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April 22, 7:09 AM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:04 PM)

Hello hockey fans, it's a great night for hockey ! But first, let's talk

Vinny Cappadocia - Barrie ON

Pierre- Quite simply, are Price and Gainey on the way out?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

Vinny, how are things my friend? I grew up with this dude in Northern Ontario. Can't answer your question for sure Vinny. I think Gainey will take a while to figure out his future. And don't forget the team may be sold. Interesting off-season coming up for Montreal

Reuben, England

Best series so far? Series most likely to go 7 games?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

Well, I'm enjoying the series I'm covering very much _ Caps-Rangers... But San Jose-Anaheim is pretty compelling as well given the stakes for the Sharks. Huge win last night. Could easily go seven.

david (maryland)

can the capitals now win the series vs the rangers after winning game 3?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

I think they will win this series when all is said and done. The Rangers could still pull it out given the 2-spot Wash handed them, but if again tonight the Caps pay the price and play playoff hockey, I think they'll come back and win this. But if they fall back on individual and perimeter play, that won't cut it

Paul (Gulf Breeze, FL)

About a week ago, my brother wrote in to one of your chats talking about me not growing a playoff beard due to the fact that I wanted to look good for prom. My Penguins are doing great anyway. Still think I made a bad call?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

LOL... well I guess since Sid can't grow a full beard you're off the hook

Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)

I've been ripping it up in the playoffs while my MVP competitor Alex Ovechkin has been less than stellar. Am I now a shoe in for the Hart?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

Gino, I thought I explained this to you already. The Hart Trophy votes from members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (including me) were cast BEFORE the playoffs started. So no, that has no impact.

cdub, South Pasadena, CA

Give me a positive statement about the Blues. Next year's version of the Blackhawks?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

I think you have to be comforted with making the playoffs this season despite a huge injury list. That was a huge accomplishment. And yes, next year this is a team that could challenge Chicago for fourth in the West. No question. Welcome back Erik Johnson and Paul Kariya.

Chris Fairfax, VA

Do you think the Caps tie this series with a win tonight? I think if Varlamov plays well, they get uunder Avery's skin again and the Caps play their style of hockey, they win!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:12 PM)

I think we'll get our best game of the series, either way tonight Crhis. The Caps have figured out what it takes at this level in the playoffs to win, and the Rangers will regroup after getting hammered by their coach. I think this could be overtime tonight.

Justin (Boston, MA)

What are your predictions of the Bruins/Canadians tonight?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:12 PM)

OVAH

John (San Francisco, CA)

1st...are the Sharks just prolonging their inevitable failure with the win last night and second, if they were to somehow escape round 1, would they have any gas left in the tank for round 2? They seem to be throwing everything they've got at the Ducks.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:14 PM)

Obviously I'm not covering that series John, I've been the Rangers and Caps. But from what I've watched on TV, I'm amazed the Sharks are trailing in this series. They seem to dominate most of the time but find ways to let Anaheim stay in the game. But I think last night's win will do wonders for their confidence given the pressure that was on them to win last night

gilly (nyc)

Ok so the obvious question. Brodeur gets interfered outside the crease, any player outside of the play coming in would be awarded a call but goalies apparently don't. adding insult to the injury apparently he had enough time to reset, which he obviously did not since he was not all the way at the other side of the net to position for an incoming puck. he would have been positioned to the left of the net to prevent the deflections, as he always does. your thoughts.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:14 PM)

From the TV replays I've seen I think it was a good non-call.

Michael (Great Neck, New York)

Are you surprised that Versteeg was named a Calder finalist over Doughty and Rinne?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:16 PM)

I think it's an absolute joke that Doughty, especially, did not get nominated. An absolutely joke. Not very happy with my colleages from the PHWA on that one. Doughty and Mason were the two most impressive rookies this season _ period. But Doughty didn't put up big numbers. If you know the game, however, you realize how amazing it is that he played that many minutes _ the most of any rookie _ and at the toughest position in the game to crack at 18. Brutal voting on this one.

Rick (San Diego, CA)

Great Game last night for Ducks/Sharks -- do you think that game 4 is the turning point of the series? Do the Ducks hold off the Sharks or do the Sharks show some guts/leadership/heart and move make it a series? Is there any remote chance Ryan wins the Calder?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:17 PM)

I already touched on Sharks/Ducks but for you Calder question _ Mason will win

Chad (Pittsburgh, PA)

What do you think about the Pens replacing Sykora with Satan...and also maybe dressing Godard for game 5?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:18 PM)

You'll have to ask Mr. Burnside about that _ he's doin an excellent job covering that series for ESPN.com. But I do think the Pens are going to put this series away tomorrow night

Maurice, Boston

With Montreal having nothing to lose but the series itself tonight, will they play the thug game with Gorges, Laraque and Komisarek, or will they tried to become again the Flying Frenchmen?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:19 PM)

Well, I think the series is over. Like I mentioned before the playoffs, the habs can't win without their best player, Andrei Markov. See how Boston does if Chara ever goes down. As for the thug game, Boston set the tone for that one in the last regular-season game between the two teams, Lucic and Chara and Thornton gooning up the Habs to send a pre-playoff message

Angelo (New Jersey)

What is the latest info on Bouwmeester?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

I'd be shocked from what I've been told that he didn't explore FA July 1

Randy-Richmond, VA

Bruins keep saying (through the newspaper) that it may be difficult to re-sign Kessel this summer--have they lost their minds?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

classic contract negoation posturing... they'll sign him

Zied Haddad- Ottawa, Ontaro

Do you feel the Montreal Canadiens, especially Bob Gainey, have been unfairly treated by their fans and the media surrounding them this year? It's one thing to expect quality on the ice, but when a team is depleated by key injuries the way the Habs have been all season, expectations should be more realistic. Add Markov, Lang, Tanguay, Schneider and Bouillon to the Canadiens lineup, while removing Chara, Savard, Axelson, Wideman and Ward from the Bruins', and i think we have a different series no? All the credit to Boston, but Habs fans need to show more sympathy towards their team. What do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Interesting question Zied. The problem is that in one of hockey's most passionate and demanding markets, the bar was set high in pre-season with talk for a Stanley Cup given last year's first-place finishin the Eastern Conference. So when things started to implode, yes because of injuries but also for a number of other reasons, the fans/media went for the kill. That is life in Montreal. When things are going well, there's no better place to play. When things go bad... you get the picture

James scituate,ma [via mobile]

do you think the bruins will sweep tonight?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

oui

Kiely: (Davis, CA):

Hey Pierre. What's your opinion of San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov and his goaltending so far in the Sharks-Ducks series?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

I thought he let in two softies last night from what I saw on TV and the Sharks are foturnate to have overcome that. He needs to be better

Tony Kenilworth, NJ

Pierre, do you know what happened to Nik Zherdev, he's been missing from the first three games of the series? Seriously, he is still young, but how much time do you give him to become a consistent performer? Hitchcock is a good coach and gave up on him, should the Rangers follow suit?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Very good point. He's obviously not on the same page as coach Torts. he's been on the third line most of the series, which is a huge indictment on the lack of faith Torts has in him. He's a resricted free agent July 1 and I'm not sure he'll be a Ranger next season

Josh (Detroit)

What do you make of Jonathan Ericssons play in Detroit? Is he a stud or what?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:26 PM)

Josh, because I've been in Wash and NY covering this series, I've only seen glimpses of that Detroit series so I can't give you an educated assessment there. But I know for a long time the Wings front office has been drooling on his impending arrival

Rob Boston, MA

Pierre, as a Canadian, how do you feel about the fans in Montreal booing the US National Anthem? Do you think they will do it again tonight or simply boo their own team (in their last game of their 100th year)?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:27 PM)

Not only as a Canadian, but as a French-Canadian, I am outraged that the fans at the Bell Center did that. It's unacceptable.

Josh (Nashville, TN)

Poof! You are NHL commissioner for a day - what changes do you make?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:29 PM)

Easy, and I've told Bettmant his before ! 1. Regular starts in mid-September and last possible playoff game played no later than May 31. No June hockey under any cicumstance. 2. NHL back on ESPN.

Catherine, Exeter, NH

The Canadiens are clearly falling apart. They continue to be undisciplined. Boston's power play will clinch the series for the B's tonight!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:29 PM)

can't argue with any of those statements Catherine ! cheers

shawn boston

how far do you see the Bruins will go.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Hard to say Shawn. I mean, they're the favorite to reach the Cup Finals but be careful to overestimate their first-round performance. I think the Habs were the weakest of the 16 teams that made the playoffs. We'll find out more about the Bruins in the second round when they play stiffer competition.

sean ny [via mobile]

hey pierre, heard rumors of philly and florida doing a trade at draft time for boumeaster. did you anything on that?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Yes, as I wrote that day for ESPN.com. the Flyers made the best offer and Florida thougth long and hard about it but finally declined. I haven't been able to confirm the principals however

Maxim Lapierre, Centre Bell

I'm booing the American national anthem. How about you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

You're an idiot

Chris (Boston)

Do the Bruins end the 100th year tonight for the Canadiens and silence those fans booing the national anthem?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:32 PM)

Actually, the 100th anniversary is in November. So we're not done with the party yet !!!!

Danny (Detroit)

Pierre - Was Mike Commodores shift last night one of the worst in recent memory? From going into the Wings bench to getting of position to crosscheck Franzen allowing the Zetterberg goal, it was just terrible. Thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:32 PM)

sorry didn't see it Danny _ was having some nice Italian dinner here in NY at that point :)

Rob: New Castle, Pa.

Can Fleury steal enough games like last night to get the Pens back to the finals

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

Definitely a possiblity. Pittsburgh has the horses to make it the Finals again if all falls into place

Alex Ovechkin (Washington DC)

Hi Pierre, Do you see my team coming back in the series to win?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

Alex, as I told you yesterday, if you play two-way hockey like you did Monday night, and make smart decisions when you shot lanes are blocked like you did Monday night, then I like your team's chances.

Corey (Succasunna, NJ)

Pierre, Drury seems to be seriously hurt and cannot even take faceoffs. I know he would rather die than not play, but would it be in the Rangers' best interests to let him sit out game 4?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

Corey, that's a good point. He's definitely playing hurt. But I ask you this, how much of an upgrade is a 100 per cent Voros over a 40 per cent Drury?

Ryen , Salt Lake City

The Red Wings are looking Scary, a well oiled machine mixed with a work of fine art...would I be saying this if they were playing the Ducks instead?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

Well I think you answered your own question. The Jackets, to me, have played like a team that's happy to have made the playoffs. Good first-round draw for Detroit. I still think Detroit and Vancouver are the best two looking teams right now in the West but let's see how the second round goes with better competition

Corey (Succasunna, NJ)

Does Varlamov run out of luck tonight? Is tonight a must-win game for the Rangers?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

I think Varlamov is the real deal. But yes, I really feel the rangers are done if they allow Wash to tie the series and go back home for Game 5....

Scott (Wall, NJ)

Pierre, can my Dev's rebound from the latest Game Winning Goal in NHL playoff history aftering coming back from 3-0?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

I'm actually going across the river and covering that game tomorrow night Scott. Look forward to it. And I predict a Devils win

David (Windsor, Ontario)

First off, love the coverage from ESPN this year on the playoffs. I'm quite lucky to be in the market that i'm in being an avid hockey fan because of the Canadian and American hockey coverage. The Wings are my team, and their showing against the Blue Jackets so far show me they're head and shoulders above most of the playoff field in talent, experience and coaching. If their secondary scoring holds up, I can't see them not in the finals. Thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

Thanks David. Like I said earlier, I agree the Wings look awesome, but let's see how they fare with better competition. But you're right, another trip to the finals would not surprise anyone

Mike, Maine

The bruins are healthy and playing in a groove, with all of the other Eastern series with the potential of going 7 games, could it be a bad thing for the bruins to win tonight? It doesnt seem like the rest would be as helpful as it usually is.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Great point. That falls on Claude Julien to be creative and have up-tempo practices to keep the Bruins' focus in line

Clay (Charlotte)

Do you think the Ovechkin has overshadowed Crosby in the media world as the "Star of the Future"?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

I think this year OV has definitely got more attention than Sid. But let's be honest, they're both awesome

Simeon Varlemov

So Pierre, I dont know much english but i do know this much do you think if i play the way i played monday i can carry the capitals long distance in this postseason?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

yep

Dan (Philadelphia)

Bitter Flyers fan, here. Should Crosby's goal have counted? Also, do the Flyers have any chance tomorrow in Pitt and hopefully get to a Game 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

Yes that was a goal for sure. Good call. Series over.

Sean (TR NJ)

Pierre great to see you again and as always thanks for the time. How do you feel about the Sharks Ducks game last night? Somehow I still think its the Ducks to loose. A win is a win, but the Sharks still did not impress me much. Your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

If San Jose can pull it off again in Game 4 I think they win the series

Steve, Toronto

You/re the coach. Who do you start game 4 - Halak or Price?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

Does it matter?

devin howell michigan

pierre do you give blue jackets creit for being in there frist play offs and about to get sweep

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

yes, like St. Louis, I think just making it this year was a big step. Nothing to be ashamed of in losing in the first round to a great team like Detroit

elmer - ne philly

Pierre....next year for philly, who will be there playing D?? timonen, parent, coburn, carle, jones and sbisa. who gets traded when we sign boumeester?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

haha... love your confidence with Bouwmeester... I thnk he wants to return to Canada.... But I think Briere might be put on the block given the emergence of Giroux...

Michael (Great Neck, New York)

Are you surprised that Versteeg was named a Calder finalist over Doughty and Rinne?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

shocked. here's how I filled out myofficial Calder ballot after the regular season: 1. Mason 2. Doughty 3. Rinne 4. Ryan 5. Oshie

Dan (Nashua, NH)

Bruins over Red Wings in 7, mark it down.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

just wrote it down

Erik (SF, CA)

Tory Mitchell's back--and the fourth line is flying again for the Sharks. Any word on whether Huskins is ready to play yet?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

no clue Erik, sorry, I'm covering Caps-rangers...

Sean (TR NJ)

Based off of what I saw in game 3 with Hawks and Flames I think that one can turn into a real gritty classic, your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

well I prediected hawks in a tough 7 and I think we're headed there..

Vinny (nyc)

A lot of talk lately that Tavares should not be taken #1 overall. How have the last 2 weeks changed what was considered an easy choice for the team that won the lottery?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

I havent had the chance to watch any of the OHL playoffs but I guess the word is that Tavares was good but not great... but again, I haven't seen any of his playoffs...

Danny (DC)

Thanks for keeping me updated on the game tonight, good work. Is it me or have the refs been calling way too many iffy calls? Its seems every game has a whistle ever 3-5 minutes for a penalty. The Flyers-Pens game was like that and so was the 1st period of the Sharks game last night. When they swallowed the whistles it was a highly entertaining good flowing game. You think the league office should tell them lighten up? I do. Any thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

Danny, I think ever since we came out of the lockout with the crackdown on hooking and obstruction the playoffs have been called more tightly. No surprise there

sean

hey do you think mark streit could win the defensive trophy???

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:48 PM)

I think the word you're looking for is Norris. And No, he doesn't have a chance. here were my five votes on the official Norris ballot we handed in after the regular season: 1. Chara. 2. Green 3. Weber 4. Lidstrom 5. Markov

Ryan, Pittsburgh

When will John Stevens stop the whining? It's always the bias against the Flyers- the penalties, the calls for Crosby, the blah blah blah blah blah. They lost yesterday because of Fleury. Period. They lost game 2 because they lost game 1, and game 1 because Hartnell and the team collectively took dumb penalties and let the Pens get momentum. Bad calls are going both ways (Eaton's hip check turned trip), but the Flyers are losing the goaltending duel and have been undisciplined. Look within and quit whining, coach.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

yes it is becoming a little much from the Flyers to always complain that they face a different standard. I don't believe it for a second

John (Gulf Breeze, FL)

Pierre, how can you answer a serious question who refers to themself as "cdub"

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

LOL

Justin (DC)

YES OR NO - Ovie scores a goal tonight.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)

oui

Justin (Boulder, CO)

As a Wings fan in a foreign land I am appalled at the television coverage situation. Is there any chance of improvement on the horizon for fans in similar situations?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

my suggestion is to get the Center Ice package my friend

steve, montreal

Gainey needs to show a little more emotion and start Halak before its to late.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

Dude, it's too late

Great 8(DC)

Hey Gino, after I put up 4 pts tonight I will pass your point total for 4 games. Not to mention I already have 10 more hits then you in 1 less game.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Alex, be careful, you guys have to be teammates in Vancouver next February :)

James Boston [via mobile]

do you think Thomas can win the vezina?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

He'll definitely be a nominee I think. The NHL's 30 GMs by the way vote on that one, not the writers.

Gino(Pittsburgh)

My series is 3 games to 1. Hey Alex how is your TEAM doing?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

Come on Gino, you guys have to be buddies in February !!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

OK kids, I've got to put my suit on and walk a few blocks to MSG. Giddy-up !!!!!