Chat with Scott Burnside
Send your questions now and join Scott in The Show Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Scott Burnside (4:23 PM)
Yikes. Sorry to be so late. Must be D.C. time.
Wendy (Vestal, NY)
Can the Ducks do it again or does the buck stop with Detroit?
Scott Burnside (4:25 PM)
Wendy, I assume you mean complete another upset as opposed to simply winning again and obviously yesterday's triple overtime win was huge. I'm not sure there's pressure on the Red Wings necessarily but the Ducks have accomplished what they set out to do and the fact both games were so close is going to force the Red Wings to up the ante. Should be great stuff in California.
Brian (Portland, OR)
We know about the stars but who will be the unsung heroes of the Caps/Pens series?
Scott Burnside (4:26 PM)
Brian I think you've already seen a little of the possibilities with David Steckel scoring a big goal in Game 1 for the Caps. And Mark Eaton suddenly looking like Ray Bourque out there. The Pens are going to have to get some production from their third line and I think Jordan Staal is ready to break out.
Why do the caps start their games so flat? And will tonight be different?
Scott Burnside (4:27 PM)
Ben, good point and it's something that's been the topic of discussion around the Caps' room this week. Some teams just have trouble finding the flow and I think with the Rangers being more passive maybe that got the Caps into an early-game rut.
Dave (Phoenix, AZ)
Early impressions on Malkin? He was pretty quiet in Game 1.
Scott Burnside (4:28 PM)
Dave, yes, by far his worst game of the post-season. But he's been so good for so long I think he'll bounce back . Wouldn't be at all surprised to see his line have a big night tonight. If he falters again though it will start the 'what's wrong with Malkin' stories which will up the pressure on Malkin which isn't necessarily a good thing.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Was the game 2 in Boston a sign that the Canes can play with the Bruins or a bad game by the Bruins that won't likely be seen again in the future?
Scott Burnside (4:29 PM)
Richard, that's an excellent question but I think it may be a bit of both. You knew the 'Canes were better than they showed in Game 1 and you also knew the Bruins weren't going to win 16 straight games. Like the Wings, the Bruins are still probably the better team, but will have to prove it now on the road.
james philadelphia p.a [via mobile]
ray emery to the flyers? Would it work?
Scott Burnside (4:32 PM)
James, read a report to that effect today and while I am not sure if it's necessarily going to happen I think it's interesting. I think it's almost certain Martin Biron will move on and Emery, if he has turned his private life around has proven he can deliver quality starts. Given a fairly thin free agent crop as far as goaltenders and the Flyers' cap issues Emery might make a viable alternative.
Joel (South Bend, IN)
Does the Hawks Game 2 win change the series? I mean, I don't think ANYONE was buying a comeback after that terrible first period.
Scott Burnside (4:33 PM)
Joel, I think absolutely the 'Hawks win in Game 2 changes the dynamic of that series. The Blackhawks weren't very good in Game 1 and nearly won. They weren't very good early in Game 2 and ended up dominating. Now back home the pressure is ramped up on Vancouver.
Brandon (Baltimore, MD)
Why is everyone assuming the Pens will win, the Caps won when they played poorly, and you can't just assume the Pens will bounce back and hand it to the Caps. The Caps aren't going away.
Scott Burnside (4:34 PM)
I don't think anyone - well at least I don't -assumes the Pens will win this series. The Caps are an excellent team and the more confidence they get the harder they're gong to be to beat. Tonight looms large for both teams.
John, Westchester NY
What do the Rangers need to do to win the Cup in next 2-3 years?
Scott Burnside (4:35 PM)
I think a top scoring winger to work with Scott Gomez is a must (think Ilya Kovalchuk) and a big, puck-moving defenseman who can help the power play. The problem is finding those parts and then working them into the mix given some of the horrific contracts bestowed by GM Glen Sather.
Prediction for tonight's game?
Scott Burnside (4:36 PM)
James: Pens 5 Caps 3
Does anyone really think that the winner of the Chicago-Vancouver series has a chance in the Western Conference Finals?
Scott Burnside (4:37 PM)
Did anyone think the Cards had a shot in the Super Bowl? If the Red Wings defeat Anaheim they'll be huge favorites over either Vancouver or Chicago and they should be. But the 'Hawks got the better of the Wings down the stretch and the intimidation factor wouldn't be there and if it's Vancouver it means Roberto Luongo is on top of his game and so the huge edge in goaltending will Vancouver's.
Jon (Haslett, MI)
Where do you see Jay Bouwmeester signing this summer?
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
Jon, a lot of people assume Bouwmeester will head to Western Canada but I think Philadelphia will take another hard run at him as they did at the trade deadline. And then there's Toronto where GM Brian Burke will have a ton of money to spend and a desire to make a bold statement in his first summer at the helm in Toronto.
Sung (Chicago, IL)
Do you see Varlamov cracking? He's playing so poised for a young kid.
Scott Burnside (4:40 PM)
I'm not sure cracking is the right term but it wouldn't surprise me if he gives up some questionable goals. The Pens will move the puck more creatively than the Rangers and the question is whether he can stay strong enough mentally - as he showed in Game 1 - to shake those goals off.
Do you consider Don Cherry the best NHL coach of all time?
Scott Burnside (4:40 PM)
No. Do you Pat?
You're going to have to change that prediction there, Scott, or I won't let you past the media table. Unless you're already inside, then I can't do much and I'm just a little sad with your prediction.
Scott Burnside (4:41 PM)
Ted, good thing my predictions have been, generally, miserable over the last few years. I did go 6-2 in the first round, though, thanks to the 'Canes' dramatic win. So take heart.
Scott, what did you think of Cam Ward? Huh? About time we started putting him in the top 5 active goaltenders, don't ya think?
Scott Burnside (4:44 PM)
Hmmm. Top five? Luongo, Brodeur, Lundqvist, Thomas, Mason, Nabokov. I agree that Ward has probably not got the recognition he deserves through the second half of the season but not sure top five active. You have to ask me again at the end of this round because he's looking more and more like the Cam Ward that was the MVP in '06.
Sean (McLean, VA)
Scott, Pens 5 Caps 3? If my memory serves my correctly, Varly hasn't given up more than 2 goals in any one game this postseason. What makes you think he's all the sudden going to give up 5 goals in a single game?
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
If you recall they played the pop-gun Rangers in the first round. Just a hunch. Actually think the Pens' power play may actually show up for this one.
I take it Pat hasn't heard of William Scott Bowman.
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
Or Dick Irvin or Toe Blake.
We have a former Conn Smyth winner (JSG) playing a back-up roll for the Ducks and a former Hart Trophy winner (JT) backing-up in Washington. Are these guys going to be available over the Summer?
Scott Burnside (4:47 PM)
Andy, interesting situations in both Washington and Anaheim. And while Jonas Hiller and Varlamov have both been terrific I still get the sense both coaches wouldn't hesitate to go back to the veterans if need be. Theodore has another year on his deal at $4.5 million and Giguere is locked up long-term in Anaheim so doubt either will be going anywhere.
I hope you read this cause you are one of the worst hockey reporters ever. Ohhh the Pens power play will come back, excuses because the caps only gave up a few goals, crosby is the model of the NHL...You make me sick, stop gushing over one team and do some real reporting without all your bias and man love for Crosby and everything Penguins...Its sickening, i bet you predicted the Pens to win the first game 7-1 with 4 goals for Crosby because of your man crush and terrible reporting skills
Scott Burnside (4:48 PM)
Joe. Chill out. It's just a game.
Jon (Haslett, MI)
Is Ron Wilson the right choice for Team USA?
Scott Burnside (4:50 PM)
Jon, I didn't like the choice when it was made because I thought both Peter Laviolette and John Tortorella had better resumes and were more deserving. That said, I think the bigger issue is going to be the make-up of the team and whether GM Brian Burke and the rest of the brain trust can make the hard decisions and take a young, hard-working team to Vancouver.
Scott, from the league's perspective, what's the difference between the Brashear hit and the Brown hit (other than Brashear's reputation)? Why 5 games for Brashear and none for Brown?
Scott Burnside (4:52 PM)
Ryan, another good question and I'm not sure there's an answer. I thought Brown should have got two or three games for his hit on Hudler. I liked the Brashear suspension - and remember the six games was for two incidents - and thought Brown's hit was equally suspendable. Why? That's the ongoing issue for the league and the lack of consistency continues to hurt its credibility.
Jeremy (Flemington, NJ)
hey scott, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT MAXIME TALBOT OF THE PENS SCORES TONIGHT
Scott Burnside (4:54 PM)
Jeremy, good question. As you know Talbot sometimes finds himself playing with Malkin so it's possible. In fact it may be more likely than Petr Sykora scoring.
Gary (St Paul, MN)
Would you agree the second round is starting out to be more exciting than the first? Also, isn't it ironic that the Caps fans think their 2nd round series is in the bag after 1 win but yet were down 2-0 and 3-1 to the Rangers and still rallied?
Scott Burnside (4:56 PM)
Sometimes second round series end up being a bit of a letdown because teams use up all their juice getting through the first (Colorado last year for example) but I think this second round is shaping up to be dynamite through all four series. Very cool.
Tom (River North)
Do you think Malkin is wearing down? He seems to have to carry the load whenever Crosby gets hurt during the regular season, and slows down as the playoffs go on.
Scott Burnside (4:57 PM)
Tom, I think it's early to be all over Malkin. He does have 10 points. These next couple of games are important, though, for him to maintain some momentum.
Lets say the Caps get by the pens in this series.... Would you agree that the Caps would rather see the Bruins then the Canes in the Eastern Finals?
Scott Burnside (4:59 PM)
Ben, I think the Bruins are built for the long haul and their size along the blue line and their offensive depth make them more dangerous. Carolina and Washington would be fun to watch because the 'Canes like to play up-tempo, go after it hockey like the Caps. Varlamov and Ward would earn their keep for sure in that one.
Kevin (San Jose, California)
Out of the current impact players on the Sharks, who needs to leave in order for the Sharks to get over the playoff hump?
Scott Burnside (5:00 PM)
Kevin, I think a lot of people will suggest Joe Thornton should go but how do you replace him? I think the easier piece to move will be Patrick Marleau. He has a no-trade deal but even Marleau might think it's time for a change of scenery after this latest debacle. And the Sharks would yield pretty good return I would think given Marleau's productivity and the fact he's a center.
Jeff (Buffalo, New York)
What do you believe the sabres are going to do this offseason and what do they need to do to get back into the post season?
Scott Burnside (5:02 PM)
Jeff, I'm not sure you should expect anything dramatic. the Sabres will return Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier and if they can stay healthy (think of the impact the Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller injuries had) I think they're a playoff team again.
As a Caps fan I have to laugh at the comment regarding your man-crush on the Pens. Did you get the same reaction from Pens fans when you did your running stories on the Caps all of last year?
Scott Burnside (5:03 PM)
No. I think it all stems from my suggestion a few years ago the Caps should be one of the teams that should relocate before the Pens. Caps fans have long memories, look at how long they got on Larry Murphy and Sergei Gonchar after they left town. Hey, it's their team, they're protective of it.
mike Amherstburg, Ontario
suggestion: reduce the intermission time during Overtime periods to allow for cleaning the ice only, approx 10 minutes, this would speed things up.
Scott Burnside (5:05 PM)
Mike, I'm an old Essex County boy. I don't know. Think it's good to give the players a bit of a breather in overtime especially since there are no television timeouts in the extra sessions. That's why they go by like lightning. How much fun was that tilt yesterday in Detroit?
Daniel (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Which skater do you consider have the most purest skill in the NHL?
Scott Burnside (5:07 PM)
Daniel, a voice from Sweden. Nice. Not sure there is one but from an entertainment perspective I think Ovechkin is clearly as dynamic a player as there is in the NHL. His ability to generate buzz is tops. Ilya Kovalchuk, who really hasn't had much help in Atlanta, is like Ovechkin in terms of his passion and he has that ability to rip the puck off the rush. How is that line going to look in Vancouver? Malkin/Ovechkin/Kovalchuk?
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Does this Canes team remind you more of the team that lost to Detroit in the Finals of 2002 or the team that won it all in 2006?
Scott Burnside (5:08 PM)
Richard I think way more like '06. They may not be as deep up front without Justin Williams and with Rod Brind'Amour being a step slower but definitely come at you. '02 was much more grind it out, clutch and grab hockey.
How many of the four series are going to go seven games? At this point, it looks like a lot of the series have that potential.
Scott Burnside (5:10 PM)
If memory serves me I had Chicago and Pittsburgh in seven and Detroit and Boston in six and all four are definitely going to be close, close, close. How about quad game sevens? Wouldn't be much to write the next series previews all on deadline but hey, it would be a sight.
Any word on Salo's injury status for teh Canucks? Vancouver could be in big trouble without him, right??
Scott Burnside (5:11 PM)
Jason; Salo didn't make the trip to Chicago and yes it is going to be a challenge for the Canucks not having him. Seems to be more than a little mystery surrounding the nature of his injury, too. One minute he was on the ice (scored, too, I think) and then he was gone.
Jon (Haslett, MI)
How about Brian Rafalski's injury? Any chance he will play in the next game?
Scott Burnside (5:15 PM)
Jon, not sure on Rafalski as he appears to be in that day to day limbo. Not quite ready but not out long-term. His loss, obviously, hurts the Wings as they miss his puck skills and offense and also it forces Mike Babcock to use Chris Chelios which makes them slower and more vulnerable to the forecheck.
Osgood is decent, but if the Wings had say, Luongo, do you ever see them losing a game?
Scott Burnside (5:15 PM)
I don't know, Luongo looked pretty mortal the other night against the 'Hawks.
John (Charlottesville, VA)
Is John Erskine a go for the Caps tonight or is he hurt too bad?
Scott Burnside (5:18 PM)
John, the Caps brought up Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan and Bruce Boudreau said this morning Erskine was 'questionable' for tonight so I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the call-ups from Hershey in the line-up tonight. Neither Alzner nor Sloan have played in an NHL playoff game.
Josh (College Park, MD)
Tyler Sloan and Karl Alzner have been called up from Hershey. What effect (if put in the lineup) would they have on the caps defensive dynamic?
Scott Burnside (5:19 PM)
Josh, as a follow-up to the last question I think it would be minimal. You'd have to spread Erskine's 18 or so minutes around and would likely limite Sloan/Alzner's exposure so more time for the other five D-men but don't see it being a huge issue for the Caps.
Gary (St Paul, MN)
What's the word on Datsyuk? He's been very quiet through 2 games and actually posted a negative in takeaways/giveaways. Will he break out in game 3 or do the Ducks have his number right now?
Scott Burnside (5:20 PM)
Gary, I think Datsyuk is simply too good to be kept bottled up for too long. Of course Jonas Hiller has lots to do with that.
Kessel and Thomas have to be locks for Team USA, any other B's, possibly Savard on Canada and Wheeler for the USA make the cut?
Scott Burnside (5:21 PM)
Joe, agreed on Thomas and Kessel but Savard's in tough because there are so many talented centers available for Canada. Wheeler will have to have a strong start to the season (not to mention a good playoff this spring) to stay in the hunt for a spot on a U.S. team that has lots of options up front.
Gabe, Newark, NJ
How many posts and crossbars can Ovechkin hit, before he breaks one?
Scott Burnside (5:22 PM)
Gabe, that one in the second period the other night seemed to almost move the net. Asked Marc-Andre Fleury about it and he said it's a welcome sound when the puck goes by him.
Scott Burnside (5:22 PM)
Okay, folks, many thanks as always for taking the time. Even the angry Caps fans. Sorry for my tardiness. Til next week.