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May 27, 12:36 PM ET
NHL analyst Barry Melrose

  (3:01 PM)

Barry will be here shortly, everyone!

  (3:13 PM)

Sorry guys, we're experiencing some technical difficulties, but we're going to try to get the chat in.

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

We have one half of the equation down, and we'll see what happens tonight!


Sid and Geno have really picked up their games, can they keep it up through the finals?

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

They've done it for three series now, so they'll certainly be very effective. I'll be interested to see if they can do the same things against Detroit, but they've put on a show so far.

Paul [via mobile]

Are the Red Wings still the team to beat with the pens playing so well?

Barry Melrose
  (3:17 PM)

I still think you have to give them the edge. They won it last year and have added Marian Hossa, and are beating a good Chicago team 3-1. If you're the underdogs, you have to prove you're better than the team that beat you, so I still favor the Wings.

Doug (Edmonton)

Thoughts on the Pat Quinn and Tom Renney hirings?

Barry Melrose
  (3:18 PM)

Very safe hirings. Two very well-respected hockey people. I think it tells you that they think those teams can win now. There certainly won't be any questions about those coaches going into the season.

Jack from Los Angeles

So, a back to back potentially on Saturday and Sunday. What thinks you of the old school scheduling?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

I hate days off in a series. I don't think that's good for our league. I like the fact that they're playing quick. I think it'll be great.

Tom (River North)

Barry, Pittsburgh was pretty impressive last night, but I can't help but think that Detroit is going to give them a ton of problems. Detroit isn't a dump and chase team, and they have the defense to give Crosby and Malkin all sorts of problems. Your thoughts?

Barry Melrose
  (3:20 PM)

I agree. The only problem is Detroit have finally shown signs of age and being tired with all the injuries they've had. Lidstrom has never missed a playoff game before, so there are some questions as to the health of Detroit. They're a different team than Pittsburgh has faced so far.

Adam Canton Mi [via mobile]

Do you think the hit on Havlat by Kronwall was legal?

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

Yes, I think it was a great hit--clean and hard. There was no charge, high stick, or elbow, and the puck was there. Shouldn't have been a penalty.

Doug (Belfast)

Barry - Should Penguin fans be cheering for Detroit to finish off Chicago tonight, so they don't have the long lay-off?

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

I think Pittsburgh should be cheering for a seven game series. Detroit has had injury problems and if they were forced to play a physical team like Chicago three more times, it would be tough on the winner.

Nick, Ann Arbor, MI

Aside from last years finals, do you think the Pens have played better in this years playoffs than the first 3 rounds of last year. Didn't they have a 12-3 record coming into the finals last year? Clearly Malkin and Crosby have more points, but do you think its a better team as a whole?

Barry Melrose
  (3:23 PM)

They've beaten better teams this year--Washington, Carolina--third place and first place teams. That's why I think Pittsburgh has played better.

Dave (Tampa)

Hey Barry - if you had to guess - where will the Coyotes be playing home games next year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:23 PM)

I would say in Phoenix. The NHL will do everything in their power to keep the team there, even operating it themselves.

Jon (Haslett, MI)

Should Pittsburgh continue to use 7 defensemen, or would that be unwise against a team like Detroit

Barry Melrose
  (3:24 PM)

I think you do what's working for you, and that is working for them so far. With seven D, it allows them to double-shift Malkin and Crosby.

Jason (Bmore)

IF...and a big one at that, the Pens take the cup and Fleury obviously plays well, would it be time to consider him an "elite" goaltender?

Barry Melrose
  (3:25 PM)

Yeah, because here's a guy who has gone to the Finals two years in a row and has won the cup. I think he won the game for them last night. We probably have two goaltenders who are not getting any respect right now who may both be playing for the Cup.

Andrew, Holland, MI

Will the Red Wings win tonight? Also, predictions for Conn Smythe at the end of the playoffs? GO WINGS

Barry Melrose
  (3:26 PM)

I think Detroit will win tonight's game. Chicago is very dejected right now. Right now, when looking at the Conn Smythe, you have to look at Malkin, Crosby, Fleury, Franzen--Franzen would be my choice for the Conn Smythe for them.

Joey D. (Denver,CO)

The sharks were a big let down this season and in my opinion, last season. Do you think that they will be a very dominating team in the near future? Even though they lost in the first round this post-season, so have many great teams, IT'S HOCKEY!

Barry Melrose
  (3:27 PM)

I think they'll be a great regular season team, probably first place in the west, they're just a hard team to believe in come playoff time.

Beau. Pittsburgh [via mobile]

The Penguins have been modest about answering questions that they dont want revenge on the Wings. Do you see a revenge factor fueling the series?

Barry Melrose
  (3:29 PM)

No, I see a respect factor. Pittsburgh respects Detroit and Detroit respects Pittsburgh. You say little when you lose and less when you win. I think Pittsburgh is following that very carefully.

Tom (River North)

Is Brian Campbell worth $7 million a year? I think he's been the worst defenseman in the series with his mistakes leading directly to Wings goals.

Barry Melrose
  (3:29 PM)

Brian Campbell is exactly what he is. He played the same way in Buffalo. He's an offensive defenseman. The problem is, what will they pay their other free agents now?

Barry Melrose
  (3:30 PM)

Hopefully it's a great game tonight. Talk to you next week!