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April 7, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

Hey cool cats, sorry I'm a few minutes late. Was held up. Let's go !

Kevin (Midland)

Hey Pierre, found any other "free beer during Leaf playoff games" signs? I found one more. :)

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

haha, that was pretty funny indeed. But no, I haven't found any other ones... False advertising at its worse !

John (Buffalo, NY)

How far do you see the Sabres going in the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

John, not to sound like a cop-out, but honestly, it's completely wide-open, more than ever now in this league. PARITY. The Sabres could get swept in the first round or win the Stanley Cup and neither would surprise me. It's that close. Obviously having Miller as a weapon is huge as we saw when Hasek brought the boys to the brink 10 years ago. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if Montreal, for example, would beat Buffalo in an upset.

Will (Nashville, TN)

I think one of the most underrated rookies in the NHL is Nashville's Colin Wilson. After a slow start and a nagging groin injury he has really come on towards the end getting about a point per game with 8 goals 7 assists. I don't think he should even be in the Calder discussion but what are your thoughts on him and his possible impact on the preds playoff run?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

I totally agree. Wilson has really come on. He's going to be the full package for Nashville, a solid, reliable two-way player. I sense a few cltuch goals coming his way in the next few weeks

Travis (Canada)

So, now is the time to pick some darkhorses to win the early rounds of the playoffs, the cup and no you can't pick the Red Wings as a spoiler club.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

Montreal as an upset special...

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Champions?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

Washington Capitals

Tommy (Fairfax, VA)

Nicklas Backstrom had 3 pts last night, he's now 2pts behind Crosby and 8 and 9pts behind Ovechkin and Sedin, respectively. Yet nobody really talks about what a great player he is. I know all the mvp talk is directed towards Ovi as far as the Caps go, but in my opinion Backstrom is by far the mvp for the caps. They struggle in the 1st round without him. The guy is flat out awesome. Why doesn't he get the credit he deserves?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

Overshadowed

casey (il)

hey pirre where will the yotes be in the standings when the season ends and do you think they have enough gas i nt he tank to make it to the cup

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:12 PM)

4th in the West.I don't think they'll make it all the way, unfortunately

Bill (Washington, DC)

Pierre, which potential teams would be the best and worst matchups for the Red Wings in the first round?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

There are no ''good" matchups. It's so, so tight in the West especially. All eight teams are dangerous. But certainly avoiding Vancouver probably a good thing given the Canucks' second-half record

david (maryland)

Assume Tukka Rask will be the number 1 goalie for the rest of the season. Could Tim Thomas be traded in the offseason for some scoring help?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

Thomas has a no-trade clause but I think that's something Peter Chiarelli has to look at and obviously sit down with Tim about talk about the future after the season... I don't think Thomas wants to end his career has a high-paid backup

Jason (Portland, OR)

Pierre... First, I'd like for you to be among the many writers/analysts to own up to being way, way off on pre-season predictions for Colorado. Finally, how worried should Chicago or San Jose be about a young team with "happy to be here, nothing to lose" mentality in Round 1?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:16 PM)

I've ''owned up" several times this year on Colorado. Guess you don't ready my blog !http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/lebrun_pierre/id/4799153/betting-against-the-avsBut Avs won't win a round

Sensible Shoes (Mandeville, LA)

My Habs continue to test one's patience. I'm naming you GM. How would you address offseason fun with with Halak and Price?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:17 PM)

I go to LA for the draft and see which of the two goalies generates the most interest. Make the best deal based on the best package, including a top-six forward, in return. They're both number one goalies, doesn't matter which one they keep or trade. They're both the real deal

Mike (Bauer)

Why would the rangers put Ryan Callahan in the lineup if they were playing so great? Why would they want to change the flow of how they played? Should Tort be fired if we lose cause he has had an opportunity to win with a potentially good team?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:18 PM)

Not sure it's Torts' fault that the team doesn't have a number center and has two grossly overpaid defensemen. That lies with the GM.

Sam (State College)

Last year is over, and this pens team is not the same as last year. But am I the only one not freaking out? Obviously I would have loved my pens to beat nj/was, but the playoffs are a whole different story. I not saying the pens don't have concerns, but am I wrong for not jumping off a bridge like many others?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:19 PM)

They have the knowledge of winning a championship and those Cup rings are very important. They bring calm and confidence to a dressing room come playoff time. But I still think Washington is the team to beat this year

sergei (madison, wi)

Hey Pierre, you forgot to mention your Selke winner. Also, being a GOALTENDER (Howard) is more difficult than a defenseman (Myers) because the pucks fly at you at 100 M/hr and the defense leaves you out to dry; whether it's not picking the passer, joining offense at the wrong time, or being out of position in you own zone. So, be a man and admit that you're wrong with your Calder nominee.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

I will be ''a man" and admit that I'm dead-on right for picking Myers. NHL GMs, coaches and scouts tell me it's harder to be a young blue-line in the NHL than a young goalie. But I guess you'd know more than them.

Harv (CT)

Both Anderson and Luongo looked downright terrible last night. Are both these teams in toruble?PS That shootout winner for Duchene makes him look like an awfully good Calder Trophy candidate.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

Anderson looks tired. Luongo looks like he's lacking confidence. Vancouver has had a great second half but he's making them nervous.I love Duchene as well, he'll be among my top 3 picks on my Calder ballot

Joey (LA)

The kings in the playoffs have to have Bettman happy right? Also your Norris finalists and winner are?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

Yes having LA in the playoffs is a real good thing for the league. So is having New York in there if possible.Norris: Doughty is my pick over Keith, Green, Pronger

Drew Doughty (Los Angeles)

Pierre, any way I win the Norris this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

Hope so, I'm voting for you :)

Will (Fort Collins, Co)

What are the chances of the Avs advancing past the first round? We split the season with San Jose and have some speed and grit on the team...

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Like I said at the start of the chat, all 16 teams have a shot. Honestly. That's true.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, your article on memorable 50 goal seasons and Teemu Selanne's 600th goal career montage got me thinking...what is your favorite all-time goal celebration....Selanne "Machine Gun Stick", Tiger Williams "Ride the Bronco", Theo Fleury "Slip & Slide", Milan Hejduk "Swan Dive", Rob Brown "Windmill", Mike Bossy "50 in 50 Tap Dance"? Ovechkin's "Hot Stick" doesn't make the list not because it was showboating but because it was dumb.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

great question Jesse.My number one pick would be Darrell Evans in '82 after the Miracle on ManchesterPorbably Fleury number two, I remember watching that overtime...And Tiger number three

Jaromir Jagr (Omsk, Siberia, Russia)

Pierre, your main man Jags checking in! Assuming I come back to the NHL next year, what team should I sign with? Everyone keeps saying Pittsburgh needs wings and that would be good nostalgia, but they already have two left-shooting superstars trying to play the same exact position on the powerplay, I don't think they need a third.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

I know the Oilers have had a soft spot for you ever since offering you a nice contract in the summer of 2008 before you left for Russia... Pittsburgh just makes the most sense if you come cheaply... Or maybe LA?

James (Washington, DC)

The Rangers and Flyers playing a home-and-home at season's end for their playoff lives sounds exciting... unless you're a Bruins fan and you could see six points awarded instead of just four. Will it take a playoff snub for the league to revisit the current standings points system?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:26 PM)

Believe me, the GMs beat it up again at last month's GM meetings in Boca Raton... that's why they tweaked the tiebreaker for next season to penalize shootout wins

Jaromir Jagr (Omsk, Siberia, Russia)

Pierre, that's right two questions from your boy today! Do you think I will show up in Pittsburgh on Thursday for the final home game at Mellon Arena? They are bringing back over 50 former players for the ceremony including such luminaries as Wendell Young and Bob Paradise. As the second greatest player in team history I should probably be there and finally get a huge ovation. Is my team still alive in the KHL playoffs or am I free these days?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Jagr's team, Avangard, was knocked out two rounds ago in the KHL playoffs. Not sure whether he'll be there tomorrow in Pitt or not

Martin Brodeur (NJ)

So I hear everyone thinks Miller is a lock for the Vezina... "landslide victory" is the term being thrown around. I guess you didn't see my back to back shutouts this week or that i lead the league in both wins and shutouts and am a mere .03 GAA behind Miller with goalies that have played more that 45 games. They have given me the Vezina for less! Do i need to score more goals to get my point across? p.s. I make 1.05M less than Miller!! Do you know what property taxes are like in NJ!!! Where's the love Pierre, where's the love?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Sorry Marty, time to pass the torch :)

Mike Green (Ballston, VA)

Pierre, I am in 1st place amongst NHL Dmen in Goals, Assists, Points, PTS/G, PPGs, and PPAs. I am 2nd in the league in +/- behind my boy Sargeant Schultz. If the Norris is supposed to go to the best "all around" defencemen then how can it not be me? Can you at least give me this after I was left off the Canadian team?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

You'll get strong consideration from me when I fill out my ballot later this week. I promise you that. I promised the same to Nate Ewell today.

Ryan (Lancaster,PA)

I don't know if you saw him comment on your 2nd annual LeBrownie awards article, BUT who did you trade in order to acquire Joe Thornton in your fantasy hockey league?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

Well it's a rotiserie style pool with salaries attached to players so none of the trades make any sense on face value, they all have to do with whether your a team goin for it this year or rebuilding for next year with cheap-salaries players. In this case, I traded a cheap-salaried Mike Green to David Shoalts of the Globe and mail for Joe Thornton, Scott Niedermayer and Miikka Kiprusoff _ all three players free agents at the end of the year in our pool. So I win the deal this season, but Shoalts has Green moving forward next season

Guy (Philadelphia)

Here is a tough one for you Pierre... Who will be in net for the Flyers next season? They have stated that they want to go in a younger direction, so what do you think? Price, Halak, Bernier, Ryynas? Are any of these guys in the running? And most importantly... who would you rather keep in order to acquire one of these guys (besides FA Ryynas)? Carter or Giroux?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised if they took a run at Price from what I'm hearing...Would cost at least Giroux, and even more

Chad (Denver, CO)

Last night while watching the home telecast of the Avs vs. Canucks, our color commentator said that the Avs might get younger next year. I think they should, but only on the Blue line, what do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

Blue-line will automaticlly get younger if some of the free-agent veteran defensemen aren't re-signed. No question

Nadeem (Toronto)

Hi Pierre, I just wanted to hear your thoughts with regards to empty-net goals and shootout goals. It really bugs me that Ovechkin is tied with Crosby for the goal scoring lead while having 5 ENG to Crosby's 0 and Crosby not getting credit for any of his 8 shootout goals. The NHL should give some sort of credit for shootout goals. They should do it like the IIHF, and count GDG in the shootout as part of the goal total in the season. I don't mind keeping ENG as part of the goal total, but they should add GDG goals from the shootout, as part of the stats. Your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

Nadeem, interesting point... I can assure you NHL GMs will NEVER allow shootout goals to count as real goals, They had the shootout too much as it is.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

But I should add, Nadeem, that Wayne Gretzky's 50th goal in 39 games almost three decades ago was in an empty-net P:)

keith (md)

Do the Caps let the B's win Sunday, so they play a poor goaltending team in Philly? Rask can steal a series!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

I wouldn't be too worried about Boston. Rask has been terrific to be sure, but it's just not the Bruins' year

Mike (DC)

Pierre.. Why was I not surprised to see Crosby as your MVP vote? Have you bothered to look at his stats when Malkin is out of the lineup? I think last night was his 1st goal w/o Malkin in and his Point production is wayyyy down. So much for the carrying the team when Malkins been hurt theory. I have no problem with you voting for the Most Valuable to their team theory (it is the purpose of the award) but Crosby plays on the defending Cup champs--Sedin does not, Miller does not. Pittsburgh is a damn good Hockey team even w/o Canada's poster boy. And it's not like he's carrying them to THAT great of a season...They are 4th in a mediocre Eastern Conference...Please try to sell me how he really is a finalist// End Rant

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

I guess you didn't read our piece carefully today. I hinted very strongly that Sedin will be my choice.

Kevin (N. Potomac, MD)

Going into this week. Two Norris finalists. Totals are for 5 on 5. Player A on ice for 80 goals for, 73 GA.Player B on ice for 90 goals for, 50 GA, in 21% less ice time 5 on 5.Who would gets your pick?Because player A is Duncan Keith and player B is Mike Green. Will Green forever be labeled an "offensive dman" no matter how well he plays in his own end, and be hosed out of the Norris because of it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Fair or not, what an NHL executive from the Western Conference told me yesterday: ''I will never trust Green in his own zone. Just like I nevcer trusted Coffey. Give a reliable, two-way guy like Bourque."

Charlie (Hickory, NC)

Hi Pierre - Hope you and your family enjoyed the time away! That being said, how do you see Kuba being out affecting my Senators in the playoffs? I don't think he will be missed for now.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

I think the emergence of Karlsson has nullified any impact of Kuba's loss

Kevin Canty (Chicago Illinois)

Pierre - I noticed the BLOG about all the trophie predictions and I must wonder. I know MIller is the standout Vezina winner. But what if he was to win the HART and they gave the Vezina to somebody else? Any possible chance Antti Niemmi gets any spotlight on this award??? I mean look at his stats? I feel confident with him come playoff time no goaltending issues for the Hawks here. here is his numbers.Niemmi - Gp - 36 Wins 24 losses 7 GAA 2.15 SV% 9.15 with 7 shutouts. he also has allowed 72 goals on 852 shots.. that is pretty good for being a rookie

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

Interesting you should mention the Vezina/Hart voting. The NHL's 30 GMs vote for the Vezina while the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (which I'm a member of) vote for the Hart.The two groups don't always agree. Case in point, in 2006-07, Roberto Luongo got more Hart Trophy votes than Marty Brodeur (Joe Thornton won) but Brodeur won the Vezina over Luongo.As for Niemi, no chance for any award

Bobby Cooper (Owosso, Michigan)

Do you think the Wings have a good shot at the Cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

yup - 13-3-2 since the Olympics, I'd say yes

Shane (PHX)

Pierre: Preds at Yotes tonight. PHX will wrap up home-ice in the first round with a win. Who do you like?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

Yotes, 2-1 SO

Ben Russell (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Pierre, lets hear about the habs, they're hot and they're cold! Can they playoff noise? Could you see Price playing well if Halak is shakey in the first two games?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

They're impossible to predict but they can possibly give Buffalo a go

greg (buffalo ny)

SABRES ARE GONNA WIN THE CUP(That's a fact not an opinion).... DO YOU AGREE?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

Love your passion for the Sabres. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Sabres.But I don't think they're going to win the Cup

Brian (Rochester (MI))

Name one team that wants to face the Red Wings in the playoffs right now. With the way they are playing, they have to be one of the favorites to reach the Stanley Cup Finals once again.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

agreed

Mustard (Toronto)

Congrats to my Av's for a big win last night. Do you see them doing some damage against the Sharks? Seems like the Sharks are going to be pressing to get out of the first round yet again. Thanks!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

With nothing to lose, Avs could definitely give San Jose a run but for whatever reason I think the Sharks win this one

Ron (Long Island)

with the Islanders winning streak they are looking at a pick between 6-8. With 1 more top draft pick and the youngsters on the roster a year old. If they add a top 4dman do you think they are a playoff team next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

Need to know what they're doing in goal. That's the big question

John (Atlanta, GA)

I think Brodeur's #'s are truly remarkable; especially since all played with one team. Roy had a nice re-vival with the Avs. If he played his whole career in Montreal - Brodeur would be further ahead. Thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

Roy is number one in my books. But maybe that's because I grew up a Habs fan :)

Pete (Detroit)

Pierre! I read a lot of comments about how ESPN writers just hate the Red Wings (this includes you, bucci, melrose, and burnside). Not too sure I agree with that, but where do you think all this hostility comes from? I mean, you ranked them number 2 this past week!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

I know, it's strange, I give lotsa love to the Wings all the time, Yzerman, Holland, Babs, etc... Hard to please those wings fans !

Tony (New York)

Pierre, I am a lifelong Rangers fan. Glen Sather has handed out so many terrible contracts over the past years (drury, gomez, roszival, redden, kotalik, etc..) and we have continued to get very little out of our draft picks (with the exceptions of Staal and Del Zotto). Do you think that Rangers brass will finally look to bring in a new GM? Maybe Messier or Yzerman?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:48 PM)

Impossible to know what the folks at MSG are thinking my friend. But if it was me, I would fire Slats

Steve (Boston)

Do you think the Bruins will hold on to a playoff spot, or will they be overtaken by the Rangers? Also, have you seen the new "history will be made" NHL commercials? I wish there was another Orr moment in our future...

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

Love that Orr one... 40 years ago next month...I say the Bruins hold off the Rangers

Joe (Buffalo)

Pierre, I asked Burnside this question yesterday and he didn't answer, he must be afraid... With the Sabres rookies Kennedy, Ennis, Gerbe on fire, who comes out when Vanek and Connolly are healthy? I saw bench Stafford and Mair... your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

Dont' know Joe, haven't talked to Sabres people in a while... But purely guessing I'd say Ennis out

Matt (Chinatown)

I'm SOOOO relieved that the Avs clinched yesterday. We have had such a great season and to miss the cut at the end could have set the kids back a bunch. Anything after this is a great bonus!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

Exactly

Brian (Rochester Hills, MI)

Name one team that wants to face the Red Wings in the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

Can't

RJ (Boston)

Pierre! Good to have you back, I hoe your vacation was superb!Do you think that Chiarelli can get back in the graces of the Bruins fans if he does not achieve ALL of the following three goals this offseason?1) Make the draft pick STICK.2) Get a scorer in trade or free agency3) Get the puck moving defenseman once and for allThis has to be his last chance, right?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

As of today, Leafs can't mathematcially finish higher than 28th. I'd say that should make a lot of Bruins fan happy

Allen (Lubbock)

What are the LA Kings going to do with their situation in goal. We've got Quick who has been great for us this season, but we've also got Jonathan Bernier (AHL netminder of the year) getting ready to jump into the mix. Am I right in assuming one of them needs to be traded, and if so which one?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

Spoke with Kings asst GM Ron Hextall yesterday and he indicated Quick/Bernier 1-2 punch would work fine next season

Bryan (Pullman)

Hey Pierre, what do you think is going to happen with the Wild? I feel like they need to pretty much just to a total rebuild. They haven't been very good the last couple seasons, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Chuck Fletcher is a patient and smart GM. Be patient as well as Wild fans. he knows what he's doing, it just won't happen overnight

Peter (Philadelphia)

Terribly disappointed that you didn't mention Cory Clouston amongst Jack Adams candidates. For a team that most pundits didn't think would make it to the playoffs, he has helped us forget Dany what's his name?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

All 16 coaches whose teams make the playoffs deserve consideration. That's the truth

Jason (Portland, OR)

Pierre, Do you get the feeling last night's clutch shootout goal is just the first of many career "moments" for Matt Duchene? He's had a great rookie season. Do you see Stamkos-like numbers for him in the future?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

He's the real deal. The next Joe Sakic

Randy (Jersey)

Brodeur and the Defense have been playing lights out the last four games, and the offense has stepped it up the last two. Does it look like to you that the Devils are hitting their stride?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

yup

Pete (Detroit)

Hey Pierre, I have 24 hours in Toronto to live it up, where do I go and why??

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:56 PM)

for some late-night fun, The Underground Bar is a funky place. It's on King St near Spadina Ave.for watching hockey and great wings, Up Front Bar and Grill _ On Front St. just East of Jarvis St.

Erik (SF, CA)

Pierre, in looking at how deep a playoff run the Sharks have this year, would you agree that how well San Jose's third- and fourth-liners play will prove a greater determining factor than how well Thornton, Heatley, and Marleau play?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

I would say this is all on Nabby. if he stinks like he did last spring vs. Anaheim, doesn't matter how any of the four forward lines play

Dan (Chicago)

Can New Jersey afford both Parise and Kovalchuk? If not, who will be voted off the island?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

Kovalchuk will hit free agency July 1

Matt Lupica (Los Angeles, CA)

I know you're on my side for the Calder. I've been hearing a lot of whispers for Howard though. How much of a chance do you think Myers really has to win it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

My sense is that Myers will win it. We'll see.OK puck heads, gotta run. Until next week, playoff time !!!