention and coaching all along, Kris Letang would be where Drew Doughty is right now"Agree/Disagree?
Scott Burnside (12:46 PM)
Sub; Not sure I agree. Letang is a different player than Doughty who is more physical. But agree both are smart young mobile defensemen. Letang played pretty well once the first round was underway and he got his head in the game. I thought he was excellent against the Rangers for the most part.
Word jsut came down that Stepan broke his jaw, out indefinitely. Does this change Prust's hearing?
Scott Burnside (12:47 PM)
Matt; Yes, I would think the severity of the injury will come into play. One game? Big loss for the Rangers.
If Grand Rapids has another solid year next year, do you think Jeff Blashill starts getting NHL head coaching buzz? Do you think he would have this year if the Wings hadn't they wouldn't allow him to be interviewed?
Scott Burnside (12:48 PM)
Matt; How about the Red Wings' job? A year from now a lot of people imagine Mike Babcock will be looking elsewhere. But to your point, yes, Blashill has done a nice job in the AHL and has experience as an assistant with the Wings so I would think he'd be on lots of teams' radar moving forward.
Marc (Malden, MA)
The Rome hit on Horton was all to the head. The Bruins have an issue scoring goals and my fear is that Chiarelli continues to believe in his "system" instead of acquiring individual talent that can put the puck in the net.
Scott Burnside (12:51 PM)
Marc; Agreed on the Rome hit. And the Bruins didn't seem to have a problem finding the back of the net in the regular season. Sure they could go after a guy like Vanek but does he fit? Not sure. Or a Mike Cammalleri? I still really like the makeup of that Bruins team.
Chris (New Brunswick, NJ)
Hi Again Scott: Quick follow up question. The Rangers speed has really taken over this series. Can they match Chicago and/or LA if they advance. Thanks!
Scott Burnside (12:52 PM)
Chris; I think the Rangers match up better against Chicago based on the speed/skill element. But loss of Stepan hurts and they simply aren't as deep as the 'Hawks. Don't like their chances against either team frankly although Henrik Lundqvist is a great leveler of playing fields given how he's been playing.
Scott what team or teams hold the longest cup drought?
Scott Burnside (12:54 PM)
George; Leafs have not won since 1967 and after that there is St. Louis which has never won it since coming into the league in 1967-68.
Scott Burnside (12:55 PM)
Okay folks have to pack it in and get ready for our Hockey Today podcast. Thanks as always for dropping by. Have a great long weekend.