Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 17, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Barry Melrose
  (3:01 PM)

What a great time of year with the NCAA tourney and the NHL playoff race in full swing. It's great to be a sports fan!

Billy (Long Island)

Barry, Islanders in the playoffs next season? I think so. What about you?

Barry Melrose
  (3:02 PM)

Sorry buddy but I don't think so. They have some great young players and they have a great coach but it's too late to make up that much ground.

matt (san diego)

thoughts on ducks... find enough wins to stay top 8? if so what spot you think they'll take?

Barry Melrose
  (3:02 PM)

I like the Ducks and I've said that since Christmas. I think they will finish in the 8th spot.

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

Bad loss for Carolina last night? Playing themselves out of the playoff picture or still able to turn it around?

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

I think they are out. I think Buffalo and New York will get the last to spots. They lost their last five of six games and you can't do that with this thigh playoff races.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Chara should have been suspended for a vicious hit on Pacioretty who was almost Paralyzed?

Barry Melrose
  (3:04 PM)

No. I said from day one that I don't think it was a dirty hit. He didn't hit him like that on purpose and I totally agree with the NHL's ruling.

Ted (Wilmington)

Hi Barry,The East looks to be an exciting finish over the next couple of weeks for the final two playoffs spots. Of the Canes, Devils, Sabres, & Rangers, what's your best guess as to who will get in?

Barry Melrose
  (3:05 PM)

I think the Sabres and the Rangers will finish in the 7th and 8th spot.

Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)

How many points is it going to take to win the 8th seed in the West? Do you think that some good teams in the West will not make the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

They are talking 90 points, maybe 91 or 92 but it could be as high as 95.

Jamal Parker (Pittsburgh,PA)

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins going to definitely make a run to the Stanley Cup even with crosby still out with symptoms and malkin out for they year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:07 PM)

Yes, they are a dangerous team. I like the way they are playing right now. I don't think they will catch Philadelphia but I don't think Pittsburgh is a team you would want to play.

Erik Lövgren (Sweden)

Hi Barry, I think that Detroit could win it all this year but the one thing that worries me is their goalie situation. What's your thoughts on that?

Barry Melrose
  (3:08 PM)

I'm not worried about Howard. His numbers is as good as any other goalie in the league. I think they have a good chance to come out the West along with Vancouver.

Mario (Milwaukee, Wi)

Barry do you think the Kings can beat anyone in the west?

Barry Melrose
  (3:09 PM)

I think whoever makes the playoffs in the West is capable of going on a long playoff run.

Cody (Mankato)

Hi Barry, I was wondering what you think the MN Wild need to do in the next year or two to get out of playoff bubble to a serious cup contender? Rely on drafts, trades, FA, or All the above? I know all of us in MN really want that cup.

Barry Melrose
  (3:10 PM)

Well they are close; they will be fighting until the bitter end. I think they need to add another solid good defenseman and a top six forward.

Sean (Boston)

Do you agree that if the skate was on the other foot Canadiens fans would be celebrating the Chara hit in stead of protesting it?

Barry Melrose
  (3:11 PM)

Of course they would. That's the way all fans are, not just in hockey.

Meto (Chicago)

Who are in your conference finals? Any bubble team that could knock off Vancouver?

Barry Melrose
  (3:12 PM)

I don't think so. I think Vancouver will come out of the West. In the East, I think it will be Philadelphia and Washington in the Final.

Bruce Boudreau (DC)

Barry! After all the nice things I said about you in my book you go on TV a few weeks ago and say you don't believe we're a contender. How do you like us now?

Barry Melrose
  (3:14 PM)

I like they was Washington is playing. They have been playing great the last 9-10 games. They look a lot better than they did a month ago.

John (Boston)

I am fine with Marchand getting suspended, but how does he deserve the same punishment as Heatley? The Heatley play was clearly far more malicious.

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

I think they look at if the guy is a past offender and neither one of these guys are. And I don't think either hit was worth five games. I could certainly live with two.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Did you see the "boarding" call on Chara vs Buffalo? Bruins were shorthanded 7 times vs Buffalo, 6 times vs Nashville. The refs should just say "we don't like Boston."

Barry Melrose
  (3:17 PM)

I don't agree with that. Boston plays a physical game and Nashville doesn't. Nashville is always at the bottom of the leagues in penalties. Boston is a more physical team so they are going to take more penalties.

Charles (Taunton, MA)

Barry love your work as question is do you still consider the Bruins a contender for the Stanley Cup? Huge win at Columbus Tuesday.

Barry Melrose
  (3:18 PM)

Very much so. They have great goaltending and that's the most important thing. They also have great defense. I think Boston is for real.

Cameron (Greenville,NC)

Hey Barry! Do you see Carolina slipping in the playoffs? If so, any chance they can do anything?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

I'm afraid I can't believe in Carolina. They aren't playing great right now and I don't see them making the playoffs.

Barry Melrose
  (3:20 PM)

Continue to enjoy the hockey season folks!

  (3:20 PM)

Thanks Barry!