Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose will drop by to take your questions about the NHL season.
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 Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (4:02 PM)
I hope everyone enjoyed the nine straight nights of overtime. Hope this second round will be just as good.
Robert (Winston Salem, NC)
Who has the best chance at an upset in the East, Bruins or Lightning?
Barry Melrose (4:03 PM)
I would say the Bruins. I think the Bruins and Flyers are very close. They play a lot alike and they are physical. If you are a betting man, I would pick Boston over Philly.
what type of season will i have next year?
Barry Melrose (4:05 PM)
I think you'll have a great season. You'll be 100% healthy and motivated. Maulkin will be back and with the goaltending, the Penguins have a good chance of winning every night. The Future is looking good for Pittsburgh.
Why am i not considered for rookie of the year?
Barry Melrose (4:06 PM)
I think because their are so many good rookies like Skinner and Crawford just to name a few. It's not a slight towards you, it's just there are other rookies who have had an even better year.
JRS (Western Colorado)
Who do you think was the MVP of the Bruins/Habs series?
Barry Melrose (4:07 PM)
I would say Bergeron. His line played very well.
Anything to say about my poor Blackhawks?
Barry Melrose (4:09 PM)
Very disappointing. Why they started to play in Game 4 and not in Game 1 I don't understand. If you're looking for a silverlining, Corey Crawford is it. I think the Blackhawks will come back very motivated next season.
Who is the Key for Capitals to win this series? What are the chances of Capitals in the second round? Will Semin show up with Scoring.
Barry Melrose (4:10 PM)
I think Neuvirth the goaltender. If he plays as well as he did in the first series, I think Washington will be fine.
Nick C (Boston MA)
If the Boston Bruins are 3-0-1 against Philly this year, Why are a lot of people assuming that Philly is just going to roll ova Boston???
Barry Melrose (4:11 PM)
I don't think people are saying that Philly is going to roll over Boston. I think Philly has a better defense and Boston's powerplay is terrible and because of those reasons most people are picking the Flyers.
What is the league wide perception of Montreal and their flopping. People are going crazy here is Boston about it; is it viewed as a problem? What do you think about it?
Barry Melrose (4:12 PM)
I think it's a problem in the NHL. I think there is too much of it league wide. I would like to see more refs call diving. And it's not just Montreal, every team does it.
Tyler (New Hampshire USA)
Can the Bruins redem themselves of the series last year between them and the Flyers? And how does Philly stand a chance with the goalie problems?
Barry Melrose (4:13 PM)
Don't forget that goalie problem has already won a series. Boston can certainly beat Philly but Boston has to get their powerplay going if they want any chance of beating Philly.
how many points does Backstrom and Stamkos have in the Washington-Tampa series? and who will be the mvp of the series?
Barry Melrose (4:15 PM)
I think points will be hard to come by. Washington is playing very good defense right now. I'd say if Stamkos comes up with seven points, Tampa Bay will be very happy in this series. Martin St. Louis will be MVP.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
What do the San Jose Sharks need to do in order to beat the Detroit Red Wings?
Barry Melrose (4:16 PM)
I think the key to that series for San Jose is their defense. If they can control the Red Wings forwards, they will be in good shape. Phoenix couldn't do it and we saw what happened to them.
How big of an advantage do Detroit and Washington have going ahead? Both wrapped their series up quickly and watched the rest of the playoff field fight it out in game 6 and/or game 7. I would think that Detroit especially would gain alot from the extra rest.
Barry Melrose (4:17 PM)
It helps but I think it will make a bigger difference in the third or fourth rounds. Nobody is really tired right now and that's why it think it will be a bigger deal in the next series rather than this series.
Jason Cousineau (Atlanta, Georgia)
How do you see this offseason playing out with potential sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, Atlanta Thrashers and Dallas Stars?
Barry Melrose (4:19 PM)
What we are hearing now is that the NHL is doing everything they can to keep Phoenix in Phoenix. The rumor is that Atlanta has a better chance of moving to Winnipeg than Phoenix and obviously they want to keep Dallas in Dallas.
Robert (Winston Salem, NC)
Best team so far? Best player so far?
Barry Melrose (4:20 PM)
Detroit. I'm was very very impressed with them in the first four games. They look strong and fast. They made a pretty good Phoenix team look bad so I'm impressed with the Red Wings the most so far.
Barry who was the most talented/best player you played with?
Barry Melrose (4:21 PM)
To me Borje Salming, I would have payed to watch him play.
JRS (Western Colorado)
Do you think this year's somewhat success of the NY Rangers will propel them on to bigger and better things in the next few years?
Barry Melrose (4:22 PM)
Yes. I thought the Rangers had a good playoffs. They have some good young kids and I like the style that they are playing. And I'll be surprised if they don't end up with Brad Richards come July 1.
Robert (Los Angeles)
Barry, do you think most free agents in hockey are less inclined to sign with a west coast team because of the hectic traveling during the season. There are a lot of good teams out west (SJ, LA, ANA) but none of these teams get the premier FA. What's your take on this?
Barry Melrose (4:24 PM)
I don't think so. I think LA was in the market for most free agents. I think free agents want to go where they will win. That's why teams like Pittsburgh and Detroit get free agents, they want to go to teams that will win.
With the Habs exit last night, it became obvious that their win with speed, good goaltending and hold tight defense cannot win. What changes do you forsee with them this offseason (other than possibly losing Kirk Muller to a head coaching job)?
Barry Melrose (4:25 PM)
Well don't forget they had Markov and Gorges out of their lineup. When they are in the lineup they are a much better team. I think injuries had more to do with it than anything else.
Lucas (Allentown, PA)
Can the Flyers win the Cup with offense alone or doomed due to subpar net minding?
Barry Melrose (4:26 PM)
Well net minding has to get better. They won't beat Washington or Detroit with the way they are goalteanding now. There is no doubt that they have to get better if they want to win.
Pete (Fremont, CA)
Is this the year my beloved Sharks finally capture the Stanley Cup?
Barry Melrose (4:27 PM)
I'll tell you, if they beat Detroit they can win the West. I'm not as much in love with Vancouver as I was a couple of weeks ago. But beating Detroit is going to be a tough job.
Shane (San Antonio, TX) [via mobile]
What do you think the Lightning need to do in order to get past the Capitals?
Barry Melrose (4:29 PM)
They have to play a perfect game. Their powerplay has to score and somehow their defense has to stop Ovechkin and company. It's going to be a very tough matchup for Tampa.
Barry Melrose (4:29 PM)
Talk to everybody next week. Enjoy the second round games!