Hang on folks, we're locating Scott.
Sorry folks. Looks like Scott ran into some travel delays today.
Sorry folks. Technical problems. Or something like that. So, where were we? For the record, back in the City of Brotherly Love?
Does Quenneville shuffle the lines again for Game 6? The Hawks need to do something different in Philly where they haven't won during the playoffs since 1971 and where Philly is 9-1 this season and where Leighton still has a sub 2.00 GAA, I think...
Norb; I doubt if Joel will do much in the way of tinkering after hitting on a gold mine of success in Game 5. Peter Laviolette will get Pronger out against whomever he likes but Joel had three lines going in Game 5 and if he can get that again the Cup will return to Chicago for the first time since '61.
Scott, since 1967, 8 SCFs have gone 7 games...it happened only 3 times from '67 - '99 but 5 from 2000 to today. Why would a game 7 go from being a once every 11 years phenomenon to every other year? Given the sub-par officiating on display this year from officials clearly past their prime (McCreary/O'Halloran can't get out of the way of players or pucks, nor see clear infractions against the puck-carrier), some are speculating about collusion between the NHL and TV rights holders to extend the Finals out as far as possible...tell me I'm wrong. Tell me why we won't see a Game 7 in this series.
KD; It's amazing how often I hear the conspiracy tales (mostly from Vancouver fans who don't like to admit their team has major holes in their line-up and a goalie who can't cut the mustard when it counts) and I buy none of it. Think of the intricacies of trying to have a series turn out one way or another. Do you think 'they' were able to orchestrate a recovery from a 3-0 series deficit as the Flyers achieved against Boston? Don't buy it. But I do think parity, the salary cap and the new enforcement of the rules has made for more compelling playoff series every year.
Hey Scott, the home team has won every game in this series, in your opinion does that tremd continue?
Bill; Well, some of it has to do with coaches being able to get the match-ups they like especially in Philadelphia with Pronger. Maybe something to do with the buzz in the respective buildings which makes it hard for opposing players to get into the flow. With four of the five games being exceptionally close not sure there is a real concrete answer.
According to some major Russian Newspapers, Kovalchuk offered 14mil per year with lower tax rates?How does he turn that down?
Matias; I think it comes down to whether Kovalchuk wants to be considered one of the top players in the world or not. If he goes to the KHL he is an NHL footnote, a guy whose reputation will be about the money not the achievements. I say he stays because he wants to be considered alongside Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby et al.
Given the success Buff had in game 5 do you think we see Pronger switch off the Toews matchup and try to shut Buff down like games 1-4?
Adam; Great dilemma for Peter Laviolette. I thought overall the Toews/Kopecky/Hossa line were the most dangerous even though the other lines put up more points.But Byfuglien clearly showed if he's not reined in he can be a one-man wrecking crew. Hard choice.
wen do u think da sharks will make it to da stanley cup cause im tired of dem losing
Jim; Not sure they'll be there any time soon. The window is closing on them pretty quickly. Interesting dilemmas for them this summer with Evgeni Nabokov and Patrick Marleau both slated for free agency. My guess is Marleau stays and Nabokov goes given the glut of free agent goalies.
Looking ahead slightly just to mix up the questions being asked...Can you name 2-3 Flyers you dont see being on the team next season? Ps this team has the guts to keep this series alive and win it, even if they dont, they deserve respect
Frazier; First I agree whole heartedly, the Flyers deserve a tremendous amount of respect for what they've accomplished this spring regardless of what happens Wednesday and beyond. As for changes I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that Michael Leighton is gone. They have Brian Boucher under contract for next year and a lot of goalies available on the market. Doubtful Ray Emery is back. Lukas Krajicek will be a UFA and not sure there's room for him long-term.
Who is the Conn Smythe now?
Ed: I think it's got to be Jonathan Toews. No other real candidates from Chicago. There will, however, be a strong sentiment to give it to Chris Pronger regardless of how the series closes out and I'm not sure you can argue with it given all that the Flyers have overcome this spring.
i dont buy the conspiracy theories either but i wish someone in the sports writing world would acknowledge the unbelievable calls made against chicago/not against philly in games 3 and 4. i could sleep at night. also i completely agree with the point on the earlier post about the refs not being able to get out of the way, seems it has been especially prevalent in this series...
tad; My thinking on this is that the referees are probably not any more in the way during this series than in any game during the regular season but every shift is so important now every little bounced pass, every clearing attempt that knicks off a linesman's skate has the potential to turn the series. I think there have been some missed calls; both Brian Campbell and Daniel Briere were cut without calls, but honestly think it is the nature of the game and the speed at which it's played.
Am I going to get traded? Is my salary really attractive to any teams out there?
Vincent; It's all up to you my friend. You have the no trade/no move clause. Your contract would be attractive to very few teams although a couple might be Montreal or Los Angeles both looking to add high profile players down the middle. I think a lot will depend on who Steve Yzerman hires to be your next coach. Gerard Gallant anyone?
what value does the number one pick in the draft have in hockey? can you think of a player that would make it an even trade for the number one?
mike; Well, Brian Burke apparently thought a pick that turned out to be a lottery pick (the 2nd overall as it turns out) was worth the price to get Phil Kessel (along with assorted other picks). Burke has been crucified in a lot of circles for that move although I don't know if you can truly know for the next three or four years. But I can pretty much guarantee that neither Edmonton which owns the first pick nor Boston will be dealing their picks.
Any word on who Philly is starting in goal on Wednesday? Neither option seems very strong, but I think at this point, you have to go with Leighton b/c he *did* get them here.
Eric; I am pretty sure it will be Leighton. I think Boucher's knees still pretty tender and not really fair to throw him into a win or else situation. Leighton has been great at home this spring.
Scott,Do you think last night showed the depth of Chicago, maybe wearing on Philly, and seeing Philly starting to lose some gas?
Benjamin; I would agree except I keep remembering Game 5 a year ago when Detroit crushed Pittsburgh 5-0 and then lost the next two. In fact writing that for my column for tomorrow.
Do you see some line shuffling for the flyers as well? Richards needs to get away from Gange and Carter. Giroux needs to be moved up from the third line.
Amr; You're right about Carter and Gagne not having very good series. Richards has been okay but hasn't had any help. The Flyers have been at their best when at least two of their lines have been going and usually that means the Briere/Hartnell/Leino trio and Giroux's line. They'll need to get at least two of three going again Wednesday.
Does Duncan Keith remind you of Scott Neidermeyer? I see a very smooth skater and passer with the same body build. He has been simply amazing and should be the Norris trophy winner.
Rick; He got my vote and he's been dynamic throughout the playoffs. Great, great player whose return after losing seven teeth in the west final only adds to the lore of his toughness.
Do you see the Ducks signing Bobby Ryan to a longterm contract, or possibly trading him to get better on the blueline? I find it odd that he hasn't been signed yet.
Sean; I don't see Bobby Ryan going anywhere. He's just starting to come into his own and I think he'll be a terrific player and a nice personality for the Ducks for a long time.
Prongers minus 5 last night? Bad game, or in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Sam; Bad game. And in wrong place at wrong time. Watch for him to have a monster game in Game 6.
Hey scott, are the rangers really hoping their limited defensive prospects become so good over the next few years, that they become competitive, or is glen just saying that and going to make some real wise moves?
zachary; You don't often see Glen Sather and 'wise moves' in the same sentence. Until the Rangers admit their horrific mistakes with the Wade Redden deal and to a lesser extent the Michal Rozsival deal by buying them out or burying them in the minors (the latter being the most logical against the cap) the Rangers will never be anything more than a fringe team no matter what Sather says.
Why did it take Quenneville five games to realize separating Toews, Kane and Byfuglien was the way to 'neutralize' Pronger?
Rob; Good question. 'Hawks fans should be happy the switch got made just in time.
if teh Hawks play their best game, can the Flyers beat them?
steve; I think it's like a science experiment. If the Flyers can't stop the Blackhawks from playing their best game then, no, they can't beat them. Or are unlikely to. If they stop them by playing their own best game (see Games 3 and 4) then yes they can. Great test of wills.
Alright folks. Sorry for the delay at the start. Next week this time it'll all be over. See you soon and thanks as always for stopping by.