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 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
We're getting Matthew right now!
Matthew Barnaby (3:08 PM)
A lot of things happening, as always, in the NHL. A lot of teams coming back to reality, and a lot of surprises. Right now, some big questions about which coaches are going to be fired. Let's get to your questions.
Rachel ( San Jose)
Hi Matthew! Which Sharks goalie will be the number 1 guy come the end of the season and when do you think Setoguchi picks his game up? Thanks!
Matthew Barnaby (3:09 PM)
I'm going to say Niittymaki. I know Niemi won a Cup last year, but I don't think he's the better goalie.
"Against Nashville, the attendance still wasn't good, more suited for a Minnesota high school game than the NHL."Quote from AP on the attendance in Phoenix last night, only 6700. How come the league seems to be ignoring the poor attendance, not only in Phoenix, but also Dallas, Columbus, the Island and Atlanta.
Matthew Barnaby (3:10 PM)
They're not ignoring it. I'm sure behind the scenes they are doing what's best for the NHL. I'm sure they're doing all the research to do what makes sense. I'm sure in the near future something will happen.
Should the Penguins start looking for an alternative in goal? Or do you think most fans are overlooking how much Staal has done defensivly?
Matthew Barnaby (3:11 PM)
No, I don't think they're looking for an alternative just yet. It's still early. They'll let it run its course and they'll decide as it goes further along. If Fleury doesn't respond, his contract will be untradable anyway.
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Are the Rangers for real? They are actually working hard and seem to have a lot of pieces built internally for once as opposed to free agency. BTW, miss you as a Rangers player!
Matthew Barnaby (3:12 PM)
I think they are a little bit better, but I don't think that at the end of the day that this is a playoff team. I think they're missing some scoring up front and I don't think they'll be deep enough.
The Devils are off to a great start (for an expansion team), but what will it take to right the ship and make some noise in the playoffs this year?
Matthew Barnaby (3:13 PM)
I had this team very high in the preseason. Adding Kovalchuk was a great signing. But at the end of the day, they haven't meshed and the goaltending has been average. Parise will be out for a while. It will be a struggle.
Matthew Barnaby (3:13 PM)
Having said all of that, I still think they are going to make the playoffs, because I don't think the East is that strong.
Corey (South Dakota)
Hey Matt! What do the Pens need to do to get their power play going? I think they need a right-handed shot instead of all lefties?
Matthew Barnaby (3:14 PM)
I just think they need a little bit more structure and know what they're going to do before they do it. They rely on talent too much. They're not that deep of a team up front to do that. Get the shot off at the point and jam the net. Keep it simple and they'll be fine.
Matthew - As someone who played with Marty Turco, what are your thoughts on his play so far and if the Blackhawks made the right move picking him up over other options. What do you think the Blackhawks biggest issues are currently?
Matthew Barnaby (3:15 PM)
I think consistency. Any time you win a Stanley Cup, there is the chance for the Cup hangover. They're young guys, I'm sure they enjoyed it. There is that sit back attitude where you might take some night off. I think Turco is a great fit for the Blackhawks.
Mario (Milwaukee, Wi)
What pieces do you think the Kings need to become a threat for the cup?
Matthew Barnaby (3:16 PM)
I think they're there. You could always add a defensive defenseman. A little bit of scoring up front. That's something they will tinker with as it gets closer to playoff time. This will be a buyer come the deadline. The window of opportunity is here.
Could you see the Boston Bruins Packaging Tuukka Rask and or Marc Savard for another forward or OFF defenseman around mid season?
Matthew Barnaby (3:17 PM)
If Savard is healthy enough to be moved, I'm certain he would be a guy that's on the move. Whether he would get a big offer for a guy who's coming off a concussion, I don't know. And Rask is the goaltender of the future, I don't see him being moved.
Travis Weaver (Columbus)
hey matthew, i have yet to figure out columbus. they're 7-4 and they've looked pretty good in their wins against quality teams (chicago, philly, montreal). But with 3 blow-out losses, and the low scoring, are the blue jackets for real or are they just getting lucky?
Matthew Barnaby (3:18 PM)
I think they compete pretty hard. They're doing a good job of believing in themselves. I still don't consider them a playoff team, because of their depth on defense. But I do think the future is bright in Columbus.
Matthew Barnaby (3:18 PM)
They are a lot closer than they were a year ago.
Zedno Chara (Boston)
Hey Matt,will I continue to shut down Ovie tomorrow night,and will my man Timmy give up more than two goals?
Matthew Barnaby (3:19 PM)
It doesn't seem like they're ready to stop this trend just yet. They're playing great, dominating most nights. I don't know if it's possible to actually shut down Ovechkin. If you can limit him, that's usually enough. I'm going to pick Boston to win, 4-3 with Thomas giving up one more than 2 goals.
Ryan (St. Louis)
I've never believed the commercial that mentions the odds of seeing a hat trick is 1 in 18. It's always seemed to happen less often than that. But this year every time I check the latest scores I see some one else scored 3 in a game. What's up with that?
Matthew Barnaby (3:20 PM)
I think we'll see more and more as time goes on. With power plays being more prevalent today and guys shooting the puck like they can, I think we'll see more hat tricks than we have in the past.
Joe (Cubicle hell)
Matthew.. why do some many "experts" overlook Datsyuk for th MVP. he might not put up the numbers of others, but his +/- is always great and he is great backchecking and in the defensive zone to go along with his 80-90 points
Matthew Barnaby (3:22 PM)
He's definitely up there when we talk about the best in the game. He's in the top 3-4. When the voters look at the end of the year, they really look at points as the main thing. Unfortunately for him, he's never in that 110-120 point range and gets overlooked. Also, he wins the Lady Bing so much, because it really goes to the best player who didn't win the Hart. Though his fight in the first game, he's not winning that this year.
Do you have a surprise playoff team this year? Tampa is obviously off to a great start, but can they really keep it up? Some good leadership on that team paired with young talent.
Matthew Barnaby (3:23 PM)
I had Tampa making the playoffs at the start of the year. Are they a surprise? Yes, they are because they're compiling the record that they are. If you look to teams that are overachieving, I look at an Atlanta. On most nights they're scoring goals at will and are really surprising a lot of people.
Matthew - Do you think the Flyers will be a factor for the cup this year and do you think BOB will be the answer in net
Matthew Barnaby (3:24 PM)
You know what, I think he's the best answer they've had in a long time. I know it's early, but he's had some ups and downs already. But I like how he moves around in net. Philly with their depth up front and on defense, I think they are a legit contender.
DO YOU THINK THE NHL WILL GO BACK TO WOODEN STICKS?IT SEEMS THE ONES THAY ARE USEING NOW ARE ALWAYS BRAKING.
Matthew Barnaby (3:25 PM)
I think they're always looking into the sticks. But would you take performance to the wood sticks we used to use, it's not even close. I don't think the players would ever allow going back to the wood stick. But at $200 a pop, those companies are very happy they're breaking. As a parent, I'm not.
Chris (Fort Collins)
DO you think the Avalanche are able to get a better position than they did last year? I mean, do you think they will make a better playoff spot, the same, or worse?
Matthew Barnaby (3:26 PM)
I don't have Colorado making the playoffs this year. I think if it comes down to it, it will come to a last week of the season thing. They're scoring a ton of goals and giving up a ton of goals this year. A very fun team to watch, but I think at the end of the day they miss.
Matt - Do you really think Buffalo will/should fire Lindy Ruff during the season?
Matthew Barnaby (3:27 PM)
I don't think they should fire him right now. I think Lindy is a very good coach. I think Miller, Myers and some injuries have played a key to their slow start. But if 15 games down the road, it hasn't turned around, I think a change will be made.
Ryan (Buffalo, NY)
How much of Tampa Bay's success is due to Yzerman's work as GM and how much is it due just to his presence there? He didn't make a ton of key additions so it seems like just having him with the organization has gotten the players to step it up.
Matthew Barnaby (3:29 PM)
I think he brings respect, leadership and a winning philosophy from his playing days in Detroit. This is one of the best players the NHL has ever seen and one of the best leaders the NHL has ever seen. He did bring in some key additions in Gagne and a head coach with a great pedigree, even though it wasn't in the NHL.
Blues vs Sharks prediction
Matthew Barnaby (3:30 PM)
I am going to pick the Blues at home. Halak first star. That's going out on a limb.
Chris (Wash DC)
If your GMGM, do you hold onto Semin or do you try to trade him for a 2C come playoff time? His value must be high, 4th in goals, top 15 in pts so far
Matthew Barnaby (3:31 PM)
He would definitely be one of the guys I would be looking to move, to add a good defenseman. He's a very talented player with a lot of worth, but this team desperately needs a top defender come playoff time.
Matthew Barnaby (3:31 PM)
Enjoy the games tonight, especially New York-Philly. It should be a beauty with some old scores to settle. Have a great weekend and we'll talk to you next week.