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 (3:02 PM)
We're getting Matthew!
Matthew Barnaby (3:03 PM)
Great night in the NHL last night. Four hat tricks. Hopefully more tonight.
How much of an impact will the injury to Callahan affect the Rangers?
Matthew Barnaby (3:04 PM)
I think it will be a huge impact, when you look at what he brings to the Rangers. He's a good penalty killer. Good leader. Puts up points. This is a huge loss for that team.
What does Marco Sturm bring to the Kings line-up?
Matthew Barnaby (3:05 PM)
First of all, he has to get healthy. Any time you come back from injury, you never know what you're dealing with. But he's a good hockey player. He's a good skater. Very capable scorer and has a veteran presence. It's something they've been looking to add for a while.
Now that the Rangers are starting to buy into Tortorellas way of things, can you see them going making the playoffs? Maybe get through the first round?
Matthew Barnaby (3:06 PM)
I didn't pick them to make the playoffs, but they've shown a lot of resilience. I think they've gotten rid of a lot of the dead weight and a lot of their youth is playing fantastic hockey. Yes I can see them making the playoffs, but there is still a lot of hockey to be played.
Marc (Malden, MA)
It's obviously the NHL has an agenda against the Bruins. Those last 2 penalty calls were garbage.
Matthew Barnaby (3:07 PM)
The NHL doesn't have an agenda against anyone. Although over my career, I saw Mario get a few calls here and there and Sidney Crosby might get away with a few. But I do not believe there is an agenda against any one team.
Scott (South Dakota)
Matty - I can't wait for the Outdoor Classic on New Year's Day. Huge Penguins fan! What are your thoughts on games down the road, at say, Target Field in Minneapolis or Coors Field in Denver? Those possibly on the NHL's radar, you think?
Matthew Barnaby (3:09 PM)
I would guess that Yankee Stadium would be right up there. The New York Rangers would be a great fit with some of the best fans in hockey. There are so many great destinations. Everyone deserves to hold one that's capable, because it's a huge and awesome event.
Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)
Matthew, are you going to play on the Penguins Winter Classic alumni team? Do you think you could score a goal if you went out there on a shift with Mario, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy? You might make the HOF by osmosis.....
Matthew Barnaby (3:10 PM)
Considering I played against those guys and was on the receiving end of that power play, it would be an absolute thrill to stand with your skates stuck together and have Mario hit you with a pass back door.
Matt, how good is Nicklas Lidstram right now at 40? How many years does he have left?
Matthew Barnaby (3:11 PM)
He was my pick for the Norris at the start of the year. Honestly, I think this guy can play as long as he wants. He keeps the game simple, slows it down to whatever pace he wants and spends little time in his own zone. We're at two decades now and working on his third. Honestly, another 2 years after this one.
Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)
Are the Kings legit cup contenders this year or are we still a year or two away?
Matthew Barnaby (3:12 PM)
I still think they're a year or two away. I know they had great success last year. The power play in the playoffs was off the charts. They are still in contention this year. But I still think you need that maturation process, which takes a little bit of time.
Do you thkn that the Stars can pick up anyone at the deadline even tough the ownership stuation is up in there air? and if so who..?
Matthew Barnaby (3:13 PM)
I think there's a lot of hockey to be played. I think Dallas has done an unbelievable job of bonding together and playing above expectations. I don't think they'll add anyone at the deadline. The main concern for them right now is Brad Richards.
Matthew Barnaby (3:14 PM)
If I'm Dallas, I deal him, because I want to get something back in return.
why doesnt anyone want to come play to montreal?
Matthew Barnaby (3:15 PM)
Montreal is playing great. They really took it to a good Flyers team last night. If it wasn't for Bobrovsky, they would have won. Montreal is playing very well as a team.
Corey (South Dakota)
Im also a huge Pens fan! When is Jordan Staal returning? What is wrong with Kunitz?
Matthew Barnaby (3:16 PM)
You wouldn't think the Penguins miss Staal, with the streak they've been on, but when it comes down to it, he's a huge part of that team. Big centers that play against other teams' top lines and also contribute offensively are very hard to come by. With him in the lineup, they have that three headed monster with Crosby, Malkin and Staal, which nobody can match.
Matthew Barnaby (3:17 PM)
Unfortunately, everyone can match their wingers.
Caps have struggled big time and they can't seem to put it together right now...Major concern or blip on the way to solid playoff run? P.S. - Do you think they will make a run at picking up Nabokov?
Matthew Barnaby (3:18 PM)
I don't think there is major concern for the regular season, but there is always cause for concern when you go long streaks without winning. To get blown out 7-0 by the Rangers is a lack of commitment defensively, which has plagued them for years. Until they commit to being a better team defensively, they will not succeed in the playoffs.
Can the Blues pull it together if/when they get everyone healthy to make a run at the playoffs?
Matthew Barnaby (3:19 PM)
That's the thing, they have to get healthy. They got off to a great start and injuries have plagued this team. If they aren't too far behind, they can make a run, but I have a feeling it's going to be too late.
if the sale of the Sabres goes through, what changes would you make? Reiger gone? connolly and hecht gone?
Matthew Barnaby (3:21 PM)
The first thing I would do would commit to getting a little more scoring. Buffalo is dying for an elite player and over the years, under current management, has let those guys go due to salary budgets. When you donate $88 million to fund a program like Penn State, it looks like we'll be getting that elite player in Buffalo soon.
Did you watch the HBO 24/7 show last night? Your thoughts?
Matthew Barnaby (3:22 PM)
I thought it was awesome. I think it really captures what every day life in the NHL is all about. The grind and thre pressure to succeed every single day. I think fans some times think that players don't mind if they lose or win, but it's evident after seeing it and re-living a lot of good and bad nights, how stressful every day is.
Matthew Barnaby (3:23 PM)
Don't get me wrong, the money, the charters and the nice wine they were drinking are some of the perks.
what is wrong with Seabrook and Keith?
Matthew Barnaby (3:24 PM)
This team has struggled mightily. I think they are a byproduct of it. This is a team that lost a lot of their Stanley Cup pieces because of salary cap. They have been injured and they have two goalies who have struggled. When healthy, I think they'll be OK, but there's a lot of work to do if they want to repeat.
Do the Penguins start another streak or will they cool off?
Matthew Barnaby (3:25 PM)
You never expect them to put another streak like that together, because there is so much parity in the NHL. But when you have the best player in the NHL, a defense that has improved over last year and a Fleury who has found his groove, this is a very good hockey team and will continue to get better.
Matthew, Is it to early to call Crosby a HOF'er? he already has a cup, gold medal and a Rocket Richard throphy.
Matthew Barnaby (3:27 PM)
Still too early. He will get there, I just think a little bit of longevity has to play into it, but his numbers will be off the charts. He is absolutely incredible to watch every time you watch this guy play. He will win more Stanley Cups and more gold medals and more scoring titles. And hopefully he'll buy me a car with his extra cash.
Matthew, Would you call Nic Lidstrom the "Perfect Human?" what was he like to play against?
Matthew Barnaby (3:28 PM)
Lidstrom what makes him so good is his skating. His poise with the puck. His vision. Like a Scott Niedermeyer, I played 15 years trying to get a hit on these guys and never could. He's so smart and so good. The best defenseman I ever played against.
Matthew Barnaby (3:29 PM)
The West is so close and the bottom of the East is falling out. Some teams better get it in gear or they'll be left behind by Christmas. Enjoy your holidays. Be safe.