NHL on TSN Quiz: Who is a Cup favourite along with Vancouver? Staff

3/30/2011 9:31:21 PM

Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

As a follow-up, offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers from TSN's hockey experts, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

Question No. 1: The playoffs begin two weeks tonight – at this moment who ranks second to Vancouver as the Stanley Cup favourite?

McKenzie: I'll go with the Philadelphia Flyers. They have been in the doldrums for the last little while - a little up, a little down - but I think that had more to do with the fact that they felt like they were almost home and cooled out, and that the sense of urgency for this team that has so many offensive weapons, will escalate as we get closer to the playoffs.

Dreger: I'm going with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins have tons of jam - we saw that earlier against the Dallas Stars in a fight-filled affair, and we saw that against the Montreal Canadiens on a couple of occasions. They've got it all, including "Big Z" Zdeno Chara, who is battling for the Norris Trophy, they've got the offence coming from up front as well, and in goaltending you've got Tim Thomas. So for me, it's the Bruins.

Ward: For me it's the Philadelphia Flyers. They match up with anybody and everybody in the National Hockey League when it comes to talent. What it comes down to is motivation and desire, and having just lost the Stanley Cup I think they have that hunger and that understanding of what it takes to get to that stage.

Question No. 2: In the wake of a second horrific facial injury in two weeks, is there any doubt the NHLPA will finally agree to mandatory visors with a grandfather clause in the next round of collective bargaining talks?

Dreger: I have doubt and lots of it, because every year it is the same song and dance. The players get together, and the NHLPA tells them at the summer meetings "look, wear the visors. It's called eye protection, facial protection, and we encourage it". But it's player preference, and the players decide.

Ward: I have no doubt it's going to happen. You've got to figure that if you give the players the option of grandfather-clause it, it doesn't affect them, they make a decision, and eventually common sense will play a role in this and it doesn't affect them in the immediate future.

McKenzie: I've got doubt and lots of it, I agree one hundred percent with Dregs. Every time one of these incidents happens, players always revert to freedom of choice. The number of players that come out of a junior hockey level playing with a visor and taking it off when they get to the NHL is still pretty significant.

Question No. 3: If the St. Louis Blues were in the hunt for a playoff berth, would T.J. Oshie be sitting out two games for missing a practice?

Ward: Not a chance - they would have simply fined him. What they're trying to do right now is create a culture there. They're losing, they're not in the playoffs, so get some attention of the players and get them on the right track.

Dreger: No, he's too important to the team, obviously offensively. He's a good kid, and this is a tough lesson and he needs to learn the lesson. But as any player will tell you, there's no excuse. There's two things you need to be aware of: be on time, and be ready to play - and he was neither.

McKenzie: I will say no, it wouldn't be two games, it would be one game. They would still suspend him. They suspended Berglund last year, and you would also have to suspend a guy because if when he doesn't show up to practice, totally unexcused and just not there at all, you've got to sit a game.

Question No. 4: The Chicago Blackhawks stand accused of taunting an injured opponent (Boston's Shawn Thornton) for the second time this season: is that crossing the line or is all fair in love and hockey?

McKenzie: I'll say crossing the line, and it's not a blanket that it's wrong all the time. I can almost give the Blackhawks this one because Thornton is a tough guy, you might not like him, you've got an axe to grind, but poor Brendan Morrison of the Flames, who everyone loves, they chirped him going off with a bad knee earlier this season. I think that's offside.

Ward: All's fair in love and hockey. You get the competitive edge no matter how you have to do it. Children and pets are offside, wives, girlfriends, and moms are totally fair game.

Dreger: I'm saying it crossed the line. The Chicago Blackhawks are noted across the league for their steady diet of chirping. But when you're going after a player who has been significantly injured - it took 40 stitches to close the gash on Thornton - that's crossing the line.