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January 24, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Scott Burnside

Scott Burnside
  (1:01 PM)

Greetings all. Almost a week into the schedule and no shortage of storylines. Now, where were we?

Mike H (DC)

Will Peter Laviolette be able to pull off the magic in Philadelphia that Dan Bylsma was able to pull off in Pittsburgh with injured stars mounting?

Scott Burnside
  (1:02 PM)

Mike; The Flyers are in tough. Already banged up on the blue line (Gustafsson, Bourdon on the farm) and without Daniel Briere the Flyers are now minus Scott Hartnell indefinitely with a foot injury. The Rangers come to town tonight and then the Flyers hit the road for four. There's lots of character and talent in that room but it's got to reveal itself in short order or this is going to become a significant hole.

Frank (Sarnia)

It seems as if the Leafs play well against teams they'd shouldn't beat and play poorly against other weaker teams. Any explanation why that is?

Scott Burnside
  (1:04 PM)

Frank; Not sure I agree. They actually played pretty well in their only loss to the Sabres. Ryan Miller was outstanding. And they've only given up five goals in three games so defensively they've been pretty sound. Notwithstanding the loss of Joffrey Lupul (broken forearm) pretty good start for the Buds.

Toby (Bryn Mawr)

could you see the flyers making any desperate moves after an 0-3 start or do you think they will give it more time before making a drastic move.

Scott Burnside
  (1:06 PM)

Toby; Good follow-up on the Flyers. You know Paul Holmgren never rests regardless of the health of his line-up but I would be shocked if he moved any of his young assets to try and fill a hole on the blue line for instance. His dilemma is that the normal course of action - bringing up help from the AHL - has been blunted because of injuries at that level. My guess is they tough it out.

Bill (Vegas)

Do you think Subban, Benn & O'Reilly will sign soon or will they get traded or can this actually drag out through the entire season?

Scott Burnside
  (1:09 PM)

Bill; All three are so important to their teams' successes I can't imagine it dragging on the entire season although I frankly thought they would all have been done by now. All three teams (Montreal, Dallas and Colorado respectively) have more than a little urgency attached to making the playoffs this year so am guessing they all get done. Don't really see an offer sheet being an option as I am relatively certain all three teams would match and as for a trade unless you were going to see a blockbuster value for value trade don't see that happening either. They are players in their prime so unless a team is willing to send something similar back not really a viable option for the GMs in question.

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Why has the Red Wings struggled in defending the power play in their first 2 games?

Scott Burnside
  (1:11 PM)

Ice; I think a lot has to do with the departure of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart coupled with injuries to guys like Carlo Carliacovo that has forced the Wings to use guys in roles they might not otherwise have like Kent Huskins and Brian Lashoff.

Luke (Chicago)

The hawks have looked darn good so far. But do you think there is a shot that they try to trade away some of their depth at D combined with a young winger to try to get getzlaf? Thinking maybe something along the lines of Hjalmarrson and Shaw?

Scott Burnside
  (1:13 PM)

Luke; Doubt the Ducks would go for that deal although as the season wears on the pressure is going to mount on Anaheim GM Bob Murray to either get Getzlaf and Corey Perry under contract. Still, if I'm Chicago I'm keeping as much defensive depth as I can given how important that is to a long playoff/Cup run.

Jake K (Toronto)

Do you think the Senators are serious contenders in the east?

Scott Burnside
  (1:15 PM)

Jake; Depends on what you mean by contenders. Impressed again with the Sens' start and they seem not to be missing Jared Cowen. Lots of youth in the line-up and Paul MacLean once again has integrated those parts in nicely at least in the early going. Do I think they're a playoff team? Sure. Will they challenge Boston for a Northeast Division title? Not sure that's in the cards this season. Still Craig Anderson proving last year was no fluke which is a big step in the contending direction.

Matt (Phoenix)

Have the coyotes finally put their game together. They looked like a totally different team last night even w/o hanzel, smith, klesla

Scott Burnside
  (1:17 PM)

Matt; The 'Yotes continue to provide a surprising level of offense with 12 goals in three games but not quite in sync yet defensively or in goal. I understand Mike Smith's injury (he was pulled midway through the first last night) is not serious and you know Dave Tippett will get them playing better team defense. They are a good team and with Steve Sullivan (three goals last night) in a groove it helps fill the void created by Ray Whitney's departure. Really liked Oliver Eckman-Larsson's game last night. He's a keeper.

Mike H (DC)

The Caps have to go with Neuvy tonight, right?

Scott Burnside
  (1:19 PM)

Mike; Yes, that is apparently the plan. Pretty ordinary start for Braden Holtby although the 0-2 start isn't all his fault. Interesting to see if Neuvirth grabs the reins in his first start. Too good a team to play this poorly.

Ben (San Jose)

Scott - Glad to have hockey back! With the NBA announcement of a franchise moving to Seattle, does this seriously open the door for Seattle as the next place for an NHL team (whether brand new, or relocated from elsewhere)?

Scott Burnside
  (1:21 PM)

Ben; The Seattle issue becomes a lot more clear in the next week or two when the sale of the Coyotes goes through - or doesn't. If the deal falls through then I would think there will be some significant movement in exploring the viability of joining an NHL franchise to the new NBA team in the new Seattle facility. If the 'Yotes stay in Glendale different dynamics as there isn't a team that's obviously portable right now, not with the Isles set to go into Barclays Center. Still, a market the NHL would love to explore.

Erik (Sunbury, PA)

Scott: what do you think of Duchene from Colorado and Skinner from Carolina. I think both are eerily in the same position.... had huge seasons early on and are trying to prove that they're still going to be stars in the league. I may be using this for fantasy purposes (Thinking of trading/dropping one or both), but I still believe it to be an interesting topic nonetheless!

Scott Burnside
  (1:22 PM)

Erik; Both are interesting studies. Duchene signed a two-year deal with the Avs which suggests the team is waiting for him to take full advantage of his considerable skills. I was a bit surprised Skinner didn't play during the lockout and that decision early on comes into question given that the 'Canes have just two goals in two games. Both have great up-sides though and way too early to be giving in on either (not sure that helps your fantasy issues or not).

Chris (Nashville)

The Predators are once again lacking that little bit more of offense to get them over the hump. It's already cost them in the first two games. Any chance they try to make a run at a Perry, Getzlaf or someone else?

Scott Burnside
  (1:24 PM)

Chris; One thing GM David Poile has proven in recent years is that he's not afraid to go after the goods. Getzlaf would help the Preds down the middle, obviously, although Perry is likely a better fit in terms of pure offense. Won't come cheap if the Preds are looking at an in-season deal. Might be more likely to try in the off-season if they hit the open market. But you're right, need just a little bit more juice.

David (Port Saint Lucie, Florida)

Three games into the season - any reason to be concerned with the Panthers' play so far?? Other than Opening Night, it has looked like men playing against infants (think Red Wings vs. South Park Peewee Team). How much longer can you use the "only one week of training camp" excuse??

Scott Burnside
  (1:26 PM)

David; Agreed that after a strong showing in Game 1 the last two have been pretty ordinary. Missing Kris Versteeg hurts and Gudbranson is still a ways away from coming back but still need more from a line-up that has lost more to give. Still wonder about the goaltending, too.

Chris (Charlotte)

What are your thoughts on the Sabres making the playoffs this year?

Scott Burnside
  (1:28 PM)

Chris; A couple of Sabres questions and whether Steve Ott and John Scott suddenly make the Sabres harder to play against. For me it's the Ryan Miller factor. He's got a lot to prove and he looks like he's in that Vezina groove early on. We'll see whether that vaults the Sabres back into the post-season where they belong or whether there's still a crisis of leadership in that room as I believe has been the case since Daniel Briere and Chris Drury and Brian Campbell left.

Andy (Newport Beach)

Pierre,Do you see the Ducks being a legitimate contender out West? I am as excited as anyone about the start so far, but can they keep it up?

Scott Burnside
  (1:31 PM)

Andy; Just wrote a blog item on Daniel Winnik and the Ducks' 2-0 start (Winnik has four goals and an assist) and hard to imagine a team that needed a quick start more than the Ducks. Bruce Boudreau was saying how important that depth scoring is to piling up points early on. There's no reason the Ducks can't be a playoff team given their offensive weaponry and they are healthier on the blue line this year which should keep them in the hunt in the Pacific. Contender? Let's see if they can sneak into the top eight first (which of course is all you need these days as the Kings proved so aptly last spring).

Bill ((Boston))

What are your thoughts on Dougie Hamilton? Kid looked good against NY last night.

Scott Burnside
  (1:32 PM)

Bill; Not sure people can say enough good things about Hamilton's play. Started out with Dennis Seidenberg then with Zdeno Chara and manned the point on the power play against the Rangers. I know just two games in but hard not to believe he is the real deal. If he can continue to be that kind of player an already dangerous Bruins team becomes even more formidable.

Aron (STL)

Scott what are your thoughts on Vladimir Tarasenko thus far in his transition to the smaller Ice and how will the teams staart game planning against his skillz? Also gotta vote for his nickname? (Oshie is going with Frank)

Scott Burnside
  (1:33 PM)

Aron; Love what Tarasenko has done early on. Seems not to be phased by adjustment to NHL play, in traffic areas and not afraid to create. Not sure on the nickname front though. How about Calder?

Evan (Van Wert)

Do you think the Hawks have the goaltending to make a deep run? I'm not sold on Crawford. Would Luongo waive his no trade to come to the Windy City? Is that even an option?

Scott Burnside
  (1:36 PM)

Evan; The problem for Corey Crawford is that no matter how well he plays in the regular season - and he's been darned good thus far for the 3-0 'Hawks - people will wonder what will happen in the playoffs. If you're Stan Bowman you have to read the tea leaves carefully; do you believe last year's playoff performance made him mentally stronger and he'll be fine? Or do you have doubts? The 'Hawks kicked the tires on Jonathan Bernier in Los Angeles and sure, why not kick the tires on Roberto Luongo if you have any doubts on Crawford. Great storylines, too, no, if Luongo becomes a Blackhawk after the playoff battles in the past five or so years.

HockeyDon (New Britain, CT)

Tomas Holmstrom officially retired yesterday.Number of goalies that celebrated?

Scott Burnside
  (1:37 PM)

Hockey; 30? 60? Was lucky enough to spend a lot of time around the Wings during their four Cup runs that Holmstrom was a part of and he was never less than a true professional and a gentleman. Never a media hound he was always courteous and surprisingly witty. When you think about the punishment he took standing around on the edge of creases over the years it makes you wish there was a category for him in the Hall of Fame, a kind of Black and Blue category.

Sergei Gonchar (Ottawa)

Will I still be in Ottawa after the trade deadline?

Scott Burnside
  (1:38 PM)

Sergei; Depends on whether you and the Sens hang around the playoff bubble. If yes, then yes, you'll stay in the Canadian capital. If not, well, I would guess you could dig out your old Penguins jersey.

Matt (DC)

Scott, back to a team moving to Seattle, don't you think Quebec City is next in line? They have played the polite, patience game similar to Winnipeg. Thanks!

Scott Burnside
  (1:41 PM)

Matt; Good follow-up on Seattle. Depends on ownership group that might present itself in relations to the Seattle option. Yes, lots of positives about a return to Quebec City. But if it's the Coyotes that are on the move that would mean a second major American media market (Atlanta being the first) that would be displaced. That's not good. Bottom line is it would create an interesting debate over the long-term value of Seattle versus Quebec City.

Nick (Classroom taking finals)

Do you think the San Jose Sharks are Stanley Cup contenders? after failing in the first round last year

Scott Burnside
  (1:42 PM)

Nick; Keep studying. Wouldn't that be more than a little ironic if the Sharks, after being bounced in the first round and pretty much left for dead vis a vis contender status turned around and won it all next spring? Great start for Todd McLellan's group especially Antti Niemi. Pretty early and there are still lots of guys that have to prove their mettle when it counts but still a boatload of talent at the Shark Tank.

Alex (Tx)

Any truth to the rumor that Brian Burke could land a job with the dallas Stars?

Scott Burnside
  (1:44 PM)

Alex; Haven't the Stars already hired a bunch of new faces in recent weeks? Anyone who wants to talk to Brian Burke will have to seek permission from the Leafs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brian Burke land somewhere else before the end of the season. Hockey's a lot more boring place without him in it.

Scott Burnside
  (1:44 PM)

Alex; Haven't the Stars already hired a bunch of new faces in recent weeks? Anyone who wants to talk to Brian Burke will have to seek permission from the Leafs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brian Burke land somewhere else before the end of the season. Hockey's a lot more boring place without him in it.

Aaron (Georgia)

The Jets' defensive depth is an issue, do you see the Jets making any moves? Should the Jets have thought about bringing Trouba into camp and given him a shot?

Scott Burnside
  (1:47 PM)

Aaron; Big win for the Jets in Washington the other night but agreed historically (as you well know) team defense remains the biggest impediment to respectability (and the playoffs). As for Trouba. Great young talent but the Jets are nothing if not patient so it doesn't surprise me that they chose not to bring him to camp. I think the issue will be what they do with Zach Bogosian when he returns from injury. Disappointing start to his career and he has lots to prove when he returns to action. His lack of development, though, has hurt the team's evolution defensively.

Kevin (Pittsburgh)

Scott, what the heck was that last night? Also, more to the point who is that guy in the number 7 jersey? Did someone find a Paul Martin look a like and teach him to play hockey?

Scott Burnside
  (1:48 PM)

Kevin; I have been a longtime fan of Paul Martin and no one wants to have a better, bounceback year than he does. I think the decision to play him with Brooks Orpik, at least early on, is an interesting one and he has been playing with pretty good confidence early on. As for losing 5-2 to the Leafs, well, not much you can say about that other than, ugh.

Derek (New Jersey)

Any word on what the status is on Petr Sykora signing with an NHL team?

Scott Burnside
  (1:50 PM)

Derek; At some point, pending injuries etc. I guess it's possible someone will take a run at Sykora. I still think if he lands anywhere it will be back in New Jersey. Pretty much ran out of gas at the end of last season so not sure how much interest there will be even though he did play well and was productive earlier on last season.

Josh (MN)

Scott, what do you think about the Wild making a playoff run? How deep do you think they could go?

Scott Burnside
  (1:51 PM)

Josh; I picked the Wild to win the Northwest Division and not just based on acquiring Zach Parise and Ryan Suter but some of the other complimentary parts assembled by GM Chuck Fletcher. Still, have to stay healthy and they need to get more depth scoring (pretty much the same wish list for all 30 teams) but those were issues that conspired to crush the Wild's hopes last season. If that happens I can see them winning a round, maybe two.

SP (WNY)

The Flames are barely treading water. Chances they trade Iggy or Kipper before the deadline?

Scott Burnside
  (1:52 PM)

SP: Pressure is going to mount on GM Jay Feaster to do just that if the Flames continue to struggle. Hard to see this team turning a corner without doing so.

Neal (Menlo Park, CA)

How come Pierre gets a sandwich named after him and you don't? And will you actually try it?

Scott Burnside
  (1:53 PM)

Neal; One of life's great injustices. And of course I would try it. Who doesn't need an 1,800 calorie lunch?

JIM C (New Jersey)

Are you surprised by the Devils start and the play of Brodeur - has your pre-season prediction changed?

Scott Burnside
  (1:55 PM)

Jim; The Devils are 2-0 and have scored five goals while giving up one. This should not be a surprise to anyone. And no one should be surprised that Martin Brodeur looks like he looks which is terrific. That said I look at that lineup and wonder who will score on the nights that Brodeur isn't acting like a kid and stopping everything in sight. Still, kudos to Pete DeBoer and his staff early on.

John (Oregon)

Scott, do you see the nucks putting someone with the sedins' for a solid linemate instead of experimenting with guys, Burrows, Kassian, who is it....

Scott Burnside
  (1:57 PM)

John; I think the Canucks' problems aren't necessarily who plays with the twins but how they fill the holes in their lineup created by the absence of Ryan Kesler and David Booth. Alain Vigneault has to try and find someone to compliment the Sedins while not robbing his team of much-needed depth. Tough task as we've seen early on.

Jerry (NYC)

I know Gabby had the hat trick last night but I thought Nash was the best player on the ice, constantly making plays...how good is this guy?

Scott Burnside
  (1:59 PM)

Jerry; We just finished taping a podcast before this chat and Katie Strang in New York was talking about how impressed she's been with Nash. She figures he's been the team's best player from the get-go. Impressive as it sometimes takes players, especially high profile players, awhile to get adjusted to life in the big city. The question is what about the rest of the roster? Pretty passive start from the rest of the group. Should be a fun tilt in Philly tonight.

Scott Burnside
  (2:00 PM)

Okay folks. Off I go. Enjoy the weekend and as always thanks for dropping by. Until next time.