Hello all. Sorry for the delay. A few technical difficulties here in Boca Raton, Florida where the NHL's GMs are meeting. Now, where were we?
Hey Scott, my question is about Ilya Kovalchuk. Do you think Kovalchuk is making a case to be considered for the Hart Trophy.I'm not saying he should win it but should he be mentioned. What's your take on Adam Larsson, he seems to have regressed as each game goes by. Thanks.
William; No question Ilya Kovalchuk is getting some Hart Trophy buzz. We were talking about it at dinner last night in fact. He's not going to win it but the evolution of his game and his evolution as a leader has been very impressive. Right now I'd have him third or fourth on my list behind Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Lundqvist and likely Steven Stamkos although if the Bolts fall further out of the running Kovalchuk might jump up. As for Larsson I think you can chalk it up to a young man playing a long season at a difficult position.
I realize what Hitch has done for the blues has been pretty remarkable coming in during the season, but is there any consideration of Glen Gulutzan for the Jack Adams award? Getting the low payroll stars into a top 3 spot in the wild west while not having the captain and Benn during most of that.
Mike; I think the Stars' run will elevate Gulutzan's status vis a vis the Jack Adams. He's still behind Ken Hitchcock and John Tortorella in my books and I think Dan Bylsma is doing another terrific job in Pittsburgh but Gulutzan will get a look, again, not enough to win but he's been a great hire for GM Joe Nieuwendyk.
Are the Flyers legitimate cup contenders if Bryz keeps playing the way he has over the last 6 games (only 6 goals, 3 Sho)?
Jon; Yes although that first round is going to be a killer as the Flyers will likely have Pittsburgh or New Jersey. Tough. And the question about Bryzgalov, at least in my mind, has never been can he play well but can he play well when it counts. Still not sure he can.
If Malkin wins the Art Ross for most points in the regular season, and Stamkos reaches the 60 goal plateau, who do you feel will win the Hart if the Lightning reach the playoffs/dont reach the playoffs?
Ryan; A little follow-up on the Hart. I think there is no chance Stamkos wins the Hart if the Lightning miss the playoffs which is pretty much a certainty now.
Which Ilya wins tomorrow? Bryzgalov or Kovalchuk?
Amanda; I'll go with Kovalchuk.
St Louis seems like an interesting team to me. Through some fortunate Det injuries and sloppy Van play they seem poised to take the 1 seed in the West. However, while they are a good team that never loses bad games, they don't seem to win very good games either. If you look at their record the second half of the season against other perceived top contenders(Van Det Pit Bos Nsh) they seem to lose literally every game against them yet win literally every game against everyone else. How threatening can a team like that be in a playoff atmosphere when everyone brings it all the time?
Hang on folks. Scott's down at the GM meetings in Florida and the wireless just crashed. He's trying to get back online.