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April 20, 4:30 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

Hey puck heads, how good are these playoffs ! Greetings from Detroit, where in two hours Game 4 goes between the Coyotes and Red Wings. Let's get it on !

Bill (Washington, DC)

Pierre, every year it seems like there are tons of upsets in the NHL playoffs - especially when compared to the NBA. Is there a short explanation for the occurrence of the greater number of NHL upsets?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

Bill, I wrote a blog that I wrote Sunday morning on this very subject, you can find it somewhere here in our playoff blog:http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl_playoffs/month/april-2010

Mikko (Varkaus, FIN)

Hey Pierre..What do you think are Jordan Staal's chances of winning the Selke? I mean Datsyuk can't win it every year, plus he had a bit of an off-season as well..or do you writers pass on Jordan cos he's gonna win it many times in the future?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

Hard for me to know how the other 130 writers voted but my first-place vote went to Datsyuk

Brian (Charlotte, NC)

If Howard struggles out of the gate tonight and lets in more soft goals (though his defense isn't helping much either), do you think Babcock makes the switch to Osgood before it gets to be too late? Or do you think he will just ride it out with Howard and let him get some valuable experience?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

He won't be shy to hook him if he has to. Look at Luongo and Halak last night. The season is one the line. No time to worry about bruised egos

Brian Campbell (Chicago)

once I get back for either tonight game 3 or even possible game 4 on Thursday how much of an upgrade will Nashville have to deal with me on the ice? Byfuglien back to the forward position and me running the Blue Line once again with my speed.. does my presence help push the Hawks over to the CUP even more?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

23 minutes a game, terrific transition blue-liner _ that's a huge boost when the time comes. Especially the puck-moving ability vs. a trap team like the Preds

Harv (CT)

After watching the Caps I don't see how Ovechkin can be up for MVP. He has a fantastic offensive supporting cast. Probably more than any other player in the league.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

The Caps have the deepest team in the NHL in my opinion. And yes, that's why I didn't give OV my first-place vote for the Hart. That's a compliment to Washington, not an insult

chris b (boston)

do you think bostons physical play is too much for buffalo and wouldnt it be great to see a bruins, penguins matchup next round with savard possibly comin back.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

I think the Sabres can handle the physical play but it's Vanek's absence that's realy key right now. And yes on the latter _ Bruins-Pens for all those reasons would rock the house down

Bill (Ann Arbor)

How was Toews not nominated for the Selke?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

Good question, I had him second on my ballot. But good candidates this year in Datsyuk, Kesler, Toews, Bergeron, Richards, Staal, Plekanec, Zajac, and a few others. STrong year for the Selke

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

Hey guys, just have to do a short phone interview with french Montreal TV, will be back in a few minutes :)

Matthew (Alexandria, VA)

No lead is too great, no amount of time is too short, and if they score first it is probably going to be a 2 or 3 goal lead before they give one up themselves. Maybe after the Cup comes to Washington for the first time we could get Team Canada back together and see if they could hang with the Caps in a best of 7?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

haha, love you Caps fans, very passionate and very sensitive. I can't imagine a group of fans that wants their team more badly to prove that they are indeed Cup-material. Of course, I did pick the Caps to win it all :)

Mike Richards (Philadelphia, PA)

Hi Pierre,I know Sidney Crosby is getting all the attention so far these playoffs, but you have to have something to say about my sensational play so far, don't you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

Best hockey I've ever seen your play, Mike.Of course, I'm not surprised since you're a proud product of Northern Ontario

Steve (Pittsburgh)

Pierre... Why in gods name is Ilya Bryzgalov not in the Vezina trophy running? This man has done enough to even possibly warrant an MVP nomination. Why pierre, why!!??!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

Um... he was nominated for the Vezina by the NHL yesterday????

Justin (Los Angeles, Ca)

What do you think about the reversal on the Sedin goal last night? I honestly think it was a bad call and that the goal should have counted. There wasn't a distinct kicking motion at all.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:56 PM)

Tough one either way. My gut says it should have stood as a goal but you can make the argument for either side IMO.

Zach (Greer, SC)

Bonjour Pierre,First I was just wondering if you know anymore about Campbell and Johnnson for the Blackhawks? Second, I was wondering what your thoughts are on tonights game?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

Well I'm in Detroit now and no longer in Hawks-Preds series. Johnsson has a concussion and it's impossible to tell if he'll play again or not. Campbell I think might play in this series at some point. But you can get the latest from the Hawks at ESPNChicago.com. Jesse Rogers is with the team morning and night.

LANDOFTHELOSTINLA (LA)

Kings are looking good. They have gotten some lucky bounces and their Power Play is on fuego. Do you think they can take this series in 5?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

I think this goes 6 or 7 games and flip a coin. Two terrific teams with no much to choose between them.

Stephen (Covina, CA)

Pierre,Will Raycroft get the start Wednesday against the Kings? Staples Center is a house of horrors for Luongo the past two games. Everyone says the goalie is your best PK player but the Kings powerplay has been lighting him up. Time for a change?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

I'd be shocked if Luongo wasn't in net. But I'll find out when I get there to see for myself tomorrow night. Barring my flight not being cancelled tomorrow :)

Shane (Queen Creek, AZ)

Pierre: You ready to change your Wings/Coyotes prediction, or you still feel confident?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:00 PM)

Shane, I don't feel confident in any of my picks : parity/NHL means all 16 teams are almost even. Flip a coin !!!!

Eddie (Musuras)

Hey there Pierre,What do you think the chances are of the Blackhawks winning. What good things do you see them do as a team that makes them a stanley cup team? What flaws are holding them back?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:01 PM)

Eddie, as I wrote after Game 2 on Sunday night, the Hawks showed they can adjust their game from high-flying to patient in order to beat the Nashville trap. That's a tough thing to do but they resisted taking too many chances Sunday and made the patient/responsble/boring plays instead of trying to deke out a player or something of that nature. The preds will give them all they can handle but I think the Hawks will still prevail

Will (Colorado)

It looks like between ridiculous officiating and Dan Boyle scoring the winner for the Avs in game three, each team has stolen one. What do the Avs need to work on to close out the series and beat San Jose?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:02 PM)

Honestly I don't know how the Avs have won a single game in this series. Hard to tell from not being there in person but I think it's the Curse of the San Jose Playoffs that's put Colorado ahead in this series... 56 shots ???? Mercy

tom (arlington)

I think Theodore deserves a second shot. Any chance Bruce wanted to go with Varly in Montreal, and start Theo when they return home for game 5 friday, especially if they win tomorrow?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:03 PM)

I think Varly is in until he falters.

Brian (Rochester Hills, MI)

Wings or Yotes tonight?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:03 PM)

Judging from the feelling I was getting the Wings room the last two days and the Doan injury, I think Detroit ties the series 2-2 tonight.

Sidney Crosby (Ottawa)

Who's been better than me in the playoff's? Do you see a Conn Smythe in my very near future?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:05 PM)

You've been awesome, sir, carrying your team no question.Richards in Philly, Doughty in LA and Anderson in Colorado also honorable mentions at this point

Timmy G. (Fresno, CA)

Who do you think has to make things happen if the Sharks are going to win tonight? Is there a weakness of Anderson that they haven't exploited yet?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:06 PM)

need goals !!!!! Must be games of the year tonight from 12 and 19

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the best & the worst Arena for Hockey that you have been to?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:08 PM)

Two-part answer, I will give you my top five citiees I love to travel to followed by my top five actual rink atmospheres:cities1. Chicago2. Montreal3. New York4. Vancouver5. Bostonrinks1. Montreal2. Chicago3. Buffalo4. San Jose5. Washington

Michael Buckley (SF)

Oy vey...I'm very concerned with....Guess Who??!! Nabakov! I think the pressure is going to be too much on him tonight - sometimes he has the mobility of an upright frozen Otter Pop between the pipes, and I hope WE don't see that Nabby tonight, for old tymes sake! What do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:09 PM)

To me he's obviously the biggest concern for sure. Hasn't been the same since Team Canada shellacked him in the quarters two months ago...

Scott ((California))

Pierre,I am freaking out about tonight's game 4 between my Sharks and Avs. Can we come back from a 2-1 deficit and possibly not end up like we did last year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:10 PM)

Your Sharks are way to unpredictable for me to have any real sense of what's going to happen tonight. But I will tell you this: Few players are more popular among their teammates in this league than Dan Boyle. They loved him in the tampa room and love him in the sj room. They might rally around for him tonight

Brett (Boston)

If Marc Savard comes back to the bruins line up later in this series do you think he will have an impact with the team as hot as they are right now. Or in other words, do you think he will mess up some of the teams chemistry

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:12 PM)

one area he will GREATLY improve is the PP. One of the best passers in the league with great vision and that's a unit he can immedidately boost

Lars (Sweden)

Is it just me or does Datsyuk disappear too much in the post season? This guy gets too much credit imo.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:13 PM)

It's funny I feel totally the opposite. I think Datsyuk has bareful gotten the kind of league-wide recognition over the years that he deserves

Loup (DC)

If Phoenix wins tonight, is the series over? Also, if they down Detroit, will the pundits finally admit they are a legitimate cup contender?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:14 PM)

Good ol' Loup _ president of the Coyotes fan' association.Well I've admitted long ago I think the COyotes are for real. But I picked Detroit to beat them gien tat 16-3-2 record since the Oly. If Phoenix wins tonight _ over for sure

Nick (Brighton, MA)

If the Bruins and Flyers both take care of business and win their series, do you think either would have a chance in their respective second-round match-ups with Pittsburgh and Washington? Both are teams that underachieved on paper in the regular season. The possible return of Mark Savard has some fans in Boston optimistic about series against Pittsburgh with the Savard/Cooke storyline.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:14 PM)

I think, predictably, Wash and Pitt are the teams to beat in the East and they're on a collisiion course for each other

Matthew (Alexandria, VA)

An update to my earlier post... I think the Caps would even let Team Canada select some new Goalies if they so choose... just to give them a fair shot.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:15 PM)

But Varlamov is Russian??? LOL

Jon (Chicago)

Is Hornvquist going to play tonight? Did he solve his "skate" problem?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:18 PM)

game-time decision for Hornqvist. Here's the latest from my colleague John Glennon of the Tenneassanhttp://blogs.tennessean.com/predators/2010/04/20/speculating-on-hornqvist-geoffrion-update/

Jeremy (DC)

Will the Caps close out the Habs in 5?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:18 PM)

oui

Rick Allen (San Diego, CA)

Without Doan playing, can the 'Yotes maintain the same intense physical style they have been playing against the wings?Thank You Pierre

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:19 PM)

yes I'll think they'll as physical as ever. That's their mantra. Should be a great one tonight.

Keith (NJ)

I still belive the sabres can come back to win this series, they're the more skilled team. what's the major problem they have on their power play, in your opinion?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:19 PM)

NO VANEK

McKay (Dallas)

One rookie who seems to get overlooked for his great first season is Jamie Benn. I believe he was second in rookie goal scoring and led in even strength goals. He did all this while learning a new position (moved to Center, never played before) and getting no powerplay time. What are your thoughts on what kind of player he can be?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:20 PM)

love him. Will be a real good, two-way second-line player... Be excited about him

Jim ((Phila))

Who wins tonight, the Flyers or the Devils?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:21 PM)

Devils win to tie the series. This is going seven games and quadruple overtime in Game 7.

Joe (Toronto)

Out of all the top teams coming into the playoffs which team has disappointed you the most?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:21 PM)

1. San Jose2. Vancouver3. New Jersey

Brian (Rochester Hills, MI)

where did you go out to eat in Detroit?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:22 PM)

Went to eat some seafood at Tom's Oysters.Then watched some hockey at The Detroiter.

Jeff (NYC)

How good can the Washington Capital's John Carlson be? He is already the Caps best defenseman and has proven to be super clutch. What's his ceiling and what do you think his impact will be on the Cap's playoff run.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:22 PM)

Calder Trophy next season

David (Los Angeles)

Pierre, a good blend of vets and young studs especially on the blueline for LA. This team looks like a team built for postseason play. I don't want to say it but I will pose the question after 2 wins.....can this team go the distance and erase the memories of '93?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:24 PM)

Normally I woudl say not yet, too young, need to learn their playoff lessons, yadayada... But in this league now five years after the salary cap and with parity at an all-time high _ anything is possible. The Blackhawks were young guys last year supposed to just be learning and reached the Western Conference finals..

Andrew (State College, PA)

Hey Pierre,What American hockey city would you say is the toughest for opposing teams to visit and why?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:25 PM)

toughest American road rinks1. Philly. Because some fans vomit on women there.2. Chicago. Because your ear drums are busted after the anthem3. Buffalo. Most underrated home atmosphere in the NHL

Loup (DC)

Detroit is the more talented team on paper, but Phoenix is the better team. No amount of skill can replace hard work. Are you ready to call the series for Phoenix?

Chris (Silver Spring, MD)

Just the mention of Team Canada makes my blood boil... unlike the commy Pens fans and their red maple leaf Crosby jerseys... We love America in DC, Pierre. And we're all in on this Caps team. And we're real sensitive about it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:30 PM)

My apologies to Loup, was trying to post a Dave Tippett quote from Monday that underlines what Loup was saying, about being a team..OK, I'm off to Joe Louis Arena. Drop the puck !Until next week !