NHL analyst 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 (3:01 PM)
People in Detroit, hopefully you're all doing OK. I'm sure you're shocked right now, but the Ducks are a great hockey team.
Jason (Chicago, IL)
Hey Barry, do the Pens finally win a game tonight? And does Malkin come out and go for a hat trick tonight to match Crosby and Ovechkin from the other night?
Barry Melrose (3:02 PM)
Malkin has not been very good so far in this series. He has been overshadowed by the other two superstars. If he does not start scoring, Washington will end this series quickly. I think Pittsburgh wins one at home, but not both.
Austin (Anaheim, CA)
How close is Getzlaf to joining the ranks of Crosby and OV?
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
I think he's awesome. But he's never going to put up those types of numbers. Right now, he's probably the best power forward in our game. When I say that, I mean he's probably the most complete player in the NHL.
Mike: Granger IN
Barry I know you said that Detroit fans should realize that the ducks are a good team... But do you think the Red Wings will react to the early whistle which resulted in no goal?
Barry Melrose (3:04 PM)
They've forgotten about it, except to use it as motivation. Veteran playoff teams will only look ahead, not behind them, which is why both of these teams are very good in the playoffs.
Brian (Huntington Beach, CA)
Will Holmstrom be suspended for his elbow to an injured Wisniewski? How do players feel about guys taking cheap shots at an obvisously injured player?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
That's not acceptable. Nobody will accept that. I'm not sure Homlstrom knew he was that injured--he plays hard but it snot a cheapshot artist. I would say that he probably will not be suspended.
Do the Red Wings have any chance to come back? The games were both amazingly close. Or, is the fat lady warming up already?
Barry Melrose (3:06 PM)
Of course they can come back..they have to win one in Anaheim, then they'll go back to Detroit. Anyone who thought this wasn't going to be series didn't watch the previous one vs. San Jose.
Andrew (Washington, DC)
Hey Barry, do you think it was a fair penalty to Kunitz for the hit on Varlamov? Or do you think there should have been a suspension?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
He crosschecked Varlamov in the head, and the refs didn't see it. I don't think there will be a suspension as Varlamov wasn't hurt, but it should have been, if not a five-minute major, at least a two-minute minor. Kunitz got away pretty lucky.
Barry, how do you compare Hiller's performance thus far to Giguere's in 03 & 07?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
If I voted for a Conn Smythe winner, I'd give it to Hiller. He beat the Sharks and is beating the Red Wings 2-1, even though they've been outshot in every game. He's been fantastic.
john south jersey [via mobile]
Is it me or does cam ward resemble the same goalie who went on a tear in 2006 and won a cup. Do you see him holding true against a tough bruins team?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
Yeah...don't forget, he was this good the last 15-20 games of the regular season as well. I think he'll continue to play great.
Being from Pittsburgh and living in the DC Metro area has been tough for the past week. Please help settle an argument. Crosby is the better overall player, both offensively and defensively speaking, but Malkin is the better scorer.
Barry Melrose (3:11 PM)
I think Malkin's problem is that he takes nights off, while Sidney doesn't. Malkin has been invisible in this series so far. When Malkin plays as hard as Sidney, he's as good an offensive player. Malkin is maybe more talented in general offensively, but it doesn't matter if you don't work as hard and take rounds off, like he did last year and seems to be doing this year.
Tom (River North)
Is Mike Green glad that they vote on the Norris Trophy before the playoffs? He's been terrible so far...
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
I agree. Mike has not been very good. If I was Bruce, I would not play him against Crosby, who has been eating him up. He's probably played the nine poorest games I've seen him play in three months.
Chris ( Rosharon, TX)
I may still be upset about the poor call in favor of the Ducks, but this playoffs has seemed to have less consistent officiating than in past years. Do you think that has been the case?
Barry Melrose (3:13 PM)
I'll tell you, I talked to other athletes at ESPN--baseball, basketball, football--and they agree that hockey officials are unbelievable. They don't blow many calls. That's why when there is a missed call, it is exaggerated. If you watch the NBA playoffs, every game sees arguments about the referees. I'm very happy about the officiating in our game.
Too many hats on the ice. Ovie's stick is curved too much. What else can we Pittsburgh players/fans complain about?
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
There were too many hats on the ice! That was pretty unbelievable. But you have to find a way to stop Ovechkin. He's getting the shots he wants...they have to make him work harder for it. The Rangers did a great job of denying him the puck. Pittsburgh has not done nearly as well.
How much does playoff experience help make a players overall career better. Phil Kessel seemed to really get it in the playoffs last year and lead him to a great year this year.
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
The guys who do well in the playoffs ratchet up their intensity from the regular season. The ones that adapt and learn become better players. The ones that don't struggle come playoff time. That's why a guy like Getzlaf is playing so well now compared to previously.
I'm expecting Boston and Carolina to both bring their A game tonight. Who comes out on top?
Barry Melrose (3:16 PM)
I picked Carolina to win this series and I still think they will. I expect Boston to win one game in Carolina, but both teams are playing very well. I expect it to be a great game tonight.
What does Pavel have to do to make an impact in the series with the Ducks??
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
Pavel plays well all the time, but he has to start scoring. Here's a guy who plays a lot of minutes, and he has to set up guys or put the puck in the net.
Barry am I the only one who thinks that the Pens complete absence of a forecheck is a major reason for the 0-2 hole? I mean yes Malkin hasn't lit the lamp, but the Pens have been so good at forechecking hard and forcing turnovers in the opponents defensive end. Bylsma's whole team concept of this style of play has seemed absent to me so far in this series. Thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
I think the Penguins are scared of Washington's transition game. A lot of the goals they've been scoring have been off the rush. The Penguins are being caught in between...they need to forecheck or plug up the neutral zone. But since they're playing in between, they look like they're caught in between all the time.
What is the biggest difference Mats Sundin has brought to the Canucks besides experience?
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
Mats is a big body who works well with their type of game. He's not the Mats Sundin of five years ago, but he's a good all-around player right now.
john south jersey [via mobile]
Wings seem to be having trouble solving jonas hiller. Do you think detriot will be able to figure out a way to best him?
Barry Melrose (3:21 PM)
I do. Hiller has played great the last eight game, but Detroit gets lots of chances, and if they keep getting that many, the scorers will find a way to get to him.
Who is better between the Calder finalists of last yeat Patrick Kane or Nicklas Backstrom?
Barry Melrose (3:21 PM)
I'd say Backstrom. Kane has been OK, but Backstrom has been very good on both sides of the puck.
Barry, did you see the poll that players feel Pronger is the dirtiest player in hockey? who are you top 5 dirty players in the league?
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
I would say Pronger, Burroughs from Vancouver, Burrish from Chicago, Scotty Hartnell from Philly, and Kevin Bieksa from Vancouver.
Kevin (Arlingotn, VA)
Would you agree the Caps 3rd line (Stecks, Bradley, Laich) has been a key for their playoff success so far?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
Without a doubt. That line has been huge in their beating the Rangers. This time of year, all your lines have to play well, but Washington has gotten a lot out of their third and fourth lines.
What do you think of the way the Nucks played last night? They shut down the youth and speed of Chicago. Can the Hawks play at the Nucks pace and still win?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
The Hawks have to score first. They are always playing from behind. You can't give a great defensive team like Vancouver the lead. The Hawks know they can score on Luongo, but they have to play with the lead and change Vancouver's style.
Hey Barry, who do you see coming out of the east to play in the stanley cup?
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
I've liked Washington from Day One. I see no reason to change my tune.
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
I still think Detroit finds a way to beat the Ducks and win the West. They're still the best and deepest team.
Why is Osgood struggling to raise his game?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
He only gave up two goals last game. The mighty Red Wings only scored one goal. I think Osgood's been fine. If you only score one goal, you won't beat many teams in the playoffs.
Is Crosby likeable
I heard last year that in an anonymous NHL survey, Crosby was voted the most likely to complain to an official. Is he not well liked behind closed doors? Complaining about hats seemed really childish.
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
The whole Pittsburgh team is frustrated. Crosby gets a lot of attention, and that's probably part of it. He was just upset that he only got one hat! We'll see how many he gets if he scores in Pittsburgh.
Barry Melrose (3:30 PM)
It's been a great playoffs, and hopefully we'll have another two and a half rounds of hockey like it. Talk to you next week!