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!
Buzzmaster (4:02 PM)
Barry is here!
Any thoughts on yesterday's CHI/LA game? It looked like the Hawks didn't even care the third period....
Barry Melrose (4:02 PM)
The Hawks for 35 minutes were the best team on the ice by a mile. It should have been 4-0, 5-0, but Quick kept it close. But the moment Williams scored, LA took control and Chicago couldn't get the energy back.
Matt (Ithaca, NY)
Yesterday before the LA-CHI game it seemed the media was ready to crown the hawks, already talking dynasty. What is the feeling now the kings have tied it and are heading home? Also, How about Pearson and Toffoli, LA's future seems bright!
Barry Melrose (4:04 PM)
I don't think anyone thought this was going to be a sweep. With what LA has done in the first two rounds, you can't write them off. LA wanted to come to Chicago and win one and they did. Now Chicago has to do the same in LA.
Bob, Pittsburgh [via mobile]
Why was Ray Shero fired? He went out and got the players needed for tie Pens to win the Cup for the past 5 years. Dan Bylrma and the players all underachieved
Barry Melrose (4:04 PM)
That sort of caught most people by surprise. Everyone thought he did a good job. He's been there a long time. Ownership must have thought that the team was going in the wrong direction. They decided to bring in another front office.
Barry, Do you think the Blackhawks stopped skating last night? Or did the Kings find an extra gear? Cant remember a beating like that against the Hawks in a long long time. Thank You
Barry Melrose (4:05 PM)
We've seen it all playoffs long. We've joked about it that a 2 goal lead is the worst thing. When LA gets a lead, they're a tough team to play against.
Do you think the Bruins need to add a stud Sniper? (ie..Kane) to the roster, they struggled to finish during the playoof!
Barry Melrose (4:06 PM)
What happened is Krejci didn't score. Bergeron only had one goal. Usually those guys are great playoff scorers. The guys that get the job done didn't this year.
If you were Coach Q, what would you say to the players to get game 2 out of their head and ready for game 3?
Barry Melrose (4:07 PM)
I think it's done. These guys have won two Cups. There isn't much they haven't faced the last few years. They have to go on the road and win a game. They won't panic. I think they'll play great in Game 3.
Mike (San Clemente )
Hey Barry Started following the Kings when you were the coach. I really enjoy watching the compete level the Kings bring in the playoffs. Do you think they can keep this team together with the salary cap and should they use there salary exception on any of the big contracts that might effect them down the road?Go Kings!!
Barry Melrose (4:09 PM)
Every team has tough decisions to make once you get near the cap. LA has a lot of guys signed long term. What do they do about Gaborik? But that's a part of the game. The good news is the cap will go up. It's tough being on top because your players are valued more when you win. Chicago did a good job this time keeping their players. The LA and Chicago GMs know all about the cap.
BobbyO (NYC )
Do you think Canadiens should have went with Budaj instead of Kotarsky....Budaj gave up a few goals in game 1 but also faced alot of power plays and his defense did not help him out much
Barry Melrose (4:10 PM)
I thought maybe give the veteran backup a chance to see if he responded. But Boudreau did the same thing and bypassed Hiller. Kotarsky played well. Don't forget the Canadiens only scored one goal. Even if he had given up 2, they would have still lost.
What was the deal with the "too many men on the ice" call that negated a Blackhawks breakaway?
Barry Melrose (4:11 PM)
Very tough call. It was borderline. Technically, it was a penalty, but usually the refs will let that go. The guy was climbing on to the bench and usually they let it go. Technically a penalty, but a really, really tough call.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Barry - If the Rangers go up by 3 do you see New York defeating the Canadiens in 4 or 5 games ? And if the Rangers do make it to the Finals who do they match up best with - the Blackhawks or the Kings
Barry Melrose (4:12 PM)
The numbers bear out that if you win 3 games, teams don't come back. The Kings just did it, but it's only happened four times in our sport. Three games up is almost over, especially with Lundqvist in net. This is a huge game.
Kevin (Los Angeles)
There seems to be the assumption in the media that CHI would take it all. Do you think the fact that LA plays late at night has a bearing on that and most writers aren't very familiar with the team? LA went through two tougher teams than Chicago did and came out relatively unscathed. I'm surprised by the lack of recognition they get.
Barry Melrose (4:13 PM)
I don't know if Chicago was a huge favorite. They are very well respected. They just won two big series. They just won the Cup a couple of years ago. I thought Chicago would win, but that it will be a 6-7 game series and I still think that. Quick is tough in net and he's bailed them out.
Cool is the rule (CT)
Barry, do you think the Bruins got carried away with physical play against the Canadiens? The result was a lot of taunting by the Bruins which seemed to raise the level of the Habs play. Could the emphasis on being the tough guys be the reason that guys like Krejci had a hard time finding their scoring touch?
Barry Melrose (4:14 PM)
Montreal's power play was very good. It seems every time Boston took a penalty, Montreal called. So, it could be said that Boston wasn't physical enough. And Boston's PP wasn't very good either. It was a double edged sword.
Cary (Boulder, CO)
Whats wrong with Sharp? He's looked "off" for awhile now in the playoffs...Looked particularly bad last night. Is he hurt?
Barry Melrose (4:15 PM)
He's not getting points, neither is Hossa. Those are two important guys. Now, you definitely need those guys to put the puck in the net. Chicago had some PP chances. Those two guys need to start scoring if they're going to move on.
If the Rangers advance, how much of a shot at the Cup do they have?
Barry Melrose (4:16 PM)
If you're there, you can win it. They have one of the best goaltenders in the game. The special teams are good. St. Louis is starting to score. Nash too. If you get to the finals, you can win it, especially with that goalie.
What is your take on Crawford and all the media attention...elite goalie or up and coming goalie?
Barry Melrose (4:17 PM)
I think he's an elite goaltender. He beats everyone he faces -- Quick, Rask, Miller. When you do that and you're holding a Cup, you're an elite goaltender.
Hey Barry, your opinion on which league is the hardest to repeat as champions...personally I think its the NHL as I can't remember the last time someone went back-to-back
Barry Melrose (4:18 PM)
Yes. Just look at the numbers. We haven't had a repeat since '97. There are injuries. You need hot goaltending. So many things can happen. A lot of times, guys aren't ready to start the season due to injuries from the last season. By far, the NHL is the hardest to repeat.
Chris (Los Angeles, CA)
Would you say the addition of Gaborik or the emergence of Toffoli and Pearson has had the biggest effect on LA?
Barry Melrose (4:19 PM)
You have to say Gaborik. He's leading the NHL in goals in the postseason. They knew about Toffoli and Pearson has jumped up. But to get 9 goals so far, you have to think Gaborik has been the best addition.
Two best teams in the playoffs...no particular order...
Barry Melrose (4:19 PM)
Chicago and New York. LA played a real good third period, but they didn't play a good first game. And probably New York is playing better than Chicago right now.
shane (huntington beach)
what pieces do you think the ducks need to add this offseason to be legit cup contenders next year?
Barry Melrose (4:20 PM)
They have to get their goaltending situation straightened out. You're going to lose Selanne. They have some great young kids. Their stars are in their prime. They'll be knocking on the door the next few years.
Bryan (Short Hills, NJ)
Barry, If the Rangers make it to the finals do you think they can beat LA or Chicago?
Barry Melrose (4:21 PM)
I would probably say they'd matchup against LA better. The speed of Chicago could cause problems for New York. LA plays more like New York. A lot of board play. Offensive zone play. They'd have a better time with LA.
No one's really talking about Marc Staal and what he has done this season. His last few seasons were plagued by majore injuries with the concussion and that horrific eye injury. He's excelling for the Rangers this post-season and his work on the second pair with Stralman gives the Rangers 3 top notch pairings. But will the Rangers be able to keep hime, or will he go to Carolina to play with his borhters?
Barry Melrose (4:22 PM)
I think all six defensemen of New York have been great. Staal is coming back from the concussion and playing like he did a few years ago. They have one of the best defense in the NHL. That's one of their strengths.
where do you think Ryan Miller ends up?
Barry Melrose (4:24 PM)
That will be interesting. Does he end up in Minnesota? You have to look at what teams need goaltending. He'll want a lot of money. A lot of teams are solid in net. Florida has Luongo. Chicago is set in net. Tampa has Bishop. New York is set, obviously, as are the Ducks, San Jose, LA. Maybe Vancouver? Calgary? The thing is Miller wants to go to a team that has a chance at the Cup. He doesn't want to be on a struggling team the last few years of his career.
Matt (New York)
The NHL would have to be happy with that ratings of a NY/CHI or NY/LA, huh?
Barry Melrose (4:25 PM)
Montreal is a great draw too. It would be like having the Yankees in there. You can't be unhappy with any of the four. I think the NHL is very happy with the way its playing out.
How do you see the LA/Chicago series playing out games 3-? Did Montreal leave it all in Boston?
Barry Melrose (4:26 PM)
I think Chicago will go to LA and win one game and then we'll have a best of three. Chicago has home ice and I think they win in 6-7 games.
Who do you think will be the next coach in Florida
Barry Melrose (4:27 PM)
I think it's a good place for a coach to go, because they can get good real quick. They have a lot of young talent. They could be like Colorado. They've drafted high for a number of years. They just need someone to come in and change the culture.
Suburban Rhythm (Pittsburgh)
Will Marty Brodeur finish his career outside of NJ?
Barry Melrose (4:28 PM)
Yes, if he wants to play longer, yeah. They don't want to go through that again with Schneider like this year. I think they want Schneider to be the goalie.
Barry Melrose (4:28 PM)
A lot of nervous New York fans around today. Good luck to them tonight!