Let's rock !
Sorry I'm four minutes late, was on the phone with Wings coach Mike Babcock. I've just arrived in Detroit. Wings didn't practise today, total day off. So needed to check with the coach. Talk about a huge game Wednesday night.Ok let's get this thing going
What is it about the Red Wings that brings out the best in the Sharks come playoff time? That team in teal this weekend bore no resemblance to the ones that made its fans sweat during the first series against LA.
Night and day the effort so far by San Jose. So inconsistent in the first round, and now a 60-minute machine in the second round. Wings vs. Sharks is against skill on skill, puck-posession team vs. posessino team. The Sharks like playing against teams like that. The Kings were more of a grinding outfit and gave San Jose issues.But this series is FAR from over. I expect Detroit to make this a long series
Is it over the Wings and will this be a repeat of last year, in your opinion?
AJ, just anwered that before. I don't think it's over. Two bonafide Cup contenders here in this series the hockey is just beginning... But San Jose (my Cup pick) has really, really impressed me through 2 games vs. Wings. Some of the most consistent hockey I've ever seen them play inthe playoffs
Hey Pierre, if the Capitals lose this series what will their roster look like in 2011-12? Obviously, Ovi will be back, but who else?
Well, the question is whether the coach will be back. I hope nothing happens to Bruce Boudreau because he's one of the great guys in the business, but I'm not sure losing to Tampa in the second round would sit well with the owner... Still lots of hockey to be played though. Not over yet !
Pierre, after the 2OT winner in game 2 the Preds look poised to pull ahead in this series. What do you make the of the possiblity of that happening based off what we've seen in the first two games?
When I picked Vancouver in 7 games some Canucks fans thought I was crazy. But I knew Nashville would make this a tough series. This reminds me of how Chicago struggled so much to figure out how to play vs. the Preds last year in the first round... Will be an interesting series to be sure.
Hi Pierre! I know it's the play-offs but with Montreal out, I have to ask, have you heard of any new rumors about teams moving to either Winnipeg or Quebec City? In QC, we heard that Pierre Karl Peladeau bought several lots to build a home worth quite a lot of money, so we all have a feeling something is going on but the news hasn't broke yet. Any thoughts?
QC is not as close to getting an NHL team as Winnipeg is. Whether it's the Coyotes or the Thrashers, Winnipeg is first in line. The NHL views Winnipeg as the only NHL-ready city for next season. Other than that, QC falls into a group of cities vs. Seattle, KC, Portland, Houston, etc.. in terms of vying for the next re-location once/if Winnipeg gets its team. That's no sure thing either at this point. City of Glendale working hard to salvage Coyotes deal as we speak... tick tock.. who knows how it'll end
Why does burnside hate vancouver, heard he ate bad sushi one time when he was out here and has never forgiven the city
haha, he doesn't hate Vancouver. We had a great time there together for the Olympics. He just likes to stir it up, and obviously it works !
Right now, is Peka RInne your front runner for Conn Smythe?
yes with Datsyuk, Clowe, St. Louis and Briere in the mix as well. But it's early !
Good season for the Pens, but they will look a lot different next year. The D and Goalies are a lock, but there will be a lot of shuffling of forwards. I know Neal was picked up to sit on Crosby's wing, but what about any FAs to play alongside Malkin?
I think Neal was the big play for Pittsburgh. I wouldn't expect any big splash otherwise. Obviously lots to play out in terms of UFAs such as Talbot, Dupuis and Rupp and whether they stay or not... Kovalev is defnitely not coming back to Pitt
You regretting picking against the Sharks Lebrun? 2-0 series lead have not lost any away games on the road!!!! And sorry to say they just seem to have the wings number going back to last year. Do you think that it was the fact the detroit doesnt seem to have an answer for the first three lines of the Sharks?
Not at all. I played it perfectly: Picked the Sharks to win the Cup and covered myself with Wings second-round pick. So I'm covered either way :)
Hi Pierre, don't you think that I could help the Wings out in this series? Just an FYI, I have scored more than 500 goals in my career.
Can the Caps win their series? What are your thoughts on their play and ability to steal the series in 6 or 7?
It's all between the ears now for them. Are they tougher mentally? On the ice their play is fine, outchanced and outshot Bolts last night. But mentlaly are they tough enough to bounce back? We'll soon find out
What's your take on the Bruins destruction of the Flyers in game 1? Will Philly's goaltending woes prove to be their downfall going forward in this series?
I expect Flyers to bounce back strongly tonight
The L.A. Kings lost a heartbreaker of a series (heartbreaking because they could have won the series if not for a few bad break), but pushed the Sharks to the brink and did so without Kopitar.Obviously, losing Kopi was devistating, but would he, alone, have been enough to make a deep run into the playoffs?Who do you suspect the Kings will go after in trade/free-agency?
Yeah I like that Kings team a lot. They're not far off. They'll chase Brad Richards July 1 and if they lose out to Rangers or Leafs or whichever team, they'll re-focus and try to trade for a big scorer...
What were you most impressed with by the Sharks in the first two games?
The constant pressure they had in Detroit's zone. They didn't score many goals but in talking to Babcock today he pointed out how the Sharks have been able to sustain more offensive zone pressure. That's impressive against a puck-possession team like Detroit.
Pierre love the work as always...think the Bruins are gonna make it 2 for 2 in Philly...I dont expect Philly to play that badly again
Love the way the Bruins played Saturday but I predict Flyers tie series 1-1...
Who do you think is in net for the Flyers for Game 2 tonight?
Boucher will start and he'll be better
The Caps dominated the play 5 on 5 for the most part last night. One Tampa goal was off of Mike Green's skate in a fluke bounce, and the other was a horrendous line change. But overall I thought the Caps broke free from the 1-3-1 pretty well 5 on 5. Is it safe to say the Caps downfall will be the power play if they lose the series? As a Caps fan I have faith because they haven't been extremely outplayed. They just need to get the PP going.
Angela, solid analysis. My only concern is whether they deviate from game plan and panic like they did last year vs. Montreal... This team was supposed to be different this year. We'll see
Watching the last two Detroit v. San Jose games, it seems apparent to me that San Jose just wants it more. Is it that the Wings are too relaxed from their time off, or does Babcock need to shake up the lines a bit? Absolutely no disrespect to the Sharks, because they have been playing with great intensity and emotion. Detroit has not been too strong at home, and now San Jose is taking a 2 game lead to the Joe...do you still think my Wings can pull it together and still take the series?
yes it's not over yet... Obviously Wednesday is the must-win game of the year for Detroit. They weren't that far yesterday but need to generate more puck pressure. Babcock said he was mulling over his lineup options but if I'm guessing, and I've known Mike for a long time, I think you'll see some forward line shuffling
Doesn't Sharks/Wings thus far remind you of Sharks/Hawks last year? Last year Sharks had tons of rest, Hawks had a couple of days, Hawks win the first two, both close games that the Sharks could have won. This year Wings had tons of rest, Sharks had a few days, Sharks win the first two but the Wings could have won either one. Also looking at Tampa/Washington, looks like too much rest is a bad thing, wouldn't you agree?
Pappy great comparison
Will the Hurricanes resign Pitkanen or let him go and try to pick up another defenseman in free agency?
Jake, I know they like the player a lot but it's all about $$$$ in Carolina. He's got to come back in at a resonable price
I know Halischuk just made the decision harder for Trotz, but should Colin Wilson get at least one look in these playoffs? He played 82 games during the regular season, and we obviously need help on the Offensive end.
Interesting point. Isn't nice to have depth in Nashville? Cardinal rule, however, you don't change a lineup that just won a playoff game unless someone is hurt
Do you think the Sharks can sweep the Red Wings?
I mean, they almost did last year so yes they have that potential. But I think this is going 6-7 games.
Pierre, Thanks for taking my question. In your opinion, is there anything to the rumors that a core player may be moved to acquire the missing pieces from this postseason or to accomodate all the signings (Crafword!) necessary by Chicago?
Love the Billgoat Tavern.Boss, I haven't checked in with the Hawks since I covered their Game 7 loss last week so can't answer that with any factual backing. But I suspect they'll need to move money to re-sign Crawford, yes
Hey, Pierre! I'm interested to hear your take on the officiating so far in the playoffs? Seems rather inconsistent to me, with soft slashes being called but blood-drawing high sticks being missed. I thought these were supposed to be the best officials from the regular season? What's your take?
JD, a long time ago in my career I made a decision: I was going to stop whining about officiating or stop quoting teams that whine about officiating. The breaks come and go for all teams. There's no conspiracy to screw anyone. Move on.
Uh oh... Sharks found offense from their defensive depth and their lockdown forwards + goalie...
Yup, my Cup pick from last September making me look good so far... :)
Vancouver and Nashville - a goaltending show! This goes to show how 1-0, 2-1 games can be just as exciting as the 5-4 games.
Totally agree. Just like a love 1-0 pitchers' duel in baseball.
What do you think was the main demise behind Montreal's loss to boston?
Not enough offensive depth. And they're undersized up front.
Pierre, is it time for the Wings to put Lidstrom back on the PK? I know they're trying to cut down on his minutes and the wear and tear, but the PK has been awful.
How has the PK been awful vs. San Jose? They've given up only one PP goal in each game of this series. It wasn't good vs. Phoenix but it's been fine vs. Sharks
I don't know if it's the production setup in the arena or not but, the San Jose crowd has been impressive for a 'nontraditional' market. It seems like they have a lot of great organic cheers, like taunting Howard, etc.
I've covered many a game in San Jose over the past few years and I've mentioned this before but yes, Shark Tank incredibly underrated for atmosphere and how loud it is
Do you think the Wings look rattled in the first two games vs. Detroit?
not overall, no. Maybe a few of the young guys. I think Abdelkader _ who has been dynamite last few months _ look a little out of it first 2 games. The game has gone to next level in second round against a great team. He needs to take a deep breath and get back at it
Pekka Rinne for Vezina AND Conn Smythe? Fair to assume?
Vezina was voted on by NHL GMs BEFORE playoffs as with all regular-season awards. Would be shocked if the GMs didn't hand it to Thomas based on regular-season play
What do you think of the Lightning now?!? Stanley needs a tan! GO BOLTS!
I've always enjoyed Tampa in June, no quarrels here !
What options do you see the Sabres having come July 1st. What do you think they should do with their cap room?
Mike, I spoke with Darcy Regier about the off-season on Saturday... Obviously he's got more leeway now with Pegular's deeper purse-strings. Thing is, UFA market July 1 pretty thin. Brad Richards aint' signing in Buffalo. So I think Regier's best bet this summer to augment the offense will be to scour trade market and look for teams needing to unload contracts for financial reasons. There will defintley be those teams
Let's say the Kings sign Richards or trade for a goal-scorer like Parise or Kessel. With a healthy Kopitar, how viable are they as a Cup Contender in 2012?
legitmately viable, no questionLeafs aren't trading Kessel, howver, and Devils will do everything they can to keep Parise
Why cant Nicklas Backstrom seem to get anything going?
Hard for me to say since I havn't covered any of their games this spring... but from afar his confidence appears shot
Hi Pierre,After the humourous furore surrouding the 'Green Men' at Rogers Arena recently, I would like to get your thoughts on their attendance.Typically, I find our (Vancouver) fans a little bland and unimaginative. I consider the Green Men to be a breath of fresh air. It is certainly a better alternative than replacing them with a couple of corporate fans staring at their smartphones for 60 minutes!
Yeah I don't get all the fuss against them. I'm cool with them. Although mean wearing those tight outfits makes me cringe a little... :)
With the way the Preds played in Game 2, the next two games in Smashville, and the awesome play of Mr. Rinne, will the Preds pull off the upset?
I still think vancouver wins... but it's going to be close
Hey, Pierre. I know we'll be wrapped up in playoff talk today, but word around NJ is that Lou wants Hitchcock as the next coach on the carousel. I would love that hire, but before I get my hopes up can you confirm this report and perhaps share your thoughts on the potential hire?
I have heard that Hitch is in the mix, yes, just not 100 percent sure he's the front-runner or not
Why are so many people down on the Caps? They are still in this thing, just like the Wings.
agreed on both counts
Pierre you said the same thing about Detroit last year, and it ended in 5. Franzen looks hurt, and Zetterberg isn't 100%. And right now, how do they answer Couture's line? SJ is 4-0 in OT... and as good as Howard's been he's also been pretty lucky. If the Wings can't get the next one, it might not even last until 5.
no question if San Jose wins Wednesday this baby is over quick
Are you growing a playoff beard?
I've got my goatee. Which I've had since I was 12. Kidding, sort of...
Hey Pierre,Have been a life time bruins fan and I'm from just outside boston and know go to school at Auburn. I have seen the bruins get to the conference finals and fall and in my years its just be brutal to see them collapse in the playoffs. They almost did it in round 1 this year do you think that there is something different this year with them or will we collapse again in this round or the conference finals? Or could this be the year we could win the cup?
Still not fully sold on them... need to see a few more games like Saturday to get fully on board.. Montreal is a pretty average team and nearly knocked them off...
From predictions the Sharks are the 2nd in power rankings but from watching them in the past, as most SJ fans feel, where will the choke come? They are not the same team as last year but can the 4 lines produce a Stanley Cup?
Last year it was the Wings were battling injuries and tired, this year that's not the case. Are the Wings simply just too old?
well, they are battling injuries in a way. Neither Zetterberg (knee) nor Franzen (ankel) are 100 per cent.
True or false: Flyers are cooked.
Do you agree with Laviolette's move to stick with Boucher in net for game two?
hey Pierre...do you think there is any chance of a hockey team coming to baltimore?
Good morning Pierre. How is it that Todd Bertuzzi gets away with his shenagans, and teams do not retaliate. He is a goon (granted he brings some offense) thatneeds to be put in his place...
Objective opinion from COlorado Avs fan, right? haha. I believe Ben Eager took care of Bertuzzi last night.
Luongo is always (at least on Vancouver sports radio) being mentioned as one of the top goalies in the world, yet he seems to be constantly outplayed by other seemingly lesser goalies. He is obviously good, but has flaws that poke through in big moments. Pierre - what is your take on Luongo? Is he worth what the Canucks pay him?
I've always been a big Luongo booster and continue to be. But if he gets outplayed by Rinne, that's not a ''lesser" goalie. For my mony Rinne was best goalie in the world this season.
Pierre, who would you start in goal tonight if you were the Flyers?
Bernie Parent or Ron Hextall
Hey Pierre,Next time you're on the hotstove with Healy, kick him in the teeth for all of us!
I would never do that, I love Heals !
Pierre, do you think the Lightning will try and sign Eric Brewer after the season or will they say goodbye to his 4 mil contract? He has brought such stability to their defense.
I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to keep him at a cheaper price
Is marty gonna get traded from the devils?
With Jordan Staal being a free agent this year do you think he will join one of his brothers?
Jordan Staal is not a free agent. He's signed for two more seasons at $4 M per
Hey Pierre! Do you think Kesler is finally going to win the Selke this year? He deserves it in my opinion, but have this sneaking suspicion they are going to give it to Datsyuk..
it'll be Kesler or Bergeron
Re your statement above,of forecasting the Sharks as Cup winners : on 4/28 you predicted the Wings to win this series in 7 games. You can't have it both ways. Pick one!
Nope, that's exactly what I did and on purpose !
Is it just me? or does Joe Thornton look alot more confident in these playoffs rather then in previous years
Totally. He's been terrific this spring.
Do you think that Barry Trotz should win the Jack Adams Award? Talk about a Head Coach who gets it done with a small market franchise.
My guess is that the NHL broadcasters (who vote for Jack Adams) gave it to Bylsma given the injuries to Crosby/Malkin.But Trotz is equally deserving and has been a for a long time
OK everyone, thanks for dropping in. Tons of questions and sorry I don't have time to get to all of them. Cheers allTime to write my Red Wings story now ! Check the site later today for my story