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!
Matthew Barnaby (3:03 PM)
I don't know if anyone would have seen Buffalo and New Jersey starting the way they have and that St. Louis would start the way they have. Some good and some bad starts so I know you have a lot of questions. Let's get started.
Hi Matthew! What's up with the Sharks? Not scoring much and losing to a team they owned last year in the Ducks? Thanks!
Matthew Barnaby (3:05 PM)
Sometimes you beat a certain team and sometimes you lose to that same team. They went in thinking they can win but it has been an up and down season for them. The last few years, they've played well in the regular season and struggled in the playoffs. Maybe it will be the opposite this year.
Mario (Milwaukee, Wi)
Last year when the Kings were making the push into the playoffs, I looked at the possible teams LA would face and I thought to myself, is there any team we can beat? Looking at this year, is there a team that we can't beat?
Matthew Barnaby (3:06 PM)
No. This LA team really started coming into it's own last year. I think a lot of people didn't know if they were mature enough to take that next step but they are certainly proving that is not the case. This will be a powerhouse for years to come.
Ryan (St. Louis)
Big game for the Blues tonight. Not because of the opponent, but because based on how they do tonight, last night's game was either a sign of things to come, or just another one in the L column.
Matthew Barnaby (3:08 PM)
I really like the way they responded last night after getting beat up on the scoreboard. They stood up for each other and to me that's a huge step in going forward. I don't think they are as good as they have been but Halak has been incredible. But this is a playoffs team and a solid one at that.
Hey Matthew, I know you are fairly high on the Lightning, but do you think their goaltending is good enough? So far Ellis has been OK, but can he hold up all season?
Matthew Barnaby (3:09 PM)
I do. I like the combo that they have in there. This is a team that can score with the best of them and I think Dan Ellis has done a great job so far. I really think he's good enough, especially if you saw that Philly and Chicago did with their goaltending last year.
Andrew (Houghton, MI)
Every year the Hart normally goes to a guy on the Offense, what will it take for Lidstrom to finally win the Hart that he has been missing for so long?
Matthew Barnaby (3:11 PM)
Most of the voters do look for those offensive numbers. I've played with Dominik Hasek who won it because he was so good and dominate. I pick Lidstrom to win the Norris this year but I just don't see any defenseman winning the Hart.
Nate (Cedar Rapids IOWA)
Matt, are the Blues for real as a long time Blues fan I'm always a bit skeptical, Halak has looked fantastic can he keep it up? Do the Blues need a pure scorer in order to really flourish or will just having somebody find the back of the net work all season?
Matthew Barnaby (3:13 PM)
He his to me as good as it gets right now. His numbers are incredible but to me his positioning is why it looks so easy on most given nights. They will have to provide him with a few more goals as they go forward but they are for real.
Zack (Palo Alto)
What is the biggest weakness for the Red Wings and what can they do to sure up that weakness?
Matthew Barnaby (3:15 PM)
To me it will come down to goaltending. Their forwards are as deeps and anyone in the NHL. They still might have the best defenseman in Linstrom. Howard is still unproven but I really don't see them having a weakness.
Was the Kovalchuk shootout "miss" last night the season in a nutshell for the Devils and Kovy? This team reminds me of the 2006-07 Flyers... what do you think?
Matthew Barnaby (3:18 PM)
It really was. You look at their bad start, the lack of scoring from Kovalchuk and Praise, average goaltending and just when you thought they would turn it around; their most prized position hits a 64 degree wedge over the net and whiffs on a penalty shot that my 12 year old son wouldn't do. NYC is only 20 minutes away; go watch the tree lighting ceremony.
What is wrong with the Pens?
Matthew Barnaby (3:21 PM)
A little bit of everything. Fleury has been terrible this year. He his letting really weak goals and creatural times. Their power play has struggled; they've had some key injuries and going back to yesterday, some terrible defensive breakdowns. At the end of the day if Fleury doesn't play better, this team will struggle.
Zach Ball (East Lansing)
Is Stamkos a legit Hart candidate or will his scoring pace die down?
Matthew Barnaby (3:22 PM)
He's a legit Hart trophy candidate. If you look at the power play and the numbers he's on pace for as well as his numbers from last year, he defiantly be in the running for a lot of years to come.
Fun Fact: The city of Buffalo has not witnessed a home win by either of their professional sports franchises since April 23, 2010... When will I see a win?!?!
Matthew Barnaby (3:27 PM)
I feel your pain! I live in Buffalo but fortunately for me I'm a New York Jets fan. As for your win at home for the Sabers, it doesn't look promising. Capitals, Canucks, Kings, Lighting and Pens are you next five. Your Christmas looks like its going to come on November 26 against the Leafs. If you don't win that, you might want to try Hanukkah.
Matthew Barnaby (3:27 PM)
It's going to be a very busy night in the NHL tonight. The old saying is, you can't make the playoffs in the first month of the season but you can sure play your way out of them. A few teams better pay attention. Talk to you next week.