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 (3:54 PM)
Wow. Six, seven, eight seeds in the East all get through. Just like we all thought.
Jamie (Muskegon, MI)
It seems like most people are sick of the Red Wings. We here in Michigan love having the flagship team of the NHL. For over 15 years the Red Wings have been extremely competative year in and year out. No other team in the NHL can say that. No other team in sports can say that! With that said, why does it seem like there is such a push to eliminate Detroit from any national media coverage and at the same time propel Crosby and Ovechkin to the fore front. Wouldn't it be better to promote a great team over one or two great players?
Matthew Barnaby (3:55 PM)
You're right, Detroit has been the model of consistency for the last 15 years in whatever an organization strives to be, but for TV and storylines, it doesn't get better than Crosby v. Ovechkin. For now, we are going to have to wait for the epic battle to continue, as Ovechkin is not holding up his end of the bargain.
The last time the Bruins won a playoff series two years in a row happened when I was 6 years old in 1992. Matthew Barnaby had not yet begun his legendary NHL career. Are the Bruins finally back?
Matthew Barnaby (3:57 PM)
They surprised me, not having Savard in the lineup, for a team that struggles offensively to get a huge win against a higher seed was fun to watch. Tuukka Rask gives them a chance to win every night. This is going to be another great series with Philly, but I don't think they have enough to get by the Flyers. I have the Flyers in seven.
Halak has played great but I just feel like the pens have that intangible that will blow them past the habs. Prediction?
Matthew Barnaby (3:58 PM)
Congratulations to Montreal. They deserved it. They were outshot badly, but the goaltending was unreal. I agree with you. I don't think they will have enough in the tank and I think Pittsburgh will send a lot more traffic in front of Halak in this series. Look for the role players to play an important part and I think Pittsburgh will win in five.
Matthew, long time hockey fan....die hard hawks fan. I declare that for a reason. I have noticed Duncan Keith turning the puck over a lot in the Hawks end, or more-over, making real bad reads that allowed the Predators to capitalize during the series. Am I the only Hawks fan that thinks Keith is a tad overrated? I love his game when he is on, but to me a Norris trophy winner plays exceptional most of the time, and solild all the timethanks for your time
Matthew Barnaby (3:59 PM)
Duncan Keith is up for the Norris for a reason. He's a dynamic player and usually when he turns the puck over, he's quick enough to get back and recover. He is a very special defenseman that has a tremendous first pass and one of the fastest in the game.
Matthew, what was it like to play on the same team with both Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr?
Matthew Barnaby (4:00 PM)
Having the chance to play with these two superstars and especially Mario, to watch him come back after a two-year absence and play at the level he did was incredible. I've played with a lot of hall of famers, but these two were awesome. Both on and off the ice.
I think that Detroit and San Jose is going to be the best match up of the second round due to past history between them and pure skilled players. Agree?
Matthew Barnaby (4:02 PM)
Going to be a great series, as will the other matchup in the west. Tremendous amount of talent offensively in this series. Both goalies playing very well and defensemen on both teams with some hardware and Stanley Cups.
Matthew Barnaby (4:02 PM)
This will be must-see TV.
bruce (dallas, tx)
hello matthew, whats you favorite playoff watching food? i go with a meat theme per round, this round pork
Matthew Barnaby (4:03 PM)
Bruce, send some down. I'm so sick of the cafeteria and the cold pizza. I actually like Mexican. So I usually run for a little Mexican before the games start. Poor Barry has to endure eight hours of beans. Not so nice.
You think the Flyers will win despite the fact that they have 3 of their key players injured while the Bruins have been playing well without their best player who they are just getting back? Why no love for Boston?
Matthew Barnaby (4:04 PM)
If I said the Bruins were going to win, Flyers fans would be saying why no love. I just think that defensively, the way they played in Round 1, the Bruins will have a tough time creating offense. I've had concussions before and come back and since he's been out for a while, it's not easy to jump back in, especially in the playoffs. Don't think that they will not be trying to rock him every time he's on the ice. Tuukka Rask is the X-factor and I think this will be a seven game series.
DReganJr (Bay Area)
Mr Barnaby, I hated you as a Sharks fan over the years, but that is a compliment and you are doing fine work on the TV -- keep it up, sir. My question to you is this -- WHY oh WHY does/can "Jumbo" Joe Thornton seemingly dominate the regular season, yet put a proverbial skirt on in the playoffs, EVERY YEAR?!? How can this happen? Refs let just a touch more of the rough stuff go and it makes that much difference? Is that all, or is there something else?? Please explain!
Matthew Barnaby (4:06 PM)
Joe's whole game is about creating time and space, because he is an awesome passer. In the playoffs, it's much more physical and intense and that does not play well with his game. He has got to find a way to raise that in this series, because the Wings are no Avs. They get a lot of contribution from a lot of different players. The Sharks will need Joe, I believe, to have a 10-point series if they are going to advance.
Still sticking with the Sharks Matthew?
Matthew Barnaby (4:07 PM)
I am. I am not changing. Never have, never will. You just don't want SportsNation jumping on your bandwagon, like they did the Capitals or you guys will be out quick.
How will the physicality factor in the Philly-Boston series? I thought, watching round one that Boston didn't seem to like physical contact on the rare occasions the sabres were willing to give it back. Boychuk (of all people) complained of a perfectly legal hit by Myers and Lucic, at times, looked very uncomfortable. Is Philadelphia more than Boston can handle in terms of hitting?
Matthew Barnaby (4:08 PM)
I think it's going to be a physical series and Philadelphia certainly doesn't shy away from it. Pronger will be nasty. Carcillo will be treading the line. Hartnell will be physical. I think it's going to be a great series and I think Philadelphia will come out on top.
Can you envision any scenario where the Wings would turn to Chris Osgood? Howard was stable in the first round, but a 2.59 GAA is not going to get you to the Cup Finals.
Matthew Barnaby (4:09 PM)
This is definitely his ball to run with. I think he would have to be very bad for them to pull. He has got them to where they could make the playoffs. Inconsistent and very good at points in the Phoenix series. Osgood has not played in a long time.
Miss having espn coverage of nhl playoffs. Yes versus has done an ok job the past couple years, but it bothers me that they have to join other games in progress. Also, looking at the 2nd round schedule, on monday 10th, there could be 2 game 6's and one game 5 with only one of the 3 being shown in its entirety. Would love to see espn make an offer to bring back nhl when the negotations next take place.
Matthew Barnaby (4:11 PM)
Ethan, couldn't agree with you more. I think we would do a great job of promoting what we feel is the best sport out there. Post game shows, pre game shows and lots more of Barry's mullet. I know the players would love to be back on and hopefully one day it will happen. Keith Jones, I like a lot on Versus.
Who do you think will have a bigger impact on the Flyers-Bruins series, Pronger or Chara?
Matthew Barnaby (4:12 PM)
I'm going to go with Pronger. I think he will see a lot of Savard and on the power play he has been very effective in front of the opposing team's net. While they are both physical, I really think Pronger lifts his game in the playoffs. Should be fun to watch.
When the Canucks lose, where does that leave them?
Matthew Barnaby (4:13 PM)
Probably leaves them in Vancouver. This is going to be a great series. A revenge series that started last year. Very fast. Very physical, with a lot of scoring. Should be real exciting. I am going with the Canucks in this one in seven games.
Now that the Caps are gone, can anyone in the East touch the Pens? Who has the best chance?
Matthew Barnaby (4:14 PM)
I am going to say Philadelphia. I think they will breeze through Montreal, but I've played in the battle of PA before and it's very emotional, very physical and with Pronger up to his nasty tricks, could be very effective against Crosby. They would also get some players back from injury that would be rested, which always helps.
Kevin (St James, NY)
Hey Matthew, You think Franzen will come alive in the goal scoring department vs the Sharks?
Matthew Barnaby (4:15 PM)
I think he has to do a better job of getting to the front of the net and grinding it out where he does it best. He is a very important part of this team advancing and is very good on the power play. Should have a great series.
What do you think about Steve Yzerman running the Bolts? I would be all in favor of it, but would be worried he'd run back to Detroit when Ken Holland retires.
Matthew Barnaby (4:16 PM)
I think he's going to be a tremendous executive. Very smart. Works very hard and a great honest guy. I'm sure Detroit is his dream job, but right now, Tampa is looking and needs some stability. Sounds like a win-win for both parties.
Keith (Arlington, VA)
matt, Can you take us through the process of a faceoff? Does the puck have to hit the ice first? Does the ref try to trick the centerman and drop if whenever he likes?Thanks.
Matthew Barnaby (4:17 PM)
No, he's not trying to trick them at all, but he doesn't want them cheating. He is trying to get the puck and it is supposed to hit the ice first. Sometimes it doesn't, but most of the time it does. Two rules: sticks are supposed to be centered and your feet are supposed to be square. But guys are always trying to find a way to cheat a little bit, because face offs are so important to puck possession.
Carl (Saugus, MA)
Which round 2 series do you see as being most likely to go 7 games, and which do you see being most likely to be a sweep or a one-sided match ending in 5?
Matthew Barnaby (4:18 PM)
As for the sweep, I would think the Pittsburgh Penguins have the best chance over Montreal. Montreal, I'm sure is emotaionally drained and will get very little rest. Can their goalie stand on his head again like he did in Round 1? Picking Pitt in five.
Matthew Barnaby (4:19 PM)
As for seven game series? I'm going to go with Van and Chicago. Two teams that hate each other because of last year's playoffs and are very evenly matched both offensively and defensively. Chicago has home ice, which hasn't been a factor in the playoffs this year and Vancouver has the better goalie.
Matthew, keeping in mind that Claude Lemeuix is retired, could the Hawks-Canucks matchup see a nastiness on par with Avalanche-Detroit western battles of the late 90's?
Matthew Barnaby (4:20 PM)
I see a lot of nastiness in this series. If there's a few goal lead at the end of games, look for it to be really physical and a little cheap. Both teams skate very well and finish all of their checks. Get the ice packs ready, because they're going to need them.
Matthew Barnaby (4:21 PM)
Enjoy the second round, as it should live up to the billing. The Western Conference especially, I think, will be awesome to watch. Talk to you next week.