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 (3:05 PM)
Obviosuly the two hottest teams in hockey are the Ducks and Hurricanes. Exciting time for fans of those team, who have not had much to cheer about up until this point.
Good afternoon Barry. What is wrong with The Habs? Is it AK 27? Gainey? Management, or something deeper?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
I think it is goaltending. Montreal has not had good goaltending this year for the most part, especially lately. Last season Price was great. Yes the power play has not been great, but I think the biggest issue here is netminding.
Although the hurricanes are hot now, do they really have the makings of a contender?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
Definitely. Cam Ward has been great the last 6 weeks and their offense is on fire. Staal looks great and their trades have worked. They are getting hot at the right time, and this is what happened the last time they got to the Cup. They are playing as well as anyone in the East.
If the playoffs started today who would you start? Biron or Nittymakki?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
I would start Biron. He has played well before in the playoffs and he deserves a chance. It is a shame we have this same conversation every year with the Flyers around this time. But I think Biron deserves a shot.
St. Louis, MO
What do you think the blues chances are of making the playoffs at this point in time?
Barry Melrose (3:11 PM)
Three weeks ago I would have said there weren't any, but after a great win last night against the Kings they are right there. If they get in it will be an unbelievable story. Whichever team can go 8-2 down the stretch here will likely get in.
Joe (frostburg, MD)
Had to do it to you Barry. What do you think about the Ovechkin goal celebration in general, personally I thought it was funny and enjoyed a laugh after I figured out what he was trying to do.
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
I thought it was great. Hey he just scored 50 goals, it was not a nothing goal. I love the energy and passion. He plays with heart. I do not want to see him do it for every goal, but 50 is a big deal. I have no problem with Ovechkin, I love the way he plays.
Jason: (hackettstown, nj) [via mobile]
The penguins have been hot lately but they got handled pretty well by the flyers on sunday. How do they stack up against the easts top teams?
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
I think they are as good as anyone in the East, which I see as wide open. Detroit and SJ are the best teams in the NHL but the East is crap shoot. The Flyers are very solid, as is Pittsburgh. I think we may see a 7 or 8 upsetting a top team in the East.
Josh (The Island)
Barry what are your thoughts about the possibility of the Islanders moving out to Kansas City? Any chance this can be avoided?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
Well they need a new building. That is known. They have the smallest and probably oldest building in the NHL. If they do not get a new building, they will move.
Can Roloson be the type of goalie he was in 06 when he carried the Oilers to a Cup final? He looked really good against the Wings last night in a losing effort.
Barry Melrose (3:16 PM)
Roloson has played well as of late and the Oilers have been winning. If they are to keep winning he needs to keep playing well, because the Oilers have not been getting shots off. The only reason last night's game was close was because of him. He has been great.
Eric (Rochester, NY)
Hi Barry, what do my Sabres need to do in the off season? Regardless if they make the playoffs this year, I'm not expecting them to go very far. What needs to happen to turn them into the dynamo they were 2 or 3 years ago? I know Ruff is a great coach and all, but maybe it's time for a change?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
I do not think Ruff is in any trouble. I think he will be back. I think they have too many skilled forwards and not enough grit. I think they need bigger, tougher forwards so they can tough out games. They need tough, mean guys who can play, not just fighters.
Jason: (hackettstown, nj) [via mobile]
If feel that the west has the two best team but i think the east is stronger top to bottom. What is your opinion?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
I think the East is more even. I think the No. 8 seed could beat the No. 1 seed in the East. So I may agree with that statement. The eight in the East may be better than the last 6 in the West.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
What teams lack the depth or endurance for a playoff run?
Barry Melrose (3:21 PM)
It comes down to goaltending, and special teams become huge as well as health. but I think the 16 teams that make it all have a chance to make a run to the finals.
Davey (Southfield, MI)
Vezina: Mason or Thomas?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
Mason or Thomas. There are others having great years. In would probably go with Mason because of the shutouts and the fact that he has a team that has never made the playoffs on the verge. But Thomas is also a great choice.
James (Boston, MA)
"I think we may see a 7 or 8 upsetting a top team in the East. " Is that a "hint, hint" devils, bruins and caps fans don't get too comfortable?
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
I do not think anyone should be comfortable in the East with the way Carolina is playing as well as with the Rangers playing better. If Florida gets in they could cause some trouble. And Boston is not as good as they were, Washington's goaltending is erratic. A hot goaltender can definitely result in some upsets.
Barry, recent play of the Thashers a hint of things to come, or just a streak of good luck? Anyway Kovy stays now?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
It certainly helps the case for him to stay. Maybe he sees some light there at the end of the tunnel. The pieces seem to be coming together and they will have a high pick this summer. If they were terrible all year it would have been hard to keep him but maybe now he wants to be part of something young and something good.
Any life left in the stars?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
I don't think so. I think Richards hurting his wrist the game he comes back from injury was a nail in the coffin. They need to leapfrog three teams to make the playoffs and that will be hard to do with the way they are playing.
Daniel (Anaheim, CA)
If Giguere plays like he did last night, any chance the Ducks could take out SJ or Detroit in the first round (provided they make it)?
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
Sure. No one in the West wants them to make the playoffs with that talent. This is a good hockey team which is playing great. I think everyone in the West is scared of them.
Blair - Chicago
Provided their own goaltending doesn't kill them, who can beat the Red Wings?
Barry Melrose (3:30 PM)
Anyone. If Osgood struggles that will be tough for them. I think they are the favorites to win it all but there is a lot of pressure on Osgood.
Mike (New York)
How do u feel that the last couple of MVP awards went to the player who won the points race. Do u feel that just because one wins the Art Ross does that mean he is the best "all around player"?
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
No I do not think it does. I think it is the easy pick. Now Malkin and Ovechkin have the inside track this year, but I would like to see more defensemen like Chara win the MVP. Where would Boston be without him? It is slanted towards the points leaders.
Blair - Chicago
The "a lot of pressure on Osgood" part is scary. Did you see him in the Calgary game? Out of position, almost looked at times like he was completely lost. He was terrible in that game.
Barry Melrose (3:33 PM)
Osgood cannot win, because when they lose it's on him but when they win it's because it is a great team. Osgood cannot win with fans. The key with him is not losing games for Detroit.
Jeff - Walled Lake, MI
Why is it that Pavel Datysuk gets no love for the Hart Trophy when he has the most points in 1 goal wins and losses in overtime/shootouts.
Barry Melrose (3:35 PM)
I think it is because Detroit is so good. With Zetterberg and Hossa etc. he is overlooked. Now that may be unfair, but the same happens with Malkin because he plays with Crosby.
Tim (Uxbridge, MA)
With Montreal sitting in 8th right now, lined up for a rematch with the Bruins in the 1st round, How do you see the Habs finishing the year? I would love to see that matchup again!
Barry Melrose (3:36 PM)
I think everyone would like to see that again, with all the history. But the Habs need to make the playoffs first. They won last night, but Atlanta could have won that game. Montreal needs to take this one game at a time and now worry about who they play in the postseason.
Geoff (Ottawa, ON)
Predictions on where the Sens end up when all is said and done this year? It's a shame they took so long to get it started, otherwise they'd have a good shot to win a few rounds.
Barry Melrose (3:38 PM)
I think the Sens will have a good finish. I think they will finish 9th in the East. They are a little too far behind, unless Montreal and Florida to make it. But I see them finishing 9th or 10th in the East.
First round matchup you would pay to see?
Barry Melrose (3:39 PM)
I would love to see SJ-Anaheim in the first round. You would have a big physical team which can give SJ problems. That would be my dream, first-round matchup.
Barry Melrose (3:41 PM)
It is the best time of the year for hockey fans, with 10 games left to go. Everyone keep scoreboard watching. It's a great time of the year!