Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (1:04 PM)
How can the league justify Ovechkin's suspension based on the fact that under the CBA he cannot be classified as a repeat offender. And not suspending the Penguins player for a hit that looked even worse in the same game shows the League's bias. Also, the league's hypocracy in saying that he would be allowed to participate in the All-Star game knows no bounds. They don't mind him losing over one hundred thousand dollars but they are ok with him making money for the league by attending the All-Star game?
Barry Melrose (1:06 PM)
Apples and oranges. Not related. The NHL made a ruling that he deserved a suspension. He has been suspended in the past for hits so they felt he deserved a suspension. Believe me, they didn't like suspending him. Why would they? The All Star Game and the regular season don't really have anything to do with each other. It's for the fans and the partners of the NHL. There will be repercussions with Alex not going.
The Bruins and Rangers are exactly tied atop the Eastern standings, but who would you give the edge to in a playoff series?
Barry Melrose (1:07 PM)
Right now the team playing the best is the Red Wings. Detroit is unbeatable at home. Howard so great in next. But in the East, I still think Boston is deeper and an all around better team. They have a few more weapons. But it would be a great great series.
Nancy Lyons (Phoenix)
What are your thoughts on Tim Thomas not going to the White House to be honored with his TEAM, the Boston Bruins, the Stanley Cup Champions of 2011?
Barry Melrose (1:09 PM)
Timmy Thomas has the right now to go. People have died to give him that right, but I think it was a mistake. It's like not agreeing with a war and not wanting to meet with a general. I just don't think it's the right time for a statement like that. It also puts your teammates in a tough situation having to answer questions about it. I think Timmy should have gone.
Will the Stars make a move at the deadline to help improve the team?
Barry Melrose (1:10 PM)
I think they are certainly going to be one of the teams that will try. I don't see a huge deal in the future though. The Stars will be active and will be close to the playoff line at that time so I'm sure they will try.
Last night's game in Los Angeles was one of the worst officiated games I have seen in a while, to the point where the calls they were making made it hard to watch. What is your view on the current status of officiating right now?
Barry Melrose (1:11 PM)
We have the best officials in all of sports. The game is played at 30 MPH and is full of contact. The puck goes 100 MPH. Our refs almost always make the right call. And we have the best video replay system. Are there bad nights? Sure. But overall I would put our officials up against anyone and we would win. By far the hardest sport to officiate.
Joe (St. Louis)
Barry, Do you think the Blues issues winning on the road will continue?
Barry Melrose (1:12 PM)
I don't see that continuing. They played great last night they just ran into a hot team. This is a very good team with a lot of weapons. Great in net, excellent defense, and lots of guys that can put the puck in the net. They should be fine.
Rick (San Diego, Ca)
Hi BarryWhat do yo think of Alex O's suspension and then the subsequent pout and pulling out of the all star game? I have heard you before say that if you are selected you need to attend.Thank You--Rick--
Barry Melrose (1:13 PM)
Yes. I disagree totally. None of the players really want to go to the game, they would rather rest. Listrom and Selanne asked not to go because of their age and how many times they have gone before and they got a pass. But Alex should be there.
What is the formula behind the Panthers success?
Barry Melrose (1:14 PM)
Good goaltending and special teams. They are just scoring more goals this year. They have always had good defense. They can score this year and that is a good combination with the things I mentioned.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will the NHL finally suffer a Shark attack this season or another Shark disappointment come playoff time?
Barry Melrose (1:15 PM)
I'm afraid I can't believe in them. They have let me down to many times. Solid team, great talent, with a Top 5 as good as anyone, but I just can't believe in them anymore.
How can the Sharks score only one goal last night after completely dominating the Oilers in shots?
Barry Melrose (1:16 PM)
Sometimes you just have to say it was the other teams night and the goalie played out of his head. It happens. But San Jose has a ton of offensive weapons. They can get a ton of shots off. If the goaltender is having a great night, he can stop them. Simple as that.
Mike (new york)
Barry, some people say its hard for a team to trade their captain when they are in a playoff picture even though he is a free agent. Do you see Lou and the devils trading Parise?
Barry Melrose (1:16 PM)
Yes. If they have no chance of signing him. If he isn't going to sign, they have to trade him. Lou will do everything he can, but if it's not looking good they will have to get as much for him as they can.
I'm personally pumped about Scott Hartnell being added to the All Star game! He deserved it. Do you think that James Neal will get the nod no that Ovechkin is out? I thought he and Hartnell were the two biggest snubs.
Barry Melrose (1:17 PM)
I agree. I'm glad Hartnell is in. He's having a great year. Neal deserves it as well.
Jonny (Seattle Thunderbirds Back Office)
If you had to build your team around 1 player in the game right now, who is it? Different than if I asked you this question at the beginning of the season?
Barry Melrose (1:19 PM)
I would say Toews now. Crosby is too risky. Ovie is on the list. But Toews is the best all-around player right now. I would have chosen Crosby at the start of the season.
Do you think Ovechkin will be suspended an extra game due to missing the allstar game?.only fair since lidstrom and datsyk were.
Barry Melrose (1:19 PM)
Yeah, same thing happened to Lidstrom so I think something will come of it. I'm watching for something to come down from the NHL for sure.
Is Columbus really this bad or is the Central division just that good? If you look at the standings the other 4 teams are just dominating not just us, but everyone. Pretty hard to compete with the 4 top teams are all in your division.
Barry Melrose (1:21 PM)
Probably a little bit of both. Columbus isn't as bad as they look, they just got into a hole early. It's tough when playing the majority of your games against four of the best teams in the league. I don't think they are THIS bad.
Why did it take the Ducks 3+ months to play like this?
Barry Melrose (1:22 PM)
Randy Carlisle would like to know that as well. Very interesting story. They shut Carlisle out and it took Bruce a long time to get them to play with any energy. They are a very good team, but I think it might be too little too late. They are 9 points out and that is tough to come back from. No reason for it really.
Adam (Lake George, NY)
How is it that a team can not win a playoff series in 4 seasons (soon to be 5) and retain the same Coach and GM? Us Sabres fans are hurting pretty bad right now.
Barry Melrose (1:23 PM)
I agree they are the highest paid team and the worst team at the same time. They play a tough game on the road where they have been atrocious. Something needs to happen. The people will demand it. I see that happening here very soon. Something will come to fruition. This team is a mess.
John Blades (Rockville, MD)
Why has all the talk been about Ovechkin's hit on Michalek but nothing about Michalek's hit on Matt Hendricks? Isn't that the type of hit the league is trying to get out of the game?
Barry Melrose (1:25 PM)
Actually there were some comments by the NHL on that hit. On why there was no suspension. You are looking at full speed and the league slows it down frame by frame ... there is no way the league WANTS to suspend its stars. That's crazy. But they are looking at it much more differently than the average fan. Shanahan has a tough tough job.
Austen (Chicago, IL)
Big win for the Wings last night! So is it safe to assume the Joe is a daunting place for opponents to play again?
Barry Melrose (1:26 PM)
It is right now. When that team sets a record of any time you are a special team. They've been great for so long to do something that hasn't been done before is impressive. St. Louis looked great in the first and then lost 3-1. It can happen just like that. The Joe is the center of Hockeytown again.
Tom (Kingston Ontario)
Barry your favourite Wendal Clark memory (hit, fight, goal) ?
Barry Melrose (1:27 PM)
For me, when we shook hands after Game 7. He was with Toronto and I was coaching L.A. It was a great, hard-fought series. Shaking his hand was special. He probably didn't enjoy it was much as I did!
1993, Did you that Marty Mcsorley's curve was illegal?
Barry Melrose (1:28 PM)
Yes. The refs measured it. It was illegal. No doubt about it.
What do you think of Ryan Callahan's progression into a leader? Do you think he has a chance of being a finalist for the Selke?
Barry Melrose (1:29 PM)
He has been great. Great choice as captain. It changed how captains were picked. Datsuk, Kessler, Bergeron ... those guys score so many points so it's tough to get in there and beat them out. But Callahan is a great two-way player.
Your favorite opposing building to coach in?
Barry Melrose (1:30 PM)
Chicago Stadium. The old building with 20,000 people making so much noise and just how emotional they all were. I loved it. Thanks for the questions! I hope everyone enjoys the last few games before the All-Star break. We'll talk again next week!