Chat with Matthew Barnaby
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Thursday, ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby will stop by to take your questions on the NHL.
Barnaby played 14 seasons in the NHL for eight different teams. He netted 113 goals and 300 total points. He was also one of the league's tough guys, accumulating 2,562 penalty minutes.
Send your questions now and join Matthew Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Matthew Barnaby (3:59 PM)
I think the cream of the crop is starting to rise. We're seeing who the contenders are and the pretenders are. Let's get at it.
Which team poses more problems for the Sharks in a potential first round match up? Detroit, Calgary or Nashville?
Matthew Barnaby (4:00 PM)
I would say Detroit. This is a team that has been injured all year long, but has the players and the coach that have won a Stanley Cup before. They are rested and I don't think anyone will want to play these guys in the opening round.
Dan (Buffalo NY)
Matt, with the Sabres back top of the Northeast Division and with the trade to pick up Torres, do we have enough to make a deep push in the playoffs with what we have up in Buffalo now? And do you see them calling up any of the young talent from Portland?
Matthew Barnaby (4:02 PM)
I think the East is wide open. Washington has the scoring, the Devils are strong, Pittsburgh knows how to win, but when you look at the Sabres, with the goaltending they've gotten all year long, they can beat anyone. I don't see them calling up anyone from the minors, but I still think that they will need more contributions up front than they're getting if they are going to be successful. It should be a fun ride. Torres was a great pickup.
Sean (Washington, DC)
Matt,With Matt Cooke's history as a cheap shot artist are you a bit shocked (like I am) that he wasn't suspended? Most of my shock stems from how severely injured Marc Savard is.
Matthew Barnaby (4:03 PM)
I think the NHL wanted to suspend him, but were afraid to after not suspending Mike Richards. A very similar hit but I still feel that Cooke targeted the head of Savard and has a track record. So, I am shocked but I understand why not. Next year if he does it, I think it will be a 10-gamer.
Jeff Cook (Pine Island, MN)
Hockey guys are soooooo hot!!!
Matthew Barnaby (4:03 PM)
Adam (AZ) [via mobile]
What do you think about Brygalov and the coyotes this year? Do you think they have a chance to contend for the cup?
Matthew Barnaby (4:05 PM)
To me they have been the best surprise and story of the season. Not knowing if they were going to end up in another city or even in another country at the start of the year, they have played great. Bryzgalov has been outstanding and Dave Tippet, I think, deserves to be coach of the year. I don't think they can compete for the Stanley Cup as there are some big teams to go through in that Western Conference.
Do you see any first round upsets coming this playoff season?
Matthew Barnaby (4:06 PM)
I think Detroit could knock anyone off if they get in. The Flyers could upset someone. The parity in the NHL is so close right now that really anyone can beat anyone. Fact.
Andrew Yu (Maryland)
Is Ovechkin still the Hart and Rocket Richard trophy favorite, and do you see anyway that he loses the Hart to someone else despite his overall amazing stats?
Matthew Barnaby (4:07 PM)
Definitely my pick still for the Rocket Richard. I think it will be close for the Hart. I think Ryan Miller will get a lot of votes, because I think subconsciously, people will also think about the Olympics. He has been terrific all year long.
Do you think Drew Doughty has a chance to win the Norris this season?
Matthew Barnaby (4:08 PM)
He's definitely in the running, if I was voting. He just keeps getting better and better and Los Angeles has a bright future with this kid as their leader. Duncan Keith has been equally as good for the Chicago Blackhawks. I think this will come down to the last 17 games. Mike Green should get some votes too.
Hey Matthew, as a Devils fan I'm not putting much stock in their win last night over the Rangers. How worried should I be? Apparently Paul Martin's injury is very significant, by the way they were playing early in the season I was sure that they could be able to continue to overcome injuries. The other players also seem in awe of Kovy.
Matthew Barnaby (4:10 PM)
I like the Devils team. What you get is consistency every night. Have a great goaltender and everyone buys into the system. Martin's injury is huge, but I still think Kovie will have a great playoff. Could be worse, could be a Rangers fan.
As of today, who do you predict to win the East and West conferences?
Matthew Barnaby (4:10 PM)
I will take New Jersey and San Jose.
I am glad the GMs finally have something set for blindside hits and head shots. What are the guidelines for this? Similar to Olympic style rules?
Matthew Barnaby (4:11 PM)
I agree. I love the big hits, but something had to be done with the hits to the head. Guys are way too big, way too strong and way too fast. Owners pay way too much money and fans pay way too much money to see the stars on the sidelines for too long of a time.
Tyler Myers (Buffalo, NY)
who is my biggest competition for the Calder trophy???
Matthew Barnaby (4:12 PM)
Tyler, buddy, you got it wrapped up. You have been awesome all year long, but it normally goes to a forward with points and that would be Matt Duchene with 47. Good luck and we'll see you at the awards show.
True or False: They Bruins HAVE to turn next week's matchup with Pitt into a melee. They and the league have let it go with absolutely NO ramifications... this has to stop, if for nothing else than to show the rest of the bullies out there that they won't take it anymore.
Matthew Barnaby (4:13 PM)
I disagree. This should have been taken care of right after the hit. Once Cooke hit him, five guys should have jumped on top of him. That's where team building begins, sticking up for your teammates. The league will definitely talk to both teams and warn them before the game starts. I expect a couple of fights, but it won't be crazy.
here is a chicago question not related to our goaltending.....the hawks have only scored once on a 5-on-3 advantage. last night was a good example...1:43 worth of 2 man advantage, in the kings zone the entire time, but only a few shots. it seems like they are too concerned with making that great pass instead of just shooting. is this a concern or just a case of things will bounce their way eventually?
Matthew Barnaby (4:15 PM)
I agree. I watched last night and thought that they should be shooting the puck more. I know you want to get the puck cross ice and they have the skill level to do it, but if I was them, I would have got it to Keith, back to Sharp for the one-timer. If you miss, get it back and do it again. Time after time of this happening will result in a goal, I believe.
How far can the Flyers go this season? And is there a young goalie out there you see them going after? Im hoping for Ellis or Price
Matthew Barnaby (4:17 PM)
I really thought they'd make a move for a goalie at the deadline, but they did not. Cap issues are tough for them so it is now in the hands of Michael Leighton. I do not see them going far because that is the first thing I look at when assessing a team. They have a lot of other weapons but they have had those weapons for 15 years and have not had a goalie. It's OK, there's beautiful golf in Philly this time of year.
Matthew, can you show some love for Steven Stamkos?
Matthew Barnaby (4:18 PM)
Absolutely. He is an offensive weapon. Great speed, good hands and a terrific shot. After talking to a lot of players, just a great kid that wants to learn. I think he handled his rookie season with a lot of maturity and will be a star for years to come. There's the love.
Jason (Los Angeles)
What team do you think Ilya kovalchuk will be playing for next year?
Matthew Barnaby (4:19 PM)
I think Ilya Kovalchuk will go to the team....drum roll.....that gives him the most money. I think LA will be in that bidding and I think Boston will be a serious player. This will be worth a hundred million dollars.
Marc Savard (Boston -- my bed)
salkfwieoskdnwo...Sorry about that. Still a bit loopy from that hit. Will my teammates get thier revenge for me next Thursday? If not, how much respect for them should I have?
Matthew Barnaby (4:20 PM)
Marc, they should have taken care of it, like I said earlier, right away. You're a good Ottawa boy and they desperately need their top scorer in the lineup. They definitley owe you dinner on the road.
Kevin (New York)
Kaleta was a mean machine vs. Dallas last night. Do you see him slowing down his style of play at all next season with new rules? My opinion, keep playing the way he is. I don't label Patty as a head hunter, or dirty player for that matter.
Matthew Barnaby (4:21 PM)
I like the way Kaleta plays. I don't think he will slow down one bit. He is a little bit of a dirty player and I think should drop the gloves a little more often than he does, like last night versus Steve Ott. Great team player and leaves it all on the ice.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Name at least 5 or maybe 6 former NHL Hockey Players that are Broadcasters?
Matthew Barnaby (4:22 PM)
I could name 100, but let's go with, Ray Ferraro, Keith Jones, Rob Ray, Bill Lindsey, Andy Brickley. And yours truly.
When the Sid/Ovie comparisons are made, it seems most people concentrate on the flash & goal scoring. Isn't it time to start discussing how much of a better teammate Sid is, how he makes the players around him better, how he plays both ways, and most importantly, how he acts as a human being, OUTSIDE the rink?
Matthew Barnaby (4:24 PM)
There is always going to be comparisons between these two. I wouldn't hesitate to make an argument for either one being the best player in the world. Ovechkin is by far the best goal scorer in the league. Crosby is a great playmaker and does make everyone around him better. I think they are both great leaders but in different ways. Crosby is your typical and programmed athlete that says nothing controversial. Ovie is exactly how he is on the ice, reckless. And people love it. I think they're both great players and we're lucky to live in an era to watch them both. OK, I'm getting a little too sappy right now.
Matthew Barnaby (4:25 PM)
I think by the next time we talk next week, we'll have a better idea on who the contenders and pretenders really are. Good luck to all your teams.