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November 12, 3:00 PM ET
Thursday Night Hockey chat

Buzzmaster
  (6:19 PM)

We'll be chatting Thursday at 3 p.m. ET for our Thursday Night Hockey chat!

Buzzmaster
  (11:08 AM)

Barry Melrose starts off our chat today at 3, followed by Matthew Barnaby at 4 and Pierre LeBrun at 4:30 p.m. ET!

Barry Melrose
  (3:02 PM)

I know there are a lot of happy Red Wings fans out there today. Let's get started!

Brian (Buffalo)

Do you think the Sabres will be able to win the stanely cup this year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

I don't they can win the Stanley Cup but I think they are a good playoff team. I don't think they are as good as New Jersey, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia.

Leo Makowski (Connecticut)

No points in five straight for Sid. Is he hurting?

Barry Melrose
  (3:04 PM)

I think the whole team is hurting. The injuries have caught up with them but that team should still win with the talent that they have. I'm a little shocked that Sidney has gone five games without a goal.

Marty (Chicago)

Would you rather watch a high scoring Pens/Caps playoff series for a exciting tight hawks/avs series that will go into overtime every game? These 3 games the Hawks and Avs has played so far are great!

Barry Melrose
  (3:05 PM)

I love the Hawks and I like the Western Conference more then I like the Eastern Conference and I've always have.

Jeff (St. Louis)

It's too early to tell, but humor me...Do the Blues start turning it around and make the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

I like the Blues a lot. I think they should be a playoff team.

Jake (Mt. Pleasant, MI)

Red Wings or Canucks, and by what score?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

I like the way the Red Wings are playing right now. I think the Red Wings will win 5-3.

cheyenne wyoming [via mobile]

which nhl team has the best young talent?

Barry Melrose
  (3:08 PM)

That's a good question. I think you would have to go with the Penguins with Crosby, Maulkin and Staal. They are pretty amazing up there.

MikeNJD (Weehawken, NJ)

The Devils could always use more scoring (even in Jacques' system), so who do you think they cna go out and get?

Barry Melrose
  (3:10 PM)

If you're a Devil fan right now you have to be the happiest fans in the world. With all they injuries that they have, they are still playing great. The Devils have always been active at trade time but I think they have a good team. I think they could use Kovalchuk from Atlanta but I like New Jersey the way they are.

Matt (Syracuse)

The NY Rangers are lacking a physical Defenceman who do you think could fill that void for them? Also who do you think has the better chance for the win tonight Thrashers or Rangers

Barry Melrose
  (3:11 PM)

They don't have that type of defenseman. Everyone is looking for that type of player but it's hard to find one. I think they will just have to continue with the defensemen that they have now.

Joe carol stream il [via mobile]

Hi barry do u think the blackhawks can win the cup with a healty hossa? thanku

Barry Melrose
  (3:12 PM)

Yes I do. They are my pick to win. They are good enough to win the Cup.

Jon (NC)

Are the Hurricanes really this bad? Its shocking how poorly they have played and I have never seen a team give up goals in bunches like they have this year. Where does Rutherford go from here?

Barry Melrose
  (3:13 PM)

They aren't that bad but they are a mess. They need to look at a major shake up or they have to weather the storm and hopefully get some players in the draft.

eric (baltimore)

The Caps lead the East even though their complete 60 min efforts can be counted on one hand. How is this possible?

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

They are just so talented. They are better than just about every team they play. Unless they get better defensively, they won't win the Cup. Defense is why they didn't win last year. They are winning now because they are so much better then all they teams that they are playing.

Leo (Connecticut)

Boston has won two in a row with 7 goals for and only two against. Have they righted the ship?

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

That's how Boston has to win. With all the players they have out, they have to keep scoring down. They are playing the style of play that they have to play until they get their players back from injuries.

David (Dallas,Tx)

Hey Barry, SHould Stars fans worry about Marty in the pipes?

Barry Melrose
  (3:17 PM)

No. Turco has proved that he is a good playoff goaltender. The Stars are a good team and a team that other teams don't what to see in the playoffs. I think Stars fans should be pretty happy right now.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Barry, which team has been affected most by injuries so far this year? The Pens are decimated, but the Bruins, Oilers and Canucks have also been hammered. Plus Kovalchuk and Ovechkin have been out for their teams.

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

I think every team has been hit by injuries this year. I don't think there are too many teams that haven't been affected by injuries this year. I know it's part of the game but it seems like a lot of key players are getting injured this season more than any other.

Gary (Cherry Hill, NJ)

does scotty neids come back to the devils at the trade deadline to play with his brother and marty again?

Barry Melrose
  (3:20 PM)

No. He's going to finish his career with the Ducks. You won't see the Niedermayer brothers together again on the Devils.

Nicholas Leive (Pittsburgh)

Will Ovechkin ever be a complete player like Crosby? what i mean is a team player, yea he can score, but he's a one man show in DC. I think if we dishes of the biscuit more he would have that thing that the pens have, ah ah, a trophy. It goes my the name of LORD STANLEY...

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

Ovechkin is a pretty complete player. I think if he sets his mid to it, he could become a good defensive player. It's hard to find a player that can score like he scores and plays with his style of play.

Jake (NYC)

What do you think the ceiling is for David Clarkson?

Barry Melrose
  (3:22 PM)

I think Clarkson is great. The goal he scored last night shows how talented he is. He has turned himself into a great hockey player and teammate with the Devils.

Matt (Syracuse)

Can the Rangers be Stanley cup contenders?

Barry Melrose
  (3:25 PM)

I think if Gaborik stays healthy and if Lundqvist can continue to play at a high level, the Rangers are contenders. They need those two guys to be unbelievable because the Rangers aren't as good as Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

tom (hackensack)

Patrick elias...hasnt done much since his return...how does he look to you?

Barry Melrose
  (3:26 PM)

It's gong to take him a while to get back in game shape because he missed a lot of time. He'll score 20-25 goals for the Devils over the rest of the season. He's another perfect fit for New Jersey.

Marty (NYC)

Will Shannahan Play again this year

Barry Melrose
  (3:27 PM)

I would probably say no. It would be better to have a young player play than having Shannahan play. I would be surprised to see him play in the NHL this season.

Maurizio (New Jersey)

How much of the Devils is the result of bring Jaque back ?

Barry Melrose
  (3:29 PM)

I think it was a great move. The team has responded to him. They are playing great right now for a team that has a lot of injuries. I think Jaque coming back has been great for the Devils.

Andrew (Toronto)

Please tell me my Leafs aren't giving up a top 3 pick next year for the Kessel trade! Please!

Barry Melrose
  (3:30 PM)

Might not be a top 3 pick but it will be a top 10 pick. I can't see the Leafs making the playoffs this year so it will have to be a top 10 pick. The problem is it will be a top pick two years in a row.

Barry Melrose
  (3:35 PM)

Hope everybody watches the Thursday Night Hockey game between Pittsburgh and New Jersey. The Devils are 8-0 on the road this season and they look to continue their flawless road record as they are only two road victories short of the NHL record set by Buffalo.

Buzzmaster
  (3:58 PM)

We've got Matthew Barnaby coming to chat in a few minutes!

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:01 PM)

Lots of injuries out there. Some great games tonight as the Devils go for 9-0 on the road on ESPN's Game of the Week.

Paul Sorensen (Norton Shores, MI)

Hey Matthew, Do you have a Facebook?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:01 PM)

No.

Russell (Tuscaloosa)

what do we have to do to get an NHL team in alabama? i say we move the thrashers to huntsville.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:01 PM)

Hold your breath. Pray. And that's about it. You have no chance. Buy Center Ice Package.

Ryan Schillizzi (New Jersey)

Year after year the Devils are picked to drop off and fall out of the playoff race, but every year they come back strong and are a real threat. Where will the Devils be come playoff time?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:03 PM)

It's true. Everyone picks this team to fall year after year. But when you have a system and have an organizational philosophy that you stick by year after year, you have success. Let's not forget this team's best player Patrick Elias is still hurt. They play the trap, everyone knows it but no one can get by it. When they do, Marty Broduer takes care of the rest.

John (New York)

What would you do if a player like Alex Semin or Mike Ribeiro kept diving all over the place on the ice? Aren't these acts embarrassing?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:04 PM)

If the refs don't give penalties, players are going to continue to try and get power plays. Do I think it's embarrassing? No. If it works, you try to do anything to get the advantage.

Adam (Pittsburgh)

Do you feel that the Pens can overcome the injuries that they've had early this year? And the pens always go after a big name at the trade deadline. Who do you feel they would go after?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:05 PM)

I think they've done a great job in dealing with the injuries they've had. I don't know of a team with more significant players out of the lineup. Come trade deadline, they will be one of the elite teams and will likely add someone. But it's too early to know who or what they are targeting.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Who gets into the Hall of Fame first, Pavel Bure or Eric Lindros? In my opinion, Bure was the best pure goal scorer in the league for a short time while Lindros was never really the best at any one particular aspect of the game (when compared to Lemieux, Jagr, Messier, Yzerman, etc)....other than arguing with his GM of course. Does Bure get hurt in the voting because he is Russian?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:07 PM)

I think it's Pavel Bure. Neither played a ton of games but I don't think you can overlook five 50-gaol seasons for Bure. One of the most dynamic scorers but unfortunately his career was cut short due to injuries. Lindros, when healthy, was part of the most dominating line I ever played against. His points per game are awesome and I think will get into the hall of fame, just not next year.

Zachary (Lafayette, LA)

The Pens haven't scored in nearly 2 1/2 games. With that said, we all know that Marty is on the brink of tying another NHL record. What do you think are the chances that at the end of the night, the Pens haven't scored in over 180 minutes and Marty is in the record books again?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:08 PM)

I do think if there is a night that it could happen, it would be tonight. The Pens have a ton of injuries. Crosby is pointless in five and the Devils are playing as well as anyone in the league.

jon (midwest)

I wish hockey would go back on strike or to Canada. I would rather watch NBA or NCAA basketball or even the Premier League on ESPN then hockey

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:10 PM)

Jon, now that's not very nice. ESPN has a lot of great things and just sit down, watch a game between Pittsburgh and Washington and let me know what you think. If you don't like it, come to Canada and we'll watch something really boring: curling.

Busby (Connecticut)

I heard you punch like a girl. Why would people say that about you? You are starting a franchise. Crosby or Ovechkin?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:11 PM)

I did hit the gym today and hit the bag. And I really do think I punch like a girl now. I'm old and not very strong. As for Ovechkin or Crosby, I will take Ovechkin. The more and more I see the more I love him as a player. The only player I've ever seen that could finish a game with 13 shots and 13 hits at the end of it. He has such a love and passion for scoring and I think will go down as one of the best scorers of all time.

Busby (Connecticut)

Do you think the Islanders will move? Hartford perhaps?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:12 PM)

As much as I loved Brass Bonanza, I don't think Hartford will be getting a team any time soon. If any moves are made, I would think Canada will get the next couple. I do miss a lot of great nights and fights in that building.

Steve (ATLANTA)

If Kovalchuk remains healthy can atlanta make the playoffs this year?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:14 PM)

I don't see it and we'll see if he plays tonight. I don't think that they're deep enough at any position to make the playoffs. The bigger question is whether they are able to sign him to a deal. If not, close up shop in Atlanta as they are done.

Mustard (Kingston, ON)

No. 1 issue you would like to see changed in the NHL. (Other than headshots/blindsides)

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:15 PM)

I would love for them to take the one point away for a shootout loss. I like wins and losses and one point for a loss doesn't make sense. If you lose, you're a loser. Too hard to keep track of records.

Umor (Detroit)

Addy, Draper, And the new guy got off the scoring bench last night for the Wings. I wonder how long they can play lackluster defense in the 3rd periods. It's like they hit a wall in the 3rd.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:16 PM)

They could have been run over by a truck. They were winning by so much and in the first two periods were so dominant. This finally is starting to look like a good team. Need to get healthy, like everyone, but Detroit will contend again.

Rob H (Staten Island, NY)

As a Devil fan, I tend to look into the other Atlantic division teams. With that being said, do you think the Rangers are hiding the severity of the Henrik Lunqvist leg/groin injury?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:17 PM)

Everyone hides injuries. No one will know how severe it is especially with a groin. The bad thing or good thing, with you being a Devils fan, is being a goalie it's a tough injury and usually lasts a while.

Zachary (Lafayette, LA)

Jon (midwest), why come on to a hockey page just to hate? You don't have to worry about watching hockey ever on ESPN as they have made it clear that they do not support the fastest growing sport in North America (and only one that has weathered recession well). Versus exists because of the NHL and the NHL is where it is because of Versus. The relationship between the two will continue to be mutually beneficial for years to come while your precious NBA (Need Bail Again) will continue to fall by the wayside. I feel bad for the hockey analysts on ESPN because the World Wide Leader in Sports seems to not give much respect to the game they love.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:19 PM)

I think that ESPN would like to have it back. The game is as good as it has ever been and the players are too. ESPN could do a great job in growing this game and hopefully the NHL will recognize that. There is one place to be and that is here. I can tell you from first hand experience that last year's playoffs everyone here was talking hockey. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come.

Jason (Long Islander)

When do the Islanders return to the playoff? Where will they be then?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:20 PM)

The Islanders are a lot closer than they have been in a while. A lot of good young players and a coach that seems to know how to get the best out of them. I still think they are a couple of years away from making the playoffs, but the future is bright.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:21 PM)

Hopefully they will be in a new arena in Long Island, because this one is awful.

Busby (Connecticut)

Does Kovalchuk sign in Atlanta?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:22 PM)

I don't think so. I think the longer it goes and the closer they get to trade deadline that it is unlikely that he will sign there. They've offered a boat load of money and he has refused. I believe he's looking in that $90-100 million which means come trade deadline, they will have to trade him. You can not have a Jay Bouwmeester mistake like Florida.

Umor (Detroit)

Hockey need to promote the rivalries. Wings vs Blues. Devils vs Islanders. Habs vs Toronto. We got alot of great rivalries in hockey.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:24 PM)

There are. So many great ones. When I was in Buffalo, we had Philly. When I was in Pittsburgh, we had Philly. There are so many great rivalries and I think the regional coverage does it. Unfortunately, we cover a national and try to promote it in as little time as we get.

Bill (Pasadena, CA.)

Matthew-how do players view other players that the G.M. have said quit on the team? (example:Frolov-Kings)

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:25 PM)

Players want the best for the team. Sometimes a coach says it to motivate players or the GM calls out players to get them to play the best that they can. Depending on the situation and how they feel about Frolov is another thing. Players will try to help him to try to get him back to the top of his game. If they don't think he is willing, they will make it known to management to move him.

Joe (NY)

Devils and Islanders? That's hardly a rivalry compared to the one the Rangers have with both teams.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:27 PM)

The funny thing about this one is that when I played with the Rangers, they used to say we don't care if you don't make the playoffs, just beat the Devils and Islanders. And that really is the truth. Because everything is so close and there are so many fans that cheer for different teams, these rivalries are great. Fights outside. Fights in the stands before games. We loved it as players, especially the Santa Claus beating that some guys took in Long Island.

Ryan (San Jose,CA)

Do the sharks need to add a stay at home defenseman to fulfill the barnaby prophecy of a cup win this season?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:28 PM)

Yup. Barry and EJ were laughing a few months ago. Not laughing any more. This team looks good, but yes I think could add one stay at home defenseman as the season goes on. They can score. They have been good defensively and their goaltending looks very solid. I really think this is the year that they take that next step.

Frank (D.C)

Do you feel that the compressed schedule due to the olympics is the reason for all of the big name injuries around the league?

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:30 PM)

Definitely a contributing factor. Also add in size and speed of these players. They really have to remove the trapezoid behind the net and let the goalies play the puck. We knew as players that when they removed it, with the speed of the forecheck and not being able to put a little interference in, that D-men and guys retrieving pucks would get killed.

Alex (Conn)

What do you think of Tavares so far? He's no Crosby

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:32 PM)

No, he isn't Crosby. But he is a very good goalscorer and will play for a long time. Great around the net. But his skating has always been a liability. This is a power play guy and if you surround him with some top quality passers could score 50.

Matthew Barnaby
  (4:32 PM)

Thanks everyone. Have a great night. Tune in to our ESPN Game of the Week Chat, Devils vs. Pittsburgh. Devils will win. Sorry to ruin the surprise.

Leo (Connecticut)

Isn't it a bit early in the season for Forsberg to be considering his annual comeback? Isn't it a bit early for teams to be considering thier rental strategy for a stretch run?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

Hey folks, LeBrun is in the house.Leo, funny question on Forsberg. But I guess one of the reasons for the timing is that he wants to be ready for the Olympics

Turan (WashDC)

Caps currently lead the league in goals for, which is excepted with so much firepower. By getting rid of Nylander to the KHL, will the caps bring in a real premiere shutdown defenseman (sorry Tom Poti...) before the deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Turan, Nylander still remains with the Caps although I think any day now he might be headed to the KHL...But yes, I think a D-man is what the Caps need. Thing is, GM GM has been pretty conservative at recent trade deadlines...

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, what have you heard as a possible destination for Fabian Brunnstrom? I read that the Pens might be in the mix there, although I do not know who would go the other way.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

Jesse, here's what I was told 2 min ago from a Stars front-office source (just for you I texted them)I was told the Stars are not trying to move Brunsstrom but several teams have inquired... so, that doesn't mean he won't be traded, but it means other teams are the ones being aggressive on this matter, not the Stars

Peter Forsberg (Modo, Sweden)

Who should I come back and play for? The Wings seem pretty good. Regardless, is everybody in the media ready for this circus to start again?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

The Wings don't want you.I would go to Philly. You owe them for last time.

Rob H (Staten Island, NY)

Do you think the Devils will be able to keep pace with there current performance and go deep into the playoffs, something that they haven't done since they won the Cup in 2003?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

I think every hockey writer in the world knows by know not to ever discount Lou's Devils? I shared a laugh with Lamoriello about this this week when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He's really proud of this year's team and the way it has perserved through injuries

Matt (Syracuse)

The NY Rangers are lacking a physical D who can they get to fill this void? Also who will win tonight Thrashers or Rangers

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

The Islanders are shopping Brendan Witt.... :)Oh, but the Rangers have about $600,000 in cap space....NYR 3, Thrashers 2 tonight

john (eldora, nj)

how about those devils? how many of the guys on espn *cough - burnside* said they would go down in flames? what impresses you most about the Devils this year? which new devil have you been the most impressed with this season? which new devil impresses you the most this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

I've already answered on the Devils but wanted to post this question because one thing ocurred to me last night while I watched yet another Devils victory on TV.... empty seats yet again... the Devils as of today are averaging just over 15,000 paid a game (which means about 12,000 show up). Come on Devils fans, why are so many of you on these message boards and not at the game supporting your team !!! The Rangers are always sold out !!!!

Marc (Germany)

Did you expect the consistent production out of Christian Ehrhoff in Vancouver? The trade was just perfect for him and Vancouver!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

He's a good puck-mover Marc, a smart player, but his knock is that he's soft. Good move for the Canucks but not a big loss for San Jose

Steven (Barrington, IL)

Did the Hawks make the right move letting Khabibulin go?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:48 PM)

Listen, Khabibulin has had a tremendous career. So this is no knock against him. But I covered the last two rounds of the Blackhawks playoffs last spring and I can tell you he wasn't great. He was good, but he wasn't great. His save percentage in the playoffs was .898. Not great.

Hal (Toms River, NJ)

What else to the Devils have to do to get respect for their great organization? Lets Go Devils!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

BUY TICKETS

Elliott (Boston)

Going to the Bruins vs Panthers tonight, who do you pick to win this battle of the Juggernauts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

Bruins, 4-1

Jason (Philly)

with lamarello getting inducted does that solidfy him as the greatest gm of all time? with lamarello getting in does that solidify him as the greatest gm of all time?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)

Dude, ever hear of Sam Pollock and the nine Cup he was as GM of the Habs?Yeesh

Jason (Dallas)

Is there any chance that the Stars trade for a good offensive defenseman? Preferably someone that can really run the PP?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

Stars GM Joe Nieuewendyk knows he needs help at D, but he also knows his team is cash-strapped...

Bob (Oshawa)

Shouldn't there be some kind of limit as to how many times a team can pick in the lottery? No offense but Tampa Bay deserves to be bad because they don't develop players properly. The real only exception being Brad Richards. Stamkos + Hedman are ready made superstars and they are a reward for inept management.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

What about Dan Boyle? FLorida thought he wasn't good enough. He evolved into a star blue-liner in Tampa. Of course, then they traded him too :)

Rick Kehoe (Pittsburgh)

Are the Kings for real? How many points will Kopitar put up this year? I am really missing watching Scuderi this year.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

I think they're for real in terms of finally getting back to the playoffs. Just had a nice chat with head coach Terry Murray about an hour ago. Check out my blog on the Kings on Friday.

Jorge (tempe, az)

if someone asked you to coach any team in the league right now which one would you pick and why?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

Dallas Stars. So that I could be closer to my beloved Cowboys :)

Bryan (St.Catharines, Ontario)

With Orpik joining the long lost of injured Penguins... Gonchar, Letang, Malkin, Kennedy, Talbot... and Crosby going without a point for the longest stretch of games in his career, what kind of spark do you think is need in Pittsburgh to save them from their current 3-game free-fall?? Can Crosby elevate to another level, perhaps like he did in the playoffs, or do you think guys like Kunitz and Staal need to fulfill some of their potential?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

bryan, they need Fleury to steal a couple and he hasn't done that really through this stretch. His numbers have come down to earth a bit. Time for him to show us that Game 7 Cup finals flash

james (your location)

kopitar now has 30 points. over/under 100?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

97 points

Tyler (Riverside,RI)

Even with Hossa,Burish and Bolland coming back, can the hawks really win the cup with Huet? Hes getting better but saves most of the hard ones and lets in so many soft ones.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:00 PM)

I would tell you that 80 per cent of NHL people I talk to answer No when I asked that same question to them.Then again, the Wings have won without having the best goalie.... It's called puck possession

bruce boudreau (washington)

We didn't win last year because you picked us to win. Jinx

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:01 PM)

No Bruce, I picked San Jose. So you can't blame me :)

tom (hackensack)

Patrick elias...hasnt done much since his return...how does he look to you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:01 PM)

Like a guy who missed the first month of the season

sarah (michigan)

The Wings aren't coming off a bad loss; they won 9-1 against the jackets last night.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:02 PM)

You got it Sarah ! Did you like my Yzerman HHOF piece?

eric (baltimore)

Wise up Pens fans. Ovechkin is a complete player. Crosby has a cup due to Fleury. That is the difference.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:03 PM)

Dude, seriously.They are both great, complete players. Everyone chill, I'm tired of the OV/Sid debate. I love 'em both !

Kevin (Anaheim)

It's been quite awhile since I have been optimistic with the Kings making the playoffs. What do you think their chances are getting in the top 8 based on their current play?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:03 PM)

they're in I say !!!!!

Davis (Calgary)

Do you think Calgary will be able to dump Joke-inen on to another team this season or do you think we're stuck with him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:04 PM)

Given that he's UFA July 1 Davis, not sure what the urgency is. If he sucks all year long then you can let him walk away July 1.

Dr. Horseshoe (Detroit)

Happy Red Wings fans? Try wary. Nice to post 9 goals in a game, but with the injuries and the lackluster goaltending? It's not exactly hapiness. The Wings will be there in the mix at the end, but how far toward the end is another question. Still gotta love Pavel's long stick and Kronwall and Leino and JAbedelkader (sp?) really stepped it up last night. Hope there's more of that come Spring...

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:06 PM)

Hey doc, imagine a team like Colorado continuing its surprise season and finishing with a top-four seed in the West only to draw in the first round of the playoffs..... Detroit. That's the problem with the Wings winging it right now. They may ruin someone's season come spring time

Mitchell Harrison (Atlanta)

Do you see the Thrashers making the playoffs this year? They certainly have the offense, and the defense is much better than in seasons past.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:06 PM)

bubble team... will be clsoe

Kevin (NJ)

As a fan and not a hockey player, I see Claude Giroux in Philly as a hugely talented Foppa-like playmaker, but I don't see the coaching staff always using him to full potential or getting the ice time. Am I misreading his talent level? Is he a game-changer in puck handling (not necessarily scoring)?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:07 PM)

You forgot the most important thing with Claude Giroux, he's from the same town in Northern Ontario as me.. :)But I'm with you, he's a big-time game changer, gifted offensively, likely stuck behind Richards/Carter in terms of that kind of ice time

Bill (Pasadena,CA.)

Pierre-Now that Ian penny and others have left the NHLPA, any possibility that the players would want Paul Kelly back, would Kelly want to come back?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:08 PM)

I think if the players asked Paul to come back he would under the right circumstances but I think what you'll see if a fresh start all-around so that both sides of the bitter feud can start to mend fences....

Zach Konnie (Mt. Pleasant, MI)

Yzerman piece was awesome, Will they win the central by overcoming the injury bug and 2010 games?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:09 PM)

Thanks Zach.I think the Hawks win the Central but the Wings make life hell for somebody come playoff time

Katie (Denver, CO)

Is Patrick Sharp the best looking guy in the NHL?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

Well I guess sports writers don't count :)Judging from what my female friends tell me, it's between Sharp, Vincent Lecavalier and Sheldon Souray.

Mike (Toronto)

When healthy who is the best team in the East?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

The Toronto ... haha, just kidding.Pittsburgh no question. They were flying until they got hammered by the injury bug.

greg (los angeles)

hi pierre, looking forward to your kings blog tomorrow, nice to see someone talking about them. what do you think of their young kids, specifically, kopitar, doughty, j jacks and quicker? i think they're one legit scorer (kovalchuk?) away from being a dangerous team. will there be anyone out there they could acquire to finally make a run at the playoffs?! thx for taking my question.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:15 PM)

THey don't get a lot of coverage so I try to write about them whenever I can. I did a Ryan Smyth blog earlier this season. Love the kids. I was really angry that Doughty wasn't nominated for the Calder last year. I gave him my second-place vote on my Calder ballot but clearly my bretheren in the Professioanl Hockey Writers' Association didn't see him play enough. Doughty is dynamite.Quick I think has struggled a bit of late but he'll be re-charged after sitting yesterday and will be ready to go tomorrow night.I agree that LA would make a push for Kovalchuk if he became available but at this point, I spoke with Thrashers GM Don Waddell again this week, Atlatna only focused on re-signing him to an exentsion... if that doesn't happen, then who knows...Go Kings

Rishi (Pittsburgh, PA)

What should we be expecting in terms of this coming Olympics? Russia vs Canada medal match?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:16 PM)

Well those are the two best teams on paper, no question. But we've seen in the last three NHL Olympics that there's plenty of parity in international hockey. Six different countries have played in the gold medal game in Nagano, Salt Lake and Torino. With a one-game knockout in the medal round, anything can happen. Just ask Sweden in the 2002 Olympic quarter-finals !!!! (Belarus; will never forget witnessing that in person)

Sean Avery (New York City)

My female fans tell me I am the best looking guy in the NHL.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:17 PM)

yeah forgot about mr. sloppy seconds

Zachary (Lafayette, LA)

Give us your prediction: Lockout/Strike when negotiating the next CBA? I think that the league and NHLPA learned a lesson that time. I don't think it will happen but it may come close. What will be the big issues during negotiation? Will the olypics be a hot topic?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:18 PM)

I'd be surprised if there's another work stoppage. I think both sides realize how damagine the last one was...a major issue for the league: capping long-term dealsmajor issues for the union: limit the escrow on players' salaries and yes, participate in future Olympics

Carrie Underwood (Nashville, TN)

Katie in Denver, don't forget Mike Fischer in Ottawa. If he can land me, he must be doing something right! Did you see how I looked in those dresses at the CMA awards last night!

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:19 PM)

Or do you mean Mike Fisher?

Matt (Syracuse)

Do you think its possible for the Rangers to get Kovalchuk at the deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:20 PM)

Forsberg is the guy the Rangers want so somone could center Gabby !!!!!

Paul (Gilbert, AZ)

Top to bottom - which division is strongest at this point? I'm favoring the Pacific, but it's neck-and-neck with the Atlantic...

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:21 PM)

LeBrun ranking of divisions in order of power:1. Central2. Pacific3. Atlanta4. Northwest5. Southeast6. Northeast

Andrew (NJ)

Are the rangers great or good this year

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:21 PM)

good

jim (atlanta)

With kennedy, malkin, orpik, letang, gonchar, talbot all hurt, which pen player gets hurt tonight?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:22 PM)

shero?

Luke (Montreal)

I'm a Blues fan and I was wondering if Mcdonald has finally broken out of his slump and may perhapes hit 70-80 points this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:22 PM)

You're a Blues fan living in Montreal??? Sacre Bleu !!!!As for Andy, great guy, but no clue if he's on the right track or not

William Martin Joel A.K.A Billy Joel (:P)

How Far do the Islanders get in the Playoffs this year??? LOL

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:23 PM)

ah................ playoffs??????

Scott (LA)

With all the rumors last season of the Ducks trading Scott Niedermayer, do you think they will trade him this season? Also who will be the front runner for him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:24 PM)

Pronger was the guy all along the Ducks were goin to move, not Niedermayer. (you should have been reading my blog, haha)But you pose a good question for this season. I was thinking the exact same thing the other night dropping another game. If the Ducks can't turn it aroun this season, you do have to wonder if Bob Murray doesn't approach Niedermayer and ask him about being a rental.... but it's early yet, I still like this Ducks team.

Claude Giroux ((:P) The City of Brotherly love)

Will the Flyers get a win tonight

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:25 PM)

oui monsieur

Dan (Tampa)

Is Hedman a virtual lock for the Calder barring any major injuries? The kid is leading the team in average ice time and is a beast.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:25 PM)

well, he's hurt right now (concussion).

joe (york)

your gut reaction....does peter forsberg really come back to the nhl?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:26 PM)

I honestly don't know Joe. I spoke again with his agent this week. Even he doesn't know.... Peter is a tough read.

Ken Holland (Detroit)

If Canada wins gold this winter, will Steve Yzerman leave me for his own GM job around the league, and where will he go?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:27 PM)

yes, that would be my prediction KennyOk folks, had a blast again this week. Enjoy Thursday Night ESPN.com hockey !!!!