Scott is here!
Who do you think will score the most goals out of the following three for the red wings? Johan Franzen Marian Hossa Henrik Zetterberg
Great question! I would have to say Marian Hossa. And that is only because Hossa is going to get more power play time than Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg is likely going to end up with more points total, but more assists as the playmaker. But you cannot go wrong with all three, and it is possible that all three will end up between 30-40 goals. Never a bad porblem to have.
What is your take on the Boucher for Sydor trade. As a penguins fan I love it.
Certainly I understand why the deal is made on both sides. Darryl Sydor is a known quantity in Dallas, and he is the kind of pesonality they are looking for. Philippe Boucher, however, brings a wealth of experience on offense and defense. He is a PP specialist, who will fill the gap until Sergei Goincher and Ryan Whitney both get back to full strngth. And looking even further ahead you can never have too much defensive depth if you are looking at another deep playoff run. A nice deal for the Pens, for sure.
How big was that Ranger win this weekend over the Bruins? Does that establish them as the team to beat in the East?
I think that is overstasting it somewhat, to say it makes them to team to beat in the East. But when you play a team as hot as the Bruins were, those wins are important; those wins reestablish that you are an elite team. When you can rise to the occasion and play well against another team that considers itself elite, it does make a statement, although it is a very long season.
What do you have to say about the Jackets? Will they make the playoff?
Not to oversimplify, but a lot of it will come down to whether Pascal Leclaire can stay healthy or not. He has shown some problems staying healthy so far this year. He is back now. The team plays better when he is healthy. He has shown through last year that he is an emerging young goaltdender in this league. So his ability to deliver consistent quality perfomances in huge in regards to your question. The other question is about the two promising rookies, Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek, can maintain their current level of production.
How much does Gaborik continue to hurt his FA value while he stays on the IR? Also, Which side do you think is telling the truth concerning his contract dispute: Gaborik or GM Riseborough?
In terms of his market value, until he gets back on the ice and proves that he is healthy, he has no market value. He has no value to the Wild or any other GM. And when he comesback is anyone's guess. As far as what has been offered to date, that is mute because of his injury problems.To me it is one of the most fascinating stories to watch over the course of the season. When does he come back? When he comesback, does he play well enough to get traded? Stay tuned on that one.
What do you think is wrong with the Flyers? Is their defense or goaltending the biggest problem?
I think the two are related. If the played the Thrashers every night their problems would be solved. Hey could start Antero Niittymaki and put up two points. But they have to play other teams and have been incosistent. Their team defense has been lacking. I know they ahve not been happy with how the forwards have been playing as far as their defensive commitment. Their defense has not been strong and their golatending has been spotty. Martin Biron has been much more incosisntent than last year, and it has all added up to a very much up and down first quarter of the season for the Flyers.
Who do you think the Washington Capitals can get for Nylander if they decide to trade him? Pothier has been a waste of money we just need to get rid of him..
If the Caps are going to trade Michael Nylander I assume they will be looking for some blueline help and defensive depth. They are a team that have an explosive offense, and unless George McPhee is looking to add some defensive element to his forward contigent, I think defensive help is in the cards. Frankly, I would not expect it to be a high-priced player coming back. One of the attractive elements of trading Nylander is trading the last $14 million of his contract. That would give the Capitals more room to add high-end help come the trade deadline.
What's your take on the Habs' fans exploiting the All-Star Ballot? How can the NHL fix this?
I have not followed it that closely, in part because the All-Star game is one of those neccesary, but painful moments on the NHL schedule. I understand its purpose and its importance to the league in terms of sponsorship and the coporate end of the game. But as far as who is selected or not selected, I can't say I get that worked up about it. Back in the day it could mean something in terms of bonuses, but with most bonuses elminated under the new agreement, it just has become more of a burden to some players. I am not sure how the NHL gets around the issue of having the right players at All-Star weekend. But the league is facing more pressing issues.
Can one of the NHL teams in the south move up to the Badger state? It would be greatly appreciated.
Well which one do you want? The Panthers, Thrashers, Coyotes, I am sure even some days the Isles may consider it. I know you are joking, but it remains one of the biggest problems facing the NHL, the future of franchises in non-traditional markets, and can they stay there for the the long haul and whether or not the NHL should look at places like Ontario or Winnipeg for teams...your voice is heard.
Has Mikko Koivu put himself in the elite category of centers in this league?
Elite is a relative term, but I think his profile has grown pretty dramatically. We had a question about Gaborik earlier and I think there are a number of players in Minnesota who are taking advantage of more opporutnities created by Gabork's abscence, Koivu being an example. he has come into his own, and used his size. Sometimes it is hard in Jacques Lemaire's systems to shine individually and Koivu has done it. But he has to show that he can do it all season long, though and in the playoffs.
Thankfully the Pens are winning but it seems as though they can't play a solid 3 periods. They have either given up big leads or have come back from big deficits. They play solid defense and solid offense but rarely at the same time. Why do you think this is?
First of all, I do not think you can complain about having the most exciting team in hockey, but I understand your feeling and I am sure Coach Therrien shares them. People seem to forget the Pens had similar problems a year ago and Therrien was unhappy for the first half of the season with the defensive play and it took a while for the forward combos to cement themselves. Many people only think of the Pens team that steamrolled their way to the Cup final, but it really was a work in progress for the first 40-50 games and this Pens team has undergone major changes and they are missing Gonchar and Whitney and have had to encoporate to new forward in Fedotenko and Satan and they have had to try and figure out what to do with Staal who is red hot. They have won 6 in a row and look like they have started to find places for all their new pieces. I do not think it is a bad thing if you are a Pens fan.
Who has been the most impressive goalie besides Tim Thomas in the East?
Good question. A week ago I may have said Ryan Miller, but the Sabres have hit a bit of a wobble and it is always hard to ignore Henrik Lundqvist. He is one of the reasons the Rangers are at the top in the East. But I would go back to Ryan Miller. He decidded to sign a long-term deal in Baffalo and he has been a big part in the Sabres return to playoff contention. So in the East, I will go with Ryan Miller.
What's your take on the lack of discipline for Kovavlev's elbow on Simon Gagne?
I have to admit I have not seen the replay and only read the account. I was surprised at how candid Gagne was suggesting that Kovalev was trying to hurt him. No penalty was called against him on the hit. Until players, officials, and league officials can decide exactly what a blow to the head is, I suspect we will be having these talks throughout the season and beyond. Although it does not seem too difficult, does it? If a player gets struck in the head one way or the other, there should be a peantly. But sometimes in the NHL the simplest things are sometimes the hardest to deal with.
So the Blackhawks fire their coach after 4 games and now Barry Melrose is out after 16 games...I don't know who's worse, NHL owners or BCS committee members.
I guess that is part of onwership. If you do not like who is at your table, and you own the table, you get to dedcide. And when a coach is fired it is an indictment of the entire organization. It was so in Chicago, and ownership on down felt like they did not have the right man. It took a lot of guts to fire Savard. You can argue that it was unfair, but it took guts and he had done little to deserve being dismissed in terms of record. With Barry Melrose it was a little different given some of the controversy that emerged from hiring someone who had been out of the game for a long time. But in the same way ownership felt little confidence that he could turn it around. For Chicago it seems to have worked out. They are playing well, and not the pressure is on Tocchet to try and turn around Tampa. Whether these moves were illadvised or visionary will not been known until the end of the reagular season.
Do you think the Coyotes need to make a trade to stay competitive? Or can the young rookies lead the way?
I think in general most GMs like to hold fast until the first 20 games to get a sense of where the holes may be, and what the rookies may be capable of. I think it is a little early for the Coyotes to be thinking about moves. I do not see them wanting to add expensive pieces. Now that may change in they are in the playoff picture as the trade deadline approaches, but I do not expect anything too dramatic in the short term.
All these questions and nothing about the best team on the planet (Team Canada aside)?? Is this Sharks team built to last? They pepper goalies ALL night!
I think there is general agreement among hockey people. The Sharks, right now, are the best team in the NHL. They are high-flying, tight-checking and physical. They keep winning even with Evgeni Nabokov out and Boyle has been a wonderful addition and made Sharks fans forget Brian Campbell. And Devin Setoguchi is yet another revelation on a Sharks team that unearths gems every other year. I think the Sharks are built for the long haul, but I have thought that the past two seasons, so who knows. Maybe this is the real long-haul Sharks fans have been looking for.
As always, appreciate the questions! We'll chat again next week.