Matthew Barnaby will be here at 4:30 p.m. ET to chat NHL!
We're getting Matthew now!
I always have the same hockey question, but here it goes, is this San Jose's year and if not, who you got?
I think this is as good a team as they have ever had. Obviously they have to stay healthy, but I truly feel this is as good a team as any in the West. Hopefully they don't break your heart one more time.
If they do I'll send you an e-card.
Regarding Sidney Crosby; How long does it take to get back into game shape after missing months from an injury?
It will take two weeks. He looks great in practice and I think he'll contribute right away. But when you miss that kind of time, there is nothing like real game shape.
Matthew, do you think the Hawks are as strong as they've looked in the early going?
I really do. I think when you look at this team, they have very deep forwards, a ton of skill, some of the top defensemen in the NHL and now a proven No. 1 goaltender. This team is very good and will compete for the Western Conference.
How many games do you believe Stewart will get for the hit on Kronwall last night?
I thought he would get four but it just came down that he did receive 3. I think that's a fair call. A little more than a slap on the wrist with two. When you see the numbers, you have to stop.
First Penguin to bring home a new trophy to Pittsburgh - Letang winning the Norris, Fleury the Venzina, or Staal the Selke?
Wow! Great question. I am going to go with Fleury. He never gets his due and I probably overlook him on a number of occasions.
He has been very dominant the last year and a half and finally deserves a lot of the credit.
When was the last time you saw a player go so far out of his way to whine about something as Ryan Miller is doing?
This has been very surprising. Ryan Miller usually takes the high road and I really think it's because the struggles he's faced this year that he's lashed out.
What are the Islanders doing?What is Garth Snow waiting for next summer to make a trade? He never makes an in-season trade....this seems like a replay of last season.....what a joke. At the least Capuano should be fired. What do you think? sorry for the rant
This team everyone is waiting to pounce on their young talent. I really think he's caught between a rock and a hard place but moving one of his goalies has got to be a priority. I think a lot of fans overestimated the talent on this team and are still a ways away from competing for a playoff spot.
What should Lindy Ruff do about the Ville Leino situation in Buffalo? People thought he would join Vanek and Pomminville at the top of the Sabres scoring chart but he is far from it. Thanks! Let's go Buffalo!
Again I think people overestimated his capabilities. I think he's a good player, not a great player. He played well with Hartnell and Briere, but also reaped a lot of their benefits.
To me he's a 40-45 point guy but is being paid like a 55-60 point guy. He will get better but he is not what fans thought, at least in my opinion.
What's up Barney? As a die-hard Caps fan, I was loving life at the start of the season. It looked like the boys in red had finally figured out how to play a hard 60 minutes the right way. However, the last couple of weeks, the Caps look like the same old team I've been watching for the past four years - A great 50 or 55 minutes, and the slightest bit of undisciplined hockey which costs them (cough, last night). Should I be worried that my boys are still pretenders?
I think they're better than ever. Everyone has some stretches where you struggle or make mistakes. I think Vokun will help them down the stretch and I think they will make a run this year.
The Rangers haven't lost since I called them "soft". How should I prepare the crow I'm about to eat?
I usually put a little olive oil, a little pepper, put it in tin foil and it makes everything all good, Joe. The Rangers do look good right now.
Are the Bruins for real? 6 in a row with no signs of slowing.
They look really good. They look like they ordered a new step from an online shopping company, because man, they look quick out there. They are playing with some mojo and confidence is so important. Averaging over 5 goals per game in the last 6 is pretty impressive.
Hi Matt - Caps fan here. How much of Ovi's lack of production comes down to Ovi and how much to Bruce B.? Do you see a time this season or next when this lack of productivity comes down on Bruce's head? Would that be bad?
I think this is all on Alex. I think at times he's forced things too much and I think he has to simplify his game. He's not getting as many shots on goal as he was, I believe just averaging over 3 per game, way down from a few years ago.
Hello Matthew, any chance we see you lace up the skates for the Alumni game of the winter classic this season?
I would love to, but the offer has not been sent. I probably should pick the Rangers to win the Cup and then I'll get the call.
It would be an honor.
Matt - Odds that we see fighting banned from hockey in the next 5 years? Thanks-
I don't think we will. Maybe I'm a traditionalist and don't want to see it gone as I think it still has a place in our game, but I really don't think we'll see it gone in the forseeable future.
Who is a better defenseman, Marc Staal, or Dan Girardi. People seem to love Staal when they talk about who is the best defenseman on the team, but Girardi is always under the radar. Thoughts?
I think when healthy Marc Staal has more potential but Dan Girardi is very underrated and does not get his due. But I would take Marc Staal.
Is there any precident for the leap that Seguin has made so far this season? Last season, he showed flashes of brilliance (his first goal in Europe on a breakaway, his 4 point 2nd in game 3 vs the Lighting in the ECF), but this season he's been the best guy on the ice most nights.
He has. A lot of us thought he would have a breakout season and he has. But I don't think anyone foresaw him doing exactly what he's doing this early. He's very confident. He sees the ice very well. He's got great speed and can shoot the puck. Proving a lot of doubters wrong.
Your Pick to win the Eastern Conference
At this point of the season, I would have to take Pittsburgh. They have been the most consistent team and facing a lot of adversity. They're well coached, have a great goaltender and work hard every single game. They will be very tough to beat.
People are labeling me a goon after the hit I put on Miller? Unfair?
That is unfair. A goon is someone that steps on the ice for 30 seconds a game and just fights. Milan Lucic is maybe the best power forward in the game. He can fight, he can score and he intimidates the opposition. I'm guessing the people that are calling him that are from Buffalo.
habs- playoff contender or not?
I do not think so. I think the injuries they have faced on the back end will be too much to over come and the lack of depth in scoring up front will not provide enough offense for this team to make the playoffs.
Something's gotta give in Colorado. Right? What's going to happen?
I don't think anything is going to happen. I think this is a good young hockey team that is going to have some growing pains. They got off to a great start but at no point do I feel they were as good a team as their record indicated.
How strong will the Pens be when Sid will be in the lineup ?
Well, I think any time you get the best player in the world back in your lineup, your team is that much better. It's exciting for the NHL and the Penguins to see how good this team will be when he returns.
Any chance the Devils can turn things around?
Yes. This is a team that will battle for the eighth playoff position. But this is not a great team by no means. Kovalchuk comes back into the lineup, which will help. Obviously the more games Parise plays, he will feel more comfortable out there. They don't have much depth in scoring so they need those two big guns to provide most of the offense.
Thoughts on NHL HOF Class?
I thought it was tremendous. I think all of those four players deserve to be in. I thought their speeches were awesome. Doug Gilmore was an idol of mine growing up and now as a player and as a person, I'm so happy for him. But someone get Eddie the Eagle some new clothes.
Hi Matthew, Do you see the Wild trying to acquire any d-men due to all the injuries on the blue line. The young guys have played well so far but will all the minutes they are playing. thanks
I think Minnesota should keep everything the way it is right now. Don't get too excited. Minnesota is finding a way to win and they are battling very very hard. I'm sure Minnesota will do everything they can to improve this team. I never thought they would be where they are at the quarter point.
Matt, are you surprised by the strong start offensively by Maxime Talbot?
He's off to a great start. And Philly has scored a ton of goals. He is the perfect Flyer and ultimate team guy. His strong offensive output (6 goals) is an added bonus. I hope Pittsburgh plays Philly in the playoffs. Talk about story lines. Having him chase around Crosby.
It should be an interesting couple of weeks. I really think you'll see the contenders rise to the top in the next 10 games and the pretenders fall off. Stay tuned. I await all of your tweets: @MattBarnabyESPN either telling me how great I am or that I have no clue. It's a daily occurence. Enjoy the puck.