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April 18, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Buzzmaster
  (2:01 PM)

We've got Barry!

Ice Ace (Alabama)

How about the National Anthem in Boston? If that do not get your American juices flowing, what will?

Barry Melrose
  (2:02 PM)

I thought the whole night in Boston was unbelievable. The national anthem was great. The game was very good, but that wasn't the most important thing. At the end of the night, when both teams saluted the crowd, that was great.

Robert (Chicago)

Hey Barry!!!DET or CBJ?? Who would present the bigger challenge to the Blackhawks??

Barry Melrose
  (2:03 PM)

Well, I never thought we'd be sitting here with 5 games left wondering who would make the playoffs, Detroit or Columbus. I think Detroit would. You just expect them to come up big in playoff time. I think they'd be the biggest obstacle for Chicago.

Phil (Cleveland)

At this point is there anyone out there who could seriously anticipate a final that doesn't include both Pittsburgh and Chicago?

Barry Melrose
  (2:04 PM)

Well, on paper, yeah. But you have to look at last year and no one was thinking this time of year about the Kings as a Cup winner. But this year, Chicago and Pittsburgh are the two best, no doubt.

Josh (Bethesda)

So the Caps have this new guy on their team...Ovechkin I think it is. He's pretty good. Where's he been all these years?

Barry Melrose
  (2:04 PM)

That's a great question. He's a completely different player right now. He's the old Alex Ovechkin. Washington is probably the hottest team in the NHL right now. I can guarantee all the Caps fans are glad to have him back.

thomas crockett (California)

I think hockey is the greatest game in the world. My only complaint are the shootouts. I don't think a team deserves two points for winning a shootout. Two points need to be deserved by winning the game outright. What are you thoughts about the shootouts? I think they cheapen the game.

Barry Melrose
  (2:06 PM)

They're here to stay. I'm with you. I would love to see it go back to if you win, you get two points, if you don't, you don't get any points. That will never happen again. Teams like to get a point if they get the tie on the road. I'm with you, but unfortunately, the shootout and the 3-point games are here to stay.

Keith (Northbrook, Il)

Barry - Any question in your mind that Carcillo is a healthy scratch as the Hawks enter the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:06 PM)

He does supply energy. He does create excitement. He is a pretty good player. But I would probably say yes, he'd be a healthy scratch.

Matt (Houston)

Who's been the biggest surprise for you (individually) so far? Bobrovsky? Kopitar? Jonas Brodin?

Barry Melrose
  (2:07 PM)

I would have to say Bobrovsky, of those three. How he's playing, how consistent he's playing. Kopitar we expect to be great. Brodin is a young player, just emerging. But the last two months, there hasn't been a better goaltender than Bobrovsky.

Mike H (Maryland)

Any chance we see either conference champ touch their conference champion trophies when they are presented on the ice? Do you like it when they don't?

Barry Melrose
  (2:08 PM)

To each his own. I don't think it matters a whole heckuva lot. It's sort of become a tradition to not touch it. I'm not a superstitious guy. I think a hot goaltender overcomes superstition.

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Who do you believe will be the hot goaltender in the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:09 PM)

Well, I think any team that makes the playoffs has a hot goaltender. We have a lot of great races in both conferences right now. But if you're looking for a name, I would maybe say Braden in Washington.

Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)

Which has a higher probability? Richards for Jack Adams or Bobrovsky for Hart?

Barry Melrose
  (2:10 PM)

I would probably say Richards for the Jack Adams.

Matt (Houston)

Barry, what's more important come playoff time. A great PK unit, or a great PP unit?

Barry Melrose
  (2:10 PM)

I would probably say PK, because if you look at Boston when they won the Cup, their PP was terrible.

Doug (Virginia)

Crosby or ovy for the hart?

Barry Melrose
  (2:11 PM)

Wow. I think those two are certainly in the mix. I think Toews or Kane would be awesome also, especially if you look at the whole year. But Ovechkin has climbed into all of these discussions.

Matt (MD )

Are your perceptions of the Capitals changing or do you, like most pundits, still think they are an early exit in the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:12 PM)

I think they're going to win the Southeast. They're playing great right now. I think they'll win the Southeast and finish third.

Tony (NJ)

Does Torts keep his job if the Rangers don't make the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:12 PM)

I would probably say yes. But he better start the year good next year, if they miss the playoffs.

Jon (Chicago)

What is wrong with the Blackhawks PP?

Barry Melrose
  (2:13 PM)

There are some great teams that don't have good PPs right now. Look at Boston. Maybe Chicago should simplify the PP, get more shots on net. You're right on paper, they should have one of the top 3-4 in the NHL.

Manny (Houston)

Blues offense has been skiddish the past few games, but the defense/goaltending has stepped it up. They are looking like the Blues from last year aren't they?

Barry Melrose
  (2:14 PM)

Yeah. The Blues are a scary team come playoff time. Their defense, their goaltending. They have just enough offense. They could become this year's LA Kings.

Jon (Chicago)

Do you think there could possibly be an off season All-Star game?

Barry Melrose
  (2:15 PM)

No. I think that the season could go to the end of June anyway. We've already decided to have the awards banquet during the playoffs. They're trying to find ways to make the season shorter, not longer.

Jon (Chicago)

Do you think the Canucks are a different team because of their recent additions (return from injury, trades)

Barry Melrose
  (2:16 PM)

I think Kessler being healthy is the biggest change to the Canucks. They need him healthy, in the lineup. With him, it completely changes how they play.

Sam (Indianapolis)

Barry, the Penguins are rolling right now with their newly acquired guys. Do you see the team running into any chemistry/playingtime issues when Neal, Malkin, and Crosby are inserted back into the lineup?

Barry Melrose
  (2:17 PM)

They're going to have some tough decisions. They're winning right now, playing great. With those three guys coming back, you have to find room for them. It's a good problem to have. I don't think chemistry will be an issue. They are going to have some tough player decisions.

Brent (St. Paul)

The Wild seem to struggle to score in stretches. How far can they realisticly go in the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:18 PM)

I don't have them with Chicago or the Ducks or the Kings. But they do have a very strong lineup right now. Certainly if they make the playoffs, it means they've played well the last 5-6 games of the year.

ASN (NY)

Rangers still control their own destiny....do you think they hold on for the 8?

Barry Melrose
  (2:18 PM)

I think they do. Their schedule is better than Winnipeg's. They play weaker opponents. But they do play the Devils twice and they'd like nothing more than to knock them out of the playoffs.

Ramsey (Los Angeles)

The Kings just activated Matt Greene, who hasn't played since game 1 of the season. Does Coach Sutter risk tampering with team chemistry by putting him in?

Barry Melrose
  (2:19 PM)

I think they'll watch his ice time. They'd love to have him back in the lineup. He's a big, physical defenseman. The guys love him. He would give them two big defensemen to play against those physical Western clubs.

Ramsey (Los Angeles)

The Kings-Sharks game Tuesday was one of the best played matchups I have seen in a while. It could also be a round 1 playoff matchup. If it is, who do you think take it?

Barry Melrose
  (2:20 PM)

That would be a great series. I would give it to the Kings, because they won it last year and the Sharks are always disappointing come playoff time. They're playing well right now, but I think the Kings win in a series.

Branden Kelley (Buffalo, NY)

What are the chances of the Buffalo Sabres making the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:21 PM)

I don't think very good. They have to leapfrog both Winnipeg and the Rangers. They need them both to stumble. They'd have to go 5-0 the rest of the season and I don't see that happening.

Bob (Ny)

Any love for the islanders?

Barry Melrose
  (2:22 PM)

They have to get in the playoffs first. I think they will. They're a great story. One of the good surprises in the NHL. But they'll probably have to play Pittsburgh, Boston or Montreal and I'm not sure they can beat any of those teams.

Fuj (NJ)

Is Brad Richards on his way to having his contract bought out by the Rangers?

Barry Melrose
  (2:23 PM)

I don't think so. I know it's certainly been a disappointing year for Brad. But I think the Rangers are going to see what happens the rest of this year and they might just think this is an off year for Richards.

tony (Lake Zurich, IL)

Who wil the Hawks start in G for the playoffs...Crawford or Emery?

Barry Melrose
  (2:23 PM)

I would probably say Crawford. But they certainly would have no fear of going to Emery real quick.

Jeff (Chicago)

how did you like the Frozen Four?

Barry Melrose
  (2:24 PM)

The Frozen Four is a great event. One of my favorite events that I do. It's great meeting the kids. The college excitement is always a great addition.

Barry Melrose
  (2:25 PM)

We've already seen a couple of the college players playing right now.

Sarah (Chicago)

How do the Hawks handle more physical teams...especially if it is a longer series?

Barry Melrose
  (2:25 PM)

I think the Hawks physical play is underrated. Their star players are all pretty big. They've added a lot of size in their 3-4 lines. I don't think physical play will effect them too much.

Jimmy Howard (Hockeytown)

Do I deserve a 6 year $30+ million contract?

Barry Melrose
  (2:26 PM)

I think it shows how much Detroit thinks of them. I think it shows how hard consistent goalies are to find. If you look at Ken Holland's track record, he hasn't made many mistakes.

Jon (Columbus, OH)

who do you have being the 8th seed in the west? because detroit is sliding, and the CBJ still have a few tough road games...

Barry Melrose
  (2:27 PM)

I still think Detroit will make it. Datsyuk and Zetterberg will find a way to get them into the playoffs.

brian (seattle)

Hi Barry, you think we will see Patrick Roy behind Colorados bench next year?

Barry Melrose
  (2:27 PM)

I wouldn't be too shocked. Colorado has been a big disappointment this year. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a coaching change.

Ramsey (Los Angeles)

What do the Canucks do with Luongo in the offseason?

Barry Melrose
  (2:28 PM)

They would love to move him, but wanting to move him and moving him are two different things. His contract makes it very hard for any NHL team to pick him up. So, it would take a very wealthy team that desperately needs a goaltender to make that happen.

Barry Melrose
  (2:29 PM)

I hope everyone is enjoying the playoff run as I am!