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October 21, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Barry Melrose
  (3:02 PM)

Interesting event with Rypien and Vancouver. Hope the decision will come down quick so we can get back to talking about all the great games that are happening.

Lou (Providence RI)

Simple question - are the Leafs for real?

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

Are they the best team in the East? No, but they will be a playoff contender. Goaltending and defense look very solid and if they stay like that they will be around come April.

Mike (New York)

Think the Islanders could make the playoffs? How good do you think John Taverez could be? Will Rick Dipietro ever be the same?

Barry Melrose
  (3:05 PM)

I wish the Islanders can make the playoffs. They are playing great right now but I just don't see them being one the eight best teams playing in the Eastern Conference. I think Taverez will be a guy that scores 30-40 goals a year. Rick has to stay healthy for us to find that out.

joe (raleigh)

do you think jeff skinner has a shot at 30 goals this year ?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

I don't know about 30 but I think he has a shot at 20. I really like the way he plays, skates. I do think 30 might be just a bit too high.

brett (louisville) [via mobile]

Hey Barry, would you consider returning to coaching any time soon?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

No. Coaching Tampa Bay made me realize what a great job I have here at ESPN.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the 2010-2011 NHL Rookie Of the Year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:08 PM)

Good question. I will say Taylor Hall of Edmonton.

Michael (Columbus)

How do you see the Blue Jackets faring over the next 5 years? With all this young talent such as Filatov, Brassard, Voracek, Mason, and even Nash and a pipeline of prospects do you think the Jackets will be competing for the cup in 5 years time?

Barry Melrose
  (3:09 PM)

For the sake of the franchise I hope they get things turned around. Last night was the smallest crowd they ever had. But I just don't see them being as good as Colorado, St. Louis or Los Angeles in the next five years.

Bob (PA)

With the first few handfulls of games in the books, which team is your early favorite to raise the cup come June?

Barry Melrose
  (3:10 PM)

If you look at who's playing the best right now, I'm going with Chicago in the West and Toronto in the East.

ryan (michigan)

what's with the horrific attendance numbers (record-breaking, actually) coming out of Atlanta and Columbus and is Gary Bettman even paying attention to them?

Barry Melrose
  (3:12 PM)

The NHL is paying attention but it's just a case of bad teams. Both these teams have been disappointing. Columbus made the playoffs a couple of years ago but now they seem to be going backwards. Atlanta had Hossa and Kovalchuk and lost them both. The fans are taking a wait and see attitude with both these teams.

Lou (Providence RI)

Hi Barry. Are the Bruins 'showcasing' Thomas to prove he is healthy and up to form, or has he really pulled even (or pulled ahead) with Tuuka Rask?

Barry Melrose
  (3:14 PM)

Well right now I think he is ahead of Rask. He looks like the old Thomas. I think the Bruins would be crazy not to play him with the way he's been playing. If a team made a big offer for him, I think the Bruins would listen but right now I think they are happy with having two good goaltenders.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

The Blues haven't been able to finish off their last 2 road games in Dallas and Chicago leading to Overtime losses. Is that all that sperates them from being a force in the West?

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

I think it's just a sign of their youth. They have a very young team and as the young players are taking over the leadership role, I think you'll see things change.

Jordan (Albuquerque)

Wings or Flames tonight?

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

Wings. I really like the way they are playing. Their healthy and playing very fast. The Flames are struggling right now so I think it will be a good night for the Wings.

Robby (Chattanooga)

What are the chances of the Predators getting past the 1st round of the Playoffs this season?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

We've seen in the West that if you make the playoffs, you have a chance of winning and the Predators are looking good right now. I say it every year, I think the Predators are one of the best run orginatitions in the league but it's tough when you're always playing Detroit and Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.

Ryan (Albany, NY)

Did you used to own a hockey team in Glens Falls or is someone pulling my leg?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

Nope, Steve Levy and myself used to own a AHL team up there.

Jason (LA)

Barry, the Kings are said to be one piece short of making a serious run. Who could this missing player be?

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

I like the Kings. They are a big team that can skate and who have good goaltending. As the season goes on I think they will address their needs but right now I think they look good.

Joe (Greenwich)

Barry, Why do you hate the Rangers so much !!

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

I love the Rangers ...they are my favorite team.

Derek (New Jersey)

Hey Barry, at the end of the season, who do you think will be the starting goalie for the Kings: Quick or Brenier?

Barry Melrose
  (3:22 PM)

I think Quick. He's coming off a great year and is off to a great start this year. I think he is their No. 1 goaltender this season.

Dave (Boston, MA)

Hey Barry...big Flyers fan up here in Boston...year after year it seems like the Flyers have a very up and down regular season. What do you think is behind the inconsistency?

Barry Melrose
  (3:23 PM)

A lot of it is goaltending. They have had a crazy time with goalies. They've had injuries over the years but they Flyers looked pretty good last season and they look pretty good this season.

B-Diddy (Munstoeville, WYO)

Hi Barry-Who do you have in Avs vs. Sharks tonight? I say the kids come out fired up and win the game... Avs 4-2. And is there a more underrated player in the league than Paul Statsny? He's consistently the best player on the ice for a good young team.

Barry Melrose
  (3:25 PM)

I would take the Sharks because they are coming off a loss to Carolina and they need a win. This is the first game at home for the Aves after a long road trip and that usually spells trouble for the home team. Paul is an underrated player. He goes about his business quietly but he's a guy you can play in every situation and at the end of the year he'll be leading the Avs in points.

marc (chester,va)

Given the Devils problems going back to the end of February beginning of March, do you see a leadership lapse in the dressing room and if so is it possible Lou will address that soon rather than later?

Barry Melrose
  (3:27 PM)

They have a lot of issues in NJ. The style of play, are they a defensive or offensive team, and salary cape issues. A lot of their best players are having a very poor start to this season. I agree the Devils have a lot they need to work out before they become as good as they look on paper.

Brian (PA)

Barry, what are you top five rinks you've played in?

Barry Melrose
  (3:29 PM)

1. Old Chicago 2. Old Toronto 3. Old Montreal 4. Old Boston Gardens 5. Detroit Olympia ...as you can see I love the old buildings.

Kevin (South Carolina)

The Bruins had a sad ending last year, does it look more promising this year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:30 PM)

Defiantly. They looked great at the start. They beat Washington the other night and looking solid. The only negative this is Marc Savard but I think the Bruins look very good.

Ross (Vegas)

Any word on the Doughty injury? What effect does this have on the Kings if he is out an extended period?

Barry Melrose
  (3:31 PM)

It's a big loss but hopefully it won't be for very long. He is one of the great young defenseman in our game.

Barry Melrose
  (3:32 PM)

Hopefully everyone enjoys a great night of hockey. Talk to you next week.