Chat with Barry Melrose
Melrose re-joined ESPN after coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first part of the 2008-09 season. He first started with ESPN after coaching the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals and was a commentator on ESPN and ABC since 1995. Melrose made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets in 1979. A defenseman, he played for the Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings before retiring after the 1986 season.
Send your questions now and join Barry in chat Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (3:02 PM)
Congrats to Marty Brodeur. I think everyone is happy to see him have the record and hopefully he gets a couple 100 more.
Surrouned by Pens Fans (Cumberland MD)
Barry, Whats up with the Caps? Yea they've won four out of five, but it seems to me somethings not clicking in their game. What do you think?
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
Well listen the Caps rely on offense. For them to do well in the postseason they need to improve on defense. Goaltending is not their strong point, so they need to cut down on shots on goal. They will score a lot of goals come playoff time, but I would like to see them improve defensively.
Joe D (New Jersey)
Is Martin Brodeur better than Patrick Roy?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
I think you have to say yes. He will own the record by a couple hundred wins when it is over, he will own the shutout record, won Olympic gold, and three Cups. And he changed the game, like no other goaltender. So yes, I think he has to be considered the best.
Barry- do you think the Devils make a run to the finals?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
In the East, yes. It is wide open. I think Washington, Philly, the Devils and Boston are all there. But it is wide open. The Pens and the Rangers are playing a lot better. I think anyone can come out of the East at this point.
John (Spokane WA)
Your thoughts on the Stars, and their realistic chances in the playoffs, can they make a decent run?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
It will be tough. They have injuries. If they make the playoffs after the start they have had, then it has been a great year for them. I think most people gave up on them. And if they get in and Morrow gets back then things can change. But I think just making the playoffs will be a great achievement for this team.
Jonathan (Columbus, OH)
Do you think the Jackets can continue to roll and perhaps sneak UP to the 4th seed in the West?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
Don't get greedy. Just make the playoffs. I love how they are playing. They have a lot of guts and I think they will make the playoffs. But let's get in before looking at the fourth spot. I do not think they will get to the fourth spot, but I do like them to make the playoffs.
Barry, I was reading along on the NHL trading deadline blog and saw how you popped in there a couple of times. How does it feel to now be a part of the blogging world?
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
I cannot say I am really part of it. Not too sure exactly how it works. I am pretty new to it all. But I would love to do it more and interact more with the fans. I am in kindergarten as far as the blogging world right now.
Bernard (Princeton, NJ)
Brodeur's great night overshadowed Patrick Elias becoming the all time NJ Devils point leader. Congrats to him as well !
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
I agree with you. Bad luck for Elias, who has had a great career and a historic night as well. But it's tough when you are battling for ink against a guy who set a career record for wins, and a mark which may never be broken when it is all over; you can just say he picked the wrong night to do it. But congrats to Patrick, nonetheless!
Sean (TR NJ)
What are the chances of the Panthers making the playoffs they need to badly since they have not been there since 2000 what do you think?
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
I do not like their chances. They have some injuries and lost to teams they should not lose to, like Tampa last night. and the Pens and Rangers and Hurricanes are playing much better. I just do not see it happening.
Jon (Des Moines)
Would you say there's a 75% chance Gaborik is not back with Minnesota next season? As a fan since the franchise started it's hard to imagine him not with the club, but it seems like a parting of ways is best for both parties at this point. Your thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
Well they tried very hard to keep him and he turned them down. It depends if the offer stays on the table and what other teams are willing to spend on an injury-prone player. I would say it is a 50-50. I think there are other teams that want him, but I also think Minnesota wants to keep him.
Nick KC, MO
Do you consider Detroit from 1996 to present as a Dynasty
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
Yeah, you would have to say so, because they have won a bunch of Cups, and always been great and one of the top 3 point teams in the NHL and have kept most of the same group of 4-5 players. I think Detroit is the closest to a dynasty you will see in the salary capped NHL. A team that is great every year, but nay not win the title every year.
Christian (Staten Island)
In retrospect, did the Panthers make a mistake by keeping Bouwmeister?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
Yes. I said that at the deadline. They had to trade them. They could not afford to miss the playoffs AND not get anything for him.
Add Morris, Avery, Torts, Antropov and suddenly the Rangers have won 6 of 8 against solid opponents and they're challenging for the 5 seed. Can this team re-gain its form and make a strong playoff push?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
Sure. The East is wide open, like I said. I think everyone is pretty equal. I think even a team like Carolina or the Pens can make a run if they get in. I think the East will be fun to watch come playoff time, and I think the Rangers can make a run.
Nick (Pittsburgh, PA)
Given the Penguins surge as of late, which team in the top four do you feel would most fear the Pens in the first round?
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
They all would. They went to the finals last year, and if they get in it means they are on a hot streak. And now they have Gonchar back and the PP is better. So none of the top four will want to play them if they get in.
What do you think malkin's chances are of winning the MVP. He has taken a team on his back that was out of the playoffs, and now is on the verg of having home ice advantage.
Barry Melrose (3:23 PM)
You do not hear his name mentioned that much and I think that is because of Crosby; people say he does well because Crosby is there, and I actually think he plays at his best with Crosby out. I think he will get some votes, but I think Ovechkin will be there, as will Steve Mason if Columbus gets in or Tim Thomas. It's unfortunate but Malkin does not get the respect he deserves.
Last 4 spots in the East, who do you have???
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
I would say: Carolina, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers and Montreal.
Craig (Edmonton, AB)
As a Oilers fan, I am frustrated with their play (particularly at home). Then I look at team stats and wonder how they are still in a playoff race. Am I focussing too much on the Oilers and ignoring that they are just 1 of multiple Jeckyll and Hyde teams fighting for the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
The Oilers have to win out and take advantage of their home stand, which they are not doing. They had a great end to the season last year and came up short, and it looks like it will happen again. They need to put a streak together because Nashville and Dallas and Columbus are playing well.
bruce cunberland ri [via mobile]
Whats Up With The Bruins
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
I think they are coming down to earth. I do not think anyone thought they were as good as Detroit or SJ. But they had a great season and will likely finish first overall. I just think they are coming down to earth, although they can win the East.
Christian (Staten Island)
Who is a bigger Cup threat: The Flames, Blackhawks, or Canucks?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
Good one. I would say the Flames because of the goaltending, their defense and they can score. They are also physical. But mainly because of Kiprusoff.
Do you think Zach Parise has a legitimate chance at the Hart trophy? And who's your pick for the Jack Adams?
Barry Melrose (3:30 PM)
I think Zach has had a unbelievable year. he would be a good choice. He really kept that team going with Marty out. I do not think he will get it, but I think he will great choice. For Jack Adam I would go with Claude Julien. They have had injuries in Boston and he;s kept them going. Peter DeBoer has also doen a great job.
Do you believe that long playoff run last season plus more dominance this season will lead to Red Wing burnout in playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
No. Do not forget they have added different players and brought up some young guys from the minors and their players have had time off with injuries. And they do not play 5 guys all the time. They spread their minutes out. I do not think fatigue will be a problem. I think you have a much better chance of beating them early in the playoffs instead of later.
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
We are going to have a great few weeks, with some great races. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!
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