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June 10, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Buzzmaster
  (4:00 PM)

We're getting Pierre right now!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

I'm in the backseat of the ESPN.com vehicle with Scott Burnside at the helm and I'm ready for your questions.

Mark (Charlotte, NC)

Total Goals tonight = Under 5; Over 5 or 5?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

I would say under for Friday. I think it's going to be a terrific game.

mike (york, pa)

any chance the pens can reverse the home ice trend friday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:07 PM)

I think Pittsburgh's best chance lies in the fact that for the Wings, this whole Game 7 in the Cup finals things is new for them as well. They've taken care of things before Game 7 in the past. So this will be as new for them as it is for Pittsburgh.

Shea (Pittsburgh, Pa)

Pierre,with crosby and malkin receiving little help from their wingers, would it be a wise move to put them together from time to time in game 7? also, if you were the pens coach, would you beg crosby to shoot the puck more than once a game?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

I think what you'll see is the occasional shift together, but play separately. There will be some line juggling by the Penguins.

Bob (Pittsburgh)

Did you get some Primantis while you were in Pittsburgh?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

I did not on this trip, but I have had it on several trips in the past. But I've been working so hard that I did not have any time.

jason (ft bragg nc) [via mobile]

with the game six win last night does piittsburgh have a decided advantage going into detroit or are they stiill going to be the underdogs

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

I think they're still the underdogs. The momentum really hasn't been a factor in this series. Whatever momentum you get after winning a game hasn't had an effect. Pittsburgh won a game and then lost 5-0 but then wins 2-1. Momentum hasn't been a factor in the finals.

Adam (Chicago)

What's wrong with Rafalski? He's played some of his worst defensive hockey this series.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:10 PM)

I think in Game 4 he definitely struggled. That was the worst game I've seen him played. In Game 5 he was better. He needs to play better.

mike (york, pa)

sid and geno must both play big games to win friday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

I agree. Obviously they did not in Game 6. But it will be few and far between that you can win a game without those two producing. They'll both have to be on the scoresheet for the Penguins to prevail.

Patrick (Washington, DC)

Game 7, never thought the Pen's would win 3 of the next 4 after that 2-0 start by the Wings. Does Babcock consider shuffeling his lines for game 7, maybe Hank, Dats and Hossa on the 1st????

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

I think the one thing he might be considering is Hossa, who has been effective. Datsyuk and Zetterberg stay together. The thing he has to consider is does he separate those two to get Hossa going.

puckhead (philly, pa)

what effect will scoring depth have on game 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

Geez, I thought you would have asked me about Ray Emery signing in Philly today! That's an interesting question, because the Wings really have gotten more contributions from their role players. But on the other hand, Pittsburgh got a huge night from their third line in Game 6. That's why they won. If they get more of that, that should help in Game 7.

Stan (Michigan)

Ozzie was great in game 6 despite the 2 goals (defenses fault). His play this whole playoffs has been terrific. Is he still the front runner for the Con Smythe if the Wings win? If the Penguins win?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

I think it's very much between Ozzie and Zetterberg. Some of us who have votes for the Conn Smythe, like Scott Burnside, it's very much between those two players if the Wings win.

Dave (Erie PA)

So much in the "stars" for the Pens and Wings, but I think the guys who have really played like the heros keep the Pens in it all are Stall and Fluery. Would you agree?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Yeah, I would add to that that's a good point. And Tyler Kennedy has been really good in this final series as well.

Jordan (Columbia, SC)

Who would you rather have in net going into this game? And who is going to win?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

I would probably give a very very very very slight edge to Osgood. He looks so good and composed right now. Nothing seems to bother him.

Eric (Seattle)

Do you think the penguins will case the Stall, Zetternberg match up or just let Zetterberg play against Crosby. Stall with Kennedy, have been the most effective players against the Wings. Remeber the pens won back in Nov. on a Stall hat trick and Kennedy game winner as well

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Because they don't have the last line change on the road, I don't think the Penguins will try to force line changes as much. They're not going to overplay Staal and underplay Crosby to force a matchup.

Bob (Pittsburgh)

How much money has Scuderi made himself with his play in the post season? Any chance the pens can still afford him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:26 PM)

Well, given all of their contracts for next season, I think if he stays it's because of a discounted contract. If he does hit the open market, I think he's looking at $4 million a year, which isn't bad.

mike (york, pa)

any chance of a big let down on friday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:27 PM)

Well, I certainly hope not. But certainly sometimes when you have a game of this magnitude, teams sometimes are worried about making a mistake instead of making a play. Hopefully that's not the case with these two teams.

JL (Morgantown)

I think Kris Letang has made a really big leap in this playoffs both on the offensive and defensive ends...agree?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:29 PM)

I do agree. I think that's why Ray Shero felt confident enough that he could trade away a highend defenseman because he thought Kris was ready. He's developing into a dynamite two-way presence.

tony (los angeles)

kings fan with nothing to do this time of year...vinny, gaborik, heatley, kovalchuk...do you seriously see the kings picking up any of these guys?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Yes, I can tell you that from some of the conversations I've had over the last week, the Kings are trying very hard to land one big name. Some of the players include, Gomez and Lecavalier. Those two are longshots at this point. I think the player they covet the most is Smyth.

Anthony (Detroit)

Do you think Hossa is gonna break out of his scoring slump and be more of the impcat player he is capable of being on Friday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

He's playing with little confidence. He's been a perimeter player in the finals. He's going to have to be better to win.

Evan (Sixburgh,PA)

Who do you see being the difference maker in game 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:32 PM)

I'll give you one on each team. Niklas Lidstrom from Deteroit and Gonchar from Pittsburgh.

Dustin (Pittsburgh)

Do you think Sid's amount of playing time had anything to do with a possible game 7? He and Geno will obviously be double shifting game 7.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

No, I don't think so. This time of year, you can never afford the luxury to look ahead of another possible game. I don't think there's any correlation.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

Is Hossa just lacking confidence or do you think we may be hiding an injury? You mentioned Osgood and Zetterberg as Conn Smythe favorites for Detroit. What about if Pittsburgh wins?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

It is a possibility. I know that in the clinching game in the Western Conference Finals, which I covered, Hossa banged up his right knee. After, I saw a giant ice pack on his knee. There is a possibility there's a lingering effect.

Ian (pittsburgh)

Do you think that by playing Staalsy on the 3rd line as more of a defensive player, we have hindered the progress of his offensive game?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

Well, let's not forget how young he is. He's still not old enough to drink. He's had a lot of long nights and the minutes he's played. They'll have a day when he's ready to play as a front line center.

Steve (Westland, MI)

Detroit's been coming out slow early in games all through the playoffs and it's been markedly worse in the finals. Last night, they barely looked like a team that should be in the finals till the game was half over. Think this will continue into game 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

First of all, great observation. That's exactly what's happened every night in these finals. I know that's concerned Babcock.

mike (york, pa)

if hossa has a big game changing error friday is he back in detriot next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

From what we're being told, the deal was very close to being done before the playoffs but then the Wings cut off talks.

Raj (Chicago)

So do you really think home ice prevails?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

First of all, Fleury has to have a big game. That was probably the most important thing. Aside from that, they need to capitalize on the power play, and expose the underbelly of Detroit, which is their penalty kill.

Kerry (Berkeley, CA)

What does each team take away from a game 7 loss? I mean, to come that close and lose, what changes are really necessary? Do they need to retool, or just hope that the experience makes them that much more ferocious next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

I don't think they'll do a huge amount of change. Especially Pittsburgh, they'll have taken a bigger step in the Finals than a year ago. And for Detroit, I think you have to take into account how banged up this team was coming into the finals. Datsyuk missed seven games. It's not an excuse, it's a reality.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

Has this series/playoffs done anything to put hockey back on the map? I don't know how it gets any better than this.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

Well, I certainly agree with you on that. If you read my column that was posted today by my boss Joy Russo, that was exactly the angle that I took. This is the best the NHL has been in a really long time. I think that will be translated into attendance and ratings for next year.

kevin samueson (port houron mi )

is det go win the cup fridary

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

Hmmm, at this point, I don't have a feel for it. I'll know that Friday. But right now, I don't. Sorry. That's my true honest self. I'd be lying otherwise.

Raj (Chicago)

The Detroit PK has been great the last 2 games

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

It was certainly a lot better. Even though they lost, their PK kept them in the game. I think you can throw Game 5 out of the window, because as soon as Detroit was up 2-0, the Penguins fell apart.

Peter R (Newport Beach)

Pierre...home team has won every game this series... I got to think that the wings have a 70% chance of winning this game...whats you take?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

Well, it's to their advantage. They're 11-1 at home. Their only loss is a triple OT to Anaheim. They're extremely confident at Joe Louis. They seem to make less mistakes. The one player who plays particularly good at home is Chris Osgood.

ANdrew (Saylorsburg, Pa)

Do you think we can see another classic game like we did in 2001 when Bourque won it? Do you think personally Crosby will break out in game 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:48 PM)

It certainly has the potential to be. Given the star power on each side, it really augments the possibility to making this a big night. A night to remember.

Ian (pittsburgh)

most likely in a Pen's jersey THIS TIME next year: Malone, Gaborik, Kovalchuk, or Luca Caputi?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

Too early to tell. Right now the Penguins front office is really focused on the Finals. It will have to wait until next week before they turn to the offseason.

Anthony (Detroit)

Is Osgood a Hall of Fame goaltender?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)

In my mind, he is. I do think he's a hall of fame goaltender.

HENRY (NY)

What can Fleury do differently in Game 7 compared to how he played the rest of his away games? The Pens need him to be at or near the level he is playing at home.- you posted it but never answered it

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:11 PM)

He's got to find a way to not allow in that one bad goal. He let in one bad goal in every game in Detroit. If he can find a way to not let in that one bad goal it gives his team a chance.

Jordan (Arlington(VA))

whos your pick for friday. If the pens win who's Conn Smythe?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

We were just having that debate again here in the car. It's a battle between Crosby and Malkin. It's a split down the middle. It's a decision that I will have to make when I fill out my ballot.

HENRY (NY)

Any negativity coming from Detroit for blowing the chance to end this series?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

Last night in the Wings dressing room, I found a lot of positiveness. The veterans said that if they were given one game at Joe Louis Arena to win it all, they would have taken it. That was the message.

Eric (Atlanta)

I'm a Wings fan...so my view might be partial...but why are the Red Wings on the wrong side of so many blown calls? The Hossa no-goal against the Ducks, the Kronwall hit against Chicago (which most people considered clean even at the time), the 30 second 6 on 5 against the Pens...it just seems like the list goes on and on...not to mention it seemed like the refs blew a couple interference calls against the Pens last night...even the NBC guys made a comment about having to call that interference stuff both ways...what's you're take?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

I think you're blinded by your team my friend. The calls in the first two games were even. Try to look at it from both perspectives.

m. hossa (detroit, mi)

can you rub my stick for good luck?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:13 PM)

Marian, that's a personal question. I don't think I can do that.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:13 PM)

Tell everyone you know that they have to be watching Friday night. It's the game of the year. Thanks for chatting.