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October 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Matthew Barnaby

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:01 PM)

A lot of surprises early in the season, good and bad. I'm sure we'll have many more in the next few weeks.

Mike (IL)

Got a great feeling about the Hawks this year. If there's one thing you think they need to add at the trade deadline, what would it be? And would you say Kane's spin-o-rama pass was one of the best?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:02 PM)

Absolutely, it was so dynamic. Kane has great vision and great skill. He's the total package. As for the team, I think they'll stand pat unless they have a glaring weakness, which I do not see right now.

Scott (Pittsburgh)

Any update on Crosby? I haven't been able to find any news on how he has been progressing since being cleared for contact.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:02 PM)

Still just cleared for contact. Will not play this week. But if I had to guess, I'd say between two and three weeks he'll be back in the lineup.

Todd (Connecticut)

What do you think of the Devils finally putting Parize and Kovi together?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:03 PM)

I think it's a great move. Two great players who have not been playing together. I think there is some chemistry there, and it'll continue.

Drew (Boston)

If I set the Over/Under at 75 for total PIM in the BOS/MON game tonight, what would you take?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:05 PM)

I'm going to take under. The NHL will have talked to both of these teams today. They will have warned them that there will be no shenanigans.

ian (texas)

What is your take on the Stars? In the pre-season rankings ESPN had them ranked in the bottom 5 teams and now ESPN has them in the top 5. I know it is early in the season, but Pretenders or Contenders?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:06 PM)

Pretenders. I was one of the people that had them in the bottom. While I'm eating a little bit of crow right now, I look up and down this lineup and don't think it's sustainable. Their GAA and save percentages cannot hold up.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:06 PM)

I think they will falter, but it's been a great story so far.

Danny (Splash of Coke) Trpcevic (Windsor Ont)

Matthew, keep up the good work! after the hot start the Red Wings lost the last two games and looked brutal in both! Is this going to be a trend from this season?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:07 PM)

I don't think so. This will be two bad games, and good teams find a way to overcome bad streaks. I consider Detroit to still be an elite team in this league, and I would not want to be the San Jose Sharks, who face them Friday night.

Cody (Mankato, MN)

Hello Matthew, my fingernails are chewed to the bone with all the OT/SO the Wild are getting themselves into (Lead NHL with 5 out of 8 games). What do they need to do to start closing out games in regulation, aside from the obvious scoring more than their opponents? Thank you.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:09 PM)

I'm going to take under. The NHL will have talked to both of these teams today. They will have warned them that there will be no shenanigans. There could be one or two fights, but they'll be rather tame.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:09 PM)

It's very tough. You go through spurts where it seems like you go through overtime every time. If you look at this team, they are offensively challenged. They're not a big team up front. They have to find a way to score more goals if they're going to win in regulation. Their goaltending has been very good, but they need more offense, especially out of Healy.

Keith (NYC)

I know every is saying the Rangers need help on defense, but after Gaborik and Richards, they have a bunch of third-line role players. Do you see them trying to add a top-6 forward and if so, is there anyone out there?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:10 PM)

Right now I think they're standing pat. Everyone is trying to get better, and the offense will improve as the season goes on. Richards was picked up to help the power play, and unfortunately Staal goes down and hurts the power play. I think they like their team, but I don't see anyone out there improving on what they have.

Jay (Buffalo)

What are your thoughts on the Sabres? think this could be the year?????

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:11 PM)

I look at four teams, really, from each conference, that I think have a chance of winning the Cup. Buffalo is definitely in that group. Good goaltending, great D, balanced scoring up front, and when push comes to shove, they have an owner willing to spend money to get to that level. This could be the year.

Wilkie (Toronto)

True or False: Spezza will still be a Senator after the trade deadline.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:12 PM)

Great question. They were very close, I heard, to dealing him last trade deadline, and backed out at the last second. I am going to say yes, he will still be a Senator, but lots of teams will be calling to see of his availability.

John (Chicago)

I hear casual fan talk here that Brent Seabrook is an underrated defenseman. You played with him and have seen his development over his career, what do you think?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:13 PM)

I think he's a top-flight defenseman. When you think of Chicago defense, Duncan Keith is the first guy who comes to mind, but Brent is a big, strong defenseman, good on both ends of the ice and a great teammate. He doesn't get the credit he deserves.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

I think the Jets made a big mistake in firing the entire coaching staff this off season. I don't think players are responding well to Noel's 'Hitchcockian' coaching style. Rumors about Kane asking for a trade are floating arond our papers already. Am I panicking because of the slow start or am I on to something?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:14 PM)

I think you're panicking. This isn't a playoff team and didn't at the start of the year. It's an exciting time with the team being back, but it's a young team that needs time to grow.

Craig (ny)

Matt, stick a fork in the isles?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:15 PM)

I don't know if it's time for that, but this is not a playoff team. I took a lot of heat from Islander fans after they started off with three straight wins. The future is getting brighter in NY because of their young talent, but right now, it's not enough. Too many holes.

anthony (boston)

Hi Mattew. I was wondering if you think the bruins have done too much shuffling of the decks of sort. Not so much on the offencive side but defence. Seems like the pairs they had last year worked a bit better then this year.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:15 PM)

I think he's a top-flight defenseman. When you think of Chicago defense, Duncan Keith is the first guy who comes to mind, but Brent is a big, strong defenseman, good on both ends of the ice and a great teammate. He doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:17 PM)

I assumed this team was a little overrated coming into the season. They deservedly won the Stanley Cup, but they had a goaltender who stood on his head all year long and all playoffs long. This is an offensively talented hockey team, with a power play that has been dismal for a couple of years. It's not time to panic, as they are a playoff team, but some things have to improve, and a power play that's just over 12 percent won't cut it.

Bernie (DC)

At what point do we stop saying Ovi's slow start is a slow start? BTW I'm loving Vokoun...

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:18 PM)

It is a slow start, you can't really say otherwise. But he will put up points, and the team is 7-0. He has seven points in seven games, not bad for a slow start. As for Vokoun, besides the first two periods of the first game, he has been great. Washington desperately wanted a goaltender they can believe in, and he is responding quite well.

Rich (Windsor)

There is talk of the nhl raising the age limit to 19! do you think this is a good idea, and also will the wings be in the east next season??

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:19 PM)

Great idea. Would make folks look a lot smarter. When drafting kids who are 18, it's tough to know their full potential. Another year will give them a chance to develop and grow.

Gerry (San Francisco, CA)

In your prime, do you think you would have been a great MMA fighter?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:20 PM)

Tough question. I would have loved to do it, and I think I would have been pretty good if I'd stayed in my own weight class. But now I'm old and out of shape, and I'd rather fight a chocolate chip donut.

kurt (Buff)

matt, can you explain the lack of instigator penalties in the Tampa/ Buffalo game on Tuesday? When a coach send out guys (Downie/ malone) who make a B line for the opponent, isn't that teh definition of an instigator penalty? and Boucher even admitted he sent Downie after kaleta.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:21 PM)

It is normally, but I think these guys did square off, and as long as there are two willing combatants, as there were, they won't issue an instigator penalty. Refs hate to issue it, and unless it's blatant, you usually don't see it.

Steven (REno)

Hey Matty, Whats wrong with Danny B? He didnt have a great series with the nucks and has started the season slowly. Bad outlet passes poor decision making and lack of offensive production has plagued him for the first 7 games. In this the beginning of the end age wise or is it an early season slump?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:23 PM)

I think it's an early-season slump. I think Danny has a lot of good hockey left in him. Even watching last night against Montreal, he was a non-factor. I think that line he was previously on with Hartnell was very good, so I think he misses that a bit. Given time, I think he'll be very productive.

Alex (Philly)

Im gonna say it...goalie controversy. I need not even tell you which city I'm talking about

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:23 PM)

Tampa Bay?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:25 PM)

Don't even start with Philadelphia, because there is not one yet. In Tampa, definitely with Garon and Roloson. Also in Vancouver, with Luongo and Schneider, but Luongo is on such a long-term deal that it'll be tough not to play him a lot.

Pat (Montreal)

True or False: One team will sweep the MTL/BOS home and home this weekend and change their season.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:25 PM)

True. Boston will sweep Montreal.

Hayden (DC)

I know it's early but do the CAPS have a shot at Detroit's season wins mark?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:26 PM)

I'm gonna say no. 62 is an awful lot of wins. I don't see them topping that. Just way too much parity in the league now.

Bharath (NJ) [via mobile]

Zach Parise will be playing for the ________ to finish the season?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:27 PM)

A playoff team, not the New Jersey Devils.

george (seattle)

Which GM has best positioned their team to win the Cup?

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:28 PM)

I'm going to say the Philadelphia Flyers. When they are healthy and Chris Pronger comes back, this team really has everything. Bryzgalov has struggled, but I really like this team.

Matthew Barnaby
  (2:28 PM)

Enjoy all the games, hockey has never been better. Can't believe we're not talking suspensions this week. Talk to you next time!