Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 29, 9:02 AM ET
NHL analyst Barry Melrose

Buzzmaster
  (2:59 PM)

Barry will be here soon!

Barry Melrose
  (3:01 PM)

Unbelievable night of hockey last night. The end of the Devils-Canes game was as shocking as I have ever seen.

Dan (Chicago)

Barry, does last night's canes-devils game 7 qualify as the best ever? If not, what was the best game 7 in your mind?

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

I think last night was one of the weirdest ever. Not sure it was a great all-time game. To have a team like the Devils, who pride themselves on defense and goaltending lose a game in regulation up a goal with 1:30 is amazing. The most amazing Game 7 I ever saw was 1993 playoffs when Gretzky scored the hat trick.

Kevin (Denver)

Hi Barry, What's your pick for the "biggest surprise" of the first round?

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

Even though I picked it, the Ducks beating the Sharks. SJ looked great in the regular season.

Clay (Charlotte)

Barry, who's your tailor? Just kidding, Cam Ward has been hot and cold during the last series, how do you see him doing going further in the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (3:05 PM)

I thought Cam struggled in game 1 and then was unbelievable. Anytime you outplay Brodeur you've done a great job. So I think the Canes should feel very safe in net.

Marshall (Cary NC)

How do you assess the Canes v. Bruins series? What keys do you see?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

Obviously goaltending, with Thomas v. Ward is a great battle. Chara will play against Staal and that will be a tough one for Staal, but he will be up to it. It will be interesting to see who applies the secondary scoring. That will be critical.

Brian (NYC)

Just admit it, St. Patrick isn't letting those two goals in with 1:20 left in a Game 7

Barry Melrose
  (3:07 PM)

Haha, maybe you are right.

Ricky (Chicago)

Can you see the Blackhawks squeaking their way into the finals for the stanley cup, even with the young guys in the lineup?

Barry Melrose
  (3:08 PM)

Well they beat a very good Calgary team, so the youth thing is over. They need to find a way to score against Luongo now. If they do, they can beat Vancouver, but if they cannot, Vancouver, with that defense, will be very tough.

Dan (Washington D.C.)

Who ya got? Caps or Pens?

Barry Melrose
  (3:09 PM)

I picked the Caps to win the East from the start. They found a way to come back and win against NY, so I think they can do it. I think it will be an amazing series, and the Caps will find a way to get it done.

Mark - LA, CA

Hey Barry - San Jose and Philadelphia have been the biggest disappointments of the playoffs. What's next for these 2 teams?

Barry Melrose
  (3:10 PM)

Neither one can do much since they are against the cap. When your team underachieves, you can make a major deal, which is very hard to pull off or tinker and hope it is enough. Big deals are hard to make in today's game, though.

Paul (Detroit)

You picked the Ducks to upset the Sharks. Are you picking them to continue the trend and take out the Red Wings?

Barry Melrose
  (3:11 PM)

No, the Wings are a very different team than the Sharks. The Red Wings get better at this time of the year, while the Sharks get worse. I pick Detroit.

Paul (Detroit)

Barry, will Anaheim proclivity for taking penalties be their undoing against Detroit?

Barry Melrose
  (3:13 PM)

Well the Wings certainly has a better PP than the Sharks and the Ducks do take a lot of penalties and I agree, Detroit will take advantage of that.

Ryan, Boston

Do you believe the Bruins have any chance of winning the cup this year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:13 PM)

Sure. There are 8 teams left and they are one of them. They have played well, proven they can beat anyone and if you are one of the 8 you have a great chance.

B-Diddy

Next year Joe Thornton is playing for...

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

He will be in SJ. It is very hard to move him with the amount of money he makes. But an interesting deal would be Thorton for Lecavalier. But I don;t see it happening. Thorton will likely stay in SJ.

Rd (Providence)

Will there be an upset in round 2?

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

I think Carolina can beat Boston. I think anyone can beat anyone. These teams have all proven they are good team. So I do not see them as upsets.

Steve (Boston, MA)

How happy is the NHL today? They have the two faces of hockey in Crosby and Ovechkin facing off in round 2, in addition to Original Six teams such as Boston and Chicago that have created alot of buzz in their respective markets.

Barry Melrose
  (3:17 PM)

You are right. The only way it could be better is if the Caps and Pens are playing in the conference final. But yes, they are very happy about this and it has been a great year.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

What do you see as the missing piece in Pittsburgh? They have some good, young talent as a base. Might Fleury's inconsistency be the problem?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

Actually I think Fleury played better in the first round this year than last year. They need the same thing as anyone else, more defesemen and more physical forwards up front,m but all the teams in the NHL are looking for those things. But I think Fleury is not a strength for this team.

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

Congrats to the 8 teams that have won, and hopefully this round will be as good as the next one. See you next week.