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April 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Scott Burnside

Scott Burnside
  (1:00 PM)

Hello all. The final days of the regular season. Can't think of a better lead-in to the playoffs which will begin next Tuesday. Bring it on. Now, where were we?

Mick (Tampa)

It's the big question everyone's been asking: Will the Wings make the playoffs? They've shown a lot of potential in their last couple of games, and they only need two more W's to guarantee themselves a chance to go for the cup, but can they do it?

Scott Burnside
  (1:01 PM)

Mick; Last night's win over Los Angeles was huge on a number of fronts. Obviously the two points over a top opponent was important but perhaps more important big-picture was the fact that was the first time in a month the Wings had won back-to-back games. With games against Nashville and Dallas left I'll be shocked if the Wings aren't back in the dance once again.

Dara (Boca Raton, Fl)

As a season seat owner for the panthers since 1993, I have endured yet another disappointing season here in sunrise, granted the injuries were just unreal this season. If the cats do end up with the #1 pick who do you go with, Jones or offense? I am leaning towards offense, we have drafted quite a few large dmen in recent years.

Scott Burnside
  (1:04 PM)

Dara; Yes, a disappointing turn of events pretty much from Game 2 on this year. Did not see that coming after winning the Southeast last season. If I'm Dale Tallon (and I rarely pretend I'm the Cats' GM) I'm taking Seth Jones in a heartbeat. Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon are terrific talents but Jones has franchise D-man written all over him.

Keith (Maryland)

Islanders and Caps surging into the playoffs while Montreal and Ottawa are trending down. Do you take anything from a team's success going into the playoffs or is there a switch that players use once the playoffs start and everything before then doesn't matter?

Scott Burnside
  (1:08 PM)

Keith; Actually my old friend Ken Campbell at The Hockey News had an interesting piece on just that issue tracking how teams fared that were playing well/poorly down the stretch once the playoffs start. Basically no co-relation. Kings were only okay last year before the playoffs and were dominant. But that said, I don't believe there is a switch that gets thrown when players suddenly play better because it's the post-season. If Carey Price regains his form it won't matter that he was wobbly in late-April. And sometimes you see that teams that expended a lot of energy simply to get into the playoffs run out of gas when the games get even more difficult.

Cory (NH)

Hey Scott I am wondering whats up with the Bruins. They seem to have absolutely no interest in skating hard. they have lost the physicality that won them the cup. Lucic has been a no show, he doesn't seem to have the hit first and park it in front of the net mentality that he usually does. In general the team (other than the bergeron line, and paille/campbell), have been making way to many mistakes, and just don't seem to be the team they were when the season started. Do you expect this type of play to last? They seem to have made no forward progress the last week of games. Even Peter Chiarelli noted their play as poor. Also with their play recently do you expect them to make an early exit in the playoffs? Also do you think they will even win the northeast for that matter?

Scott Burnside
  (1:09 PM)

Cory; This is a good follow-up to the previous question. Had a chance to chat with Peter Chiarelli when I was in Boston last week and he lamented those sentiments about the Bs' play. Specifically he said his team should know from last season that there is no switch to hit that teams only have success doing their jobs, working hard etc. I still think the Bruins are the team in the east that could give the Penguins the most difficulty over a long series given their depth and experience. But you're right, they don't look much like the team from two years ago that seemed ready for any obstacles.

Mike (IL)

Now that the President's Trophy is wrapped up, is it impressive at all that the Blackhawks have been able to keep winning despite having very little to play for and getting every team's best effort?

Scott Burnside
  (1:11 PM)

Mike; Agreed. Joel Quenneville has done a terrific job in keeping that team on focus even when there's been very little urgency in their schedule for quite some time. Lots of youngsters in the line-up who are jazzed about the team and the playoffs and the veterans seem energized, too.

Jon (Stl)

With SJ and LA losing last night the Blues can control their own destiny for the 4th seed. How do you see the 4th-6th seeds shaking out come saturday?

Scott Burnside
  (1:15 PM)

Jon; Selfishly I was hoping the Blues would draw Vancouver in the first round which would mean 6th place. That series wouldn't be for the squeamish given the mutual dislike. But with Calgary and Chicago to close hard to say. I've been saying for some time now that you can put the Blues, Canucks, Sharks and Kings in a hat and draw names that's how close they are. All four have the ability to give Anaheim or Chicago a difficult time in a second round or conference final.

Michael (Arizona)

Are the Coyotes mathematically eliminated from playoff contention?

Scott Burnside
  (1:15 PM)

Michael; Yes they are. The 'Yotes' three-year run to the post-season is at an end. Now the question is whether they get a shot to start a new one in Glendale next spring or are they somewhere else? Should know more in a week or so. (Wonder how often I've written that in the last four years?)

Devin (PA)

Gut instinct...Will the Pens (finally!) have the full roster ready to go when the puck drops for the start of the playoffs?

Scott Burnside
  (1:18 PM)

Devin; Yes. My gut tells me all hands on deck for Game 1 which I am guessing will be next Wednesday.

Nels (IL)

Are you more surprised that it took 75 points in a shortened season to win the Presidents trophy, or that with only a few games left in the season both Pittsburgh and Chicago reached more than 70 and only one other team has earned more than 60 pts (Anaheim)?

Scott Burnside
  (1:20 PM)

Nels; I am surprised that both those teams were able to so completely out-distance their opponents given the shortened schedule and the travel/injury issues that came with it. I remember talking to a couple of GMs/coaches about the 'Hawks' point streak and they were dumbfounded that a team in the west could do what they did with the travel etc. Pretty impressive. Now, they can follow that up with what would be a pretty dynamic meeting in the finals? That will be an even more impressive feat.

Scott Burnside
  (1:20 PM)

Nels; I am surprised that both those teams were able to so completely out-distance their opponents given the shortened schedule and the travel/injury issues that came with it. I remember talking to a couple of GMs/coaches about the 'Hawks' point streak and they were dumbfounded that a team in the west could do what they did with the travel etc. Pretty impressive. Now, they can follow that up with what would be a pretty dynamic meeting in the finals? That will be an even more impressive feat.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Columbus at Dallas should have a playoff atmosphere tonight. Both teams need the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Who comes away with the victory?

Scott Burnside
  (1:22 PM)

Matt; Dallas is hanging by a thread in terms of the playoffs after blowing a lead and losing the other night in San Jose. Got to go with Columbus on this one. Just in a nice groove. Talked to Jack Johnson yesterday and they seem very much in the moment. And they do have the NHL's best goaltender right now in Sergei Bobrovsky. Blue Jackets 3 Stars 2.

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

The Canes seem to be playing better with Faulk back in the lineup. Do you think they'll bounce back nicely next year with Ward back?

Scott Burnside
  (1:25 PM)

Richard; I don't think anyone saw this coming. I know lots of folks liked the 'Canes to win the Southeast and even more (myself included) thought they'd be a playoff team based on the additions and how well they played under Kirk Muller late last season. Faulk is a key element. And obviously Cam Ward's durability will be key to getting back in the hunt. Not sure the realignment helps the Hurricanes though so I'm going to take a wait and see on whether they can get back to the dance after missing now four straight years.

Rob (San Antonio)

What is the story behind Malkin's shoulder? How bad is it and do you think it should affect his PP time?

Scott Burnside
  (1:26 PM)

Rob; Don't profess to have any inside info on Malkin's shoulder other than it's not 100%. Or hasn't been. Interesting challenges for Dan Bylsma moving forward if Crosby, Neal and Malkin are all healthy and needing power play time along with Iginla, Jokinen, Kunitz et al. Am assuming as defending Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Malkin gets lots of leash.

Eric (Chicago)

Scott, if you're the Blackhawks, who are you secretly hoping for in the 1st round: Detroit, Columbus, Dallas?

Scott Burnside
  (1:27 PM)

Eric; Dallas. With all due respect to the Stars.

Joe (Afghanistan)

If the Wings do make the big dance, what are their odds of making it to round 2? They have shown they can put down the Ducks and back to back wins against them wasn't a fluke. But Chicago is a different story. Does the fact that 3 games went to extra time mean they have a chance?

Scott Burnside
  (1:30 PM)

Joe; Welcome to the chat. Be safe. Good follow-up question as we have seen some dynamic games between the Wings and Chicago this season (okay except for that 7-1 shellacking) and with Jimmy Howard really getting in a groove and perhaps Todd Bertuzzi adding some snarl/depth to the Wings' line-up I know that's a series that would get lots of attention. If this was a democracy I would vote for Detroit/Chicago in the first round.

Jay (MN)

Thoughts on Brown's suspension for hit on Pomminville?

Scott Burnside
  (1:36 PM)

Jay; I thought it was a sneaky hit targeting the head and so the two games is about right. The problem of course is that Brown gets to rest up for the playoffs but Pominville may not be available or worse for the Wild his absence could contribute to missing the playoffs altogether. There have obviously been worse hits this season but the repercussions could be dramatic for the Wild, much less so for Brown.

Jesse M (Queens, NY)

How about these Islanders!? With the way they've been playing who do you see as a favorable match-up in the first round for them?

Scott Burnside
  (1:38 PM)

Jesse; Terrific story. And good on Jack Capuano a coach who gets very little recognition for keeping his team pointed in the right direction. Love to see Caps/Isles, two of the hottest teams in the conference right now. Not sure how the general lack of experience will factor into the Isles' playoff run especially when it comes to John Tavares who has been so exceptional this season. Fun discussion to have, though, no?

Robert (la)

For the hart ovi or Tavares ? I don't think Sid gets consideration because he misses too much time, and the pens continued to win. that goes against the definition of most valuable player. I don't buy arguments that ovi shouldn't get it Becuase he had a poor first half, so did Suter and he gets Norris consideration. Thoughts

Scott Burnside
  (1:40 PM)

Robert; So many tough decisions (my ballot came this week). Agree on Sidney Crosby and the Hart. Too many other worthy candidates who more closely reflect the true wording of the award; the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team. Tavares is in there and I have no problem in Ovechkin's name being in the mix too although what about Nicklas Backstrom who has been integral to Ovechkin's renaissance. What about Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane? They will likely split the vote for 'Hawks players. For me if the Blue Jackets make it it's going to be hard not to pencil Sergei Bobrovsky.

Cucamonga Kid (Alta Loma)

With the Flyer eliminated, the talk in Philly is Bryz and Bierre being bought out and Pronger going LTIR to give the Flyers about $12 cap space. Are there going to be any stud defensemen, 2nd line centers or big wingers available to make this strategy work?

Scott Burnside
  (1:44 PM)

Kid; GM Paul Holmgren was talking to my good friend Pierre LeBrun and it doesn't sound like Bryzgalov is going to be bought out. My guess would be Daniel Briere. But the Flyers will definitely look to be active at the draft and then in free agency in trying to re-tool. Hard to gauge this season given the injuries but with Pronger not a factor and Kimmo Timonen getting on in years I wouldn't be surprised to see Holmgren go after a guy like Mark Streit and what about Rob Scuderi who was so good for the Penguins before going to L.A. if he doesn't re-up with the Kings?

Bob (Chicago)

In your opinion, which conference has been tougher this season with the lock out..East or West?

Scott Burnside
  (1:46 PM)

Bob; No question the west. The built-in travel issues and the compressed schedule plus the fact there are more high-end teams in the conference by far. If Detroit makes it you can legitimately make a case for all eight teams in the west to go to a final. Can't say that in the east.

Hutch (Montreal)

Do you see the Senators having the potential to make a cinderella run (winning at least one round) with a healthy Karlsson and Anderson?

Scott Burnside
  (1:48 PM)

Hutch; Learning not to count the Sens out of anything but that said unless Karlsson isn't just going to play but be an impact player and unless Anderson can be the pre-injury Anderson I don't see the Senators upsetting a Pittsburgh, Boston, Montreal or Washington.

Ryan (CLT)

If the Rangers make the playoffs, what are the odds they finish 7th and play the Bruins (assuming Montreal doesn't win the division)?

Scott Burnside
  (1:49 PM)

Ryan; I would tentatively pencil the Rangers into 7th and therefore am hoping for a Boston/Rangers tilt (which would allow us a Montreal/Toronto tilt by extension). Of course I had penciled in a Rangers win over Florida the other night.

Keith (Maryland)

Let's go back to your pre-season predictions. Who are you most surprised at where they ended than where you had them in your predictions? East and West

Scott Burnside
  (1:51 PM)

Keith; Do we have to? Okay. East I am most surprised by Carolina, Tampa and Florida. Really thought the Southleast might be one of the toughest divisions in hockey. Ha, ha. Never mind. In the west I have to give Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau all kinds of credit for reviving the Ducks' Cup hopes. Great story and an interesting team that has the goods to make a nice run.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Scott, as a Penguins fan but also a native New Yorker, I hope the Islanders finish sixth so I will be able to root hard for them against Washington. Their fanbase on LI is much bigger than most people realize and they deserve a first round win. Anybody under 40 needs to know the Isles were the rage back in the dynasty days when people like my dad would routinely tailgate the Coliseum in the spring and bring illegal cable boxes to the bar to watch their playoff games on the then startup SportsChannel network. Plus their blue uniforms with the stripes on the pants might be the sharpest in the league.

Scott Burnside
  (1:55 PM)

Jesse; Your dad's secret is safe here. And it's true. Apart from a brief, unexpected visit to the post-season in 2007 it's been a long, dry run for a franchise that had so much success for so long. If the playoffs were about getting what they deserved then you're probably right. Sadly it doesn't work that way. Regardless, Isles fans should embrace this moment. They've earned it.

Erik (Chicago)

Did you see you made The Onion this week:"Report: No One's Noticed Scott Burnside's Been Posting Same NHL Power Rankings for Past 3 Years"

Scott Burnside
  (1:56 PM)

Erik; I did see that and assumed it was penned by angry Devils fans.

Craig (Jamestown)

Who get the call in goal for the playoffs Emery or Craw?

Scott Burnside
  (1:57 PM)

Craig; Evolving story in Chicago as Emery left last night's game early with a 'lower body' injury (different from Cory Schneider who has a 'body' injury in Vancouver). No doubt that Corey Crawford is going to get the nod to start the playoffs but Emery has been so good and they have formed such a formidable tandem you wonder if Emery isn't available if it somehow upsets the rhythm for the Blackhawks. Doesn't sound too serious though.

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Do you believe that Luongo will still be in Vancouver when the 2013-2014 season start?

Scott Burnside
  (1:59 PM)

Ice; No. But will he be starting Game 1 next week? Well, that's a different question altogether. To your question my guess is that GM Mike Gillis finds a taker for Luongo this summer maybe around the draft.

Matt (Boston)

Scott, do you think the Bruins have a legitimate shot at the cup this year. They're a combined 1-7 against Montreal/Pittsburgh. Who are your picks for the eastern conference finals? and who do you think wins that series?

Scott Burnside
  (2:00 PM)

Matt; Sure they've got a shot but they'll have to be better than they've shown for the last couple of weeks. I have Pittsburgh/Boston and I still think the Pens have too much for the Bs assuming they get that far.

Scott Burnside
  (2:01 PM)

Hey all, thanks for stopping by as always. Never tire of this forum. Look forward to catching up next week. Until then.