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May 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Buzzmaster
  (2:01 PM)

We've got Barry!

Bill (STL)

Is there a game 7 in the Blues future?

Barry Melrose
  (2:02 PM)

I would not be surprised if it goes seven. That win in LA changes that series dramatically. LA has played well the last two games and taken the series over from St. Louis. I would say LA wins in six, but I wouldn't be surprised if it goes seven.

Shawn (Mi)

Is MAF done in Pittsburgh? Will they buy him out at the end of the year?

Barry Melrose
  (2:03 PM)

First off, they're not worried about the summer. They're worried about now and now Vokun does. If they lose out, they've got some tough decisions to make. About Fleury. About their team. That's two years in a row that he's struggled in the playoffs. He'll be a big problem this summer with what to do with him.

jon (new orleans)

what's your pulse of the pens locker room after the switch in goal?

Barry Melrose
  (2:03 PM)

I think positive. If you watch body language during the game after some of those goals went in, you could tell some of those players were upset. I think the dressing room will be positive. They realized something had to be done.

Chris (Atlanta)

It seems to me that Vancouver's championship window is closed after two straight 1st-round sweeps. Are they now in the position the Flames were in a few years ago, where they should start considering trading away players like the Sedins, Kesler, etc. for younger assets?

Barry Melrose
  (2:05 PM)

Don't forget most of those players have no-trades. Just saying you want to move them and beign able to are two different things. They're still a very good regular season club. They have to get their goaltender situation taken care of. They have to figure out Luongo. I don't think they need to blow things up. It's not ready for the scrap heap. They're still a top four team every year in the West. But the first thing that has to happen is Luongo has to be moved.

Sarah (Chicago)

Hi Barry,Will the Hawks finish the series tonight? Assuming they move on...who would be tougher SJ or Det?

Barry Melrose
  (2:05 PM)

I would say they do finish it up tonight. I like the way they played last night. It was their best game.

Barry Melrose
  (2:06 PM)

I think San Jose is the scarier club. But if Detroit gets past the Ducks, that means they're pretty good. But San Jose with that rest would be a little tougher.

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Do you believe the Canadiens are finished after losing a 2 goal lead with 8 minutes to go in Game 4?

Barry Melrose
  (2:07 PM)

Yeah, I think that was their chance to make it a 2-2 series. Now you've got the Price situation, can he play? When you get a chance in the playoffs, you have to take it. Ottawa had nothing going in that game. I think Montreal will be done.

Matt (VA)

The Caps looked shaky yestersday. I thought they were they better team the first three games. Who do you like tommorow?

Barry Melrose
  (2:08 PM)

I definitely agree. That was their worst game by far. I thought they were very lucky when it was 2-2. Ovechkin's worst game by far. I still think they win the series in six games. They'll wake up and realize they missed an opportunity.

Phil (Dallas)

Watching this young Islanders team has gotten me excited for future seasons. But is this the start of something great, ala Chicago and Pitt a few years ago. Or is this just a flash in the pan

Barry Melrose
  (2:09 PM)

That's a good question. I think a lot depends on ownership. Do you keep these kids when their first contracts are done? That will be interesting to see. You have to add good free agents to make the team better. More of this team depends on the ownership part than the hockey part. They need to step up and make it a good team every year.

paul w (grand rapids)

can the wings recover and send it back to Anaheim?

Barry Melrose
  (2:10 PM)

Sure. They've already won a game in Detroit. That's a positive for them. They played great last night. Three games have gone into OT. You know with their veteran leadership that Game 6 will be their best of the series.

casey (Salt Lake City)

If Crosby had missed the first 12 games of the season rather than the final 12, does it make a difference on whether or not he gets the MVP? Should it make a difference?

Barry Melrose
  (2:10 PM)

Yeah, that would make a difference. Games at the end are more important with playoff implications. Games at the beginning are forgotten. That's a good point. If he missed the first 12 rather than the last, he'd probably be crowned MVP.

Brandon (Staples Center)

Is the potential for an all SoCal Western Conference Semis matchup good for the NHL? Also, who do you see coming out of that possible series?

Barry Melrose
  (2:11 PM)

Sure. It's a major market. Good teams. Star power. Well known players. That would be great for the NHL. It's never happened before. I think the NHL would love to see Ducks-Kings.

James (St. Pete, FL)

Are the Islanders this good? Or are the Penguins giving the games away?

Barry Melrose
  (2:12 PM)

I think it's a little bit of both. Pittsburgh hasn't had good goaltending other than Game 1. It's hard to say if the Islanders have been that good. But 5 on 5, the Islanders have been a better team. Let's see if Vokun can come in and play solid and Pittsburgh can't talk about the goaltending.

Adam (Chicago)

Is the lack of scoring from the Hawks first line a cause for concern going forward? Or is it sort of a good thing as you know Toews isn't going to be held scoreless forever?

Barry Melrose
  (2:13 PM)

Yeah, I'm not worried about Toews. You'll see him be fine. I'm not worried about Kane, Sharp. You know they'll be there at the end. It just shows you how well balanced they are, how dangerous they are.

Brad (Edmonton)

Are the Leafs pretty much done? Do you expect them to make it all the way back versus the Bruins?

Barry Melrose
  (2:14 PM)

The Bruins are playing well. Toronto had a 2-0 lead and couldn't hold it. But they'll be good game time. It's hard finishing a team off. I think Toronto will be tough in Game 5.

Devin (PA)

What do you make of the coaching circus going on inthe Ottowa-Montreal series?

Barry Melrose
  (2:15 PM)

It's fun. Interesting. It's good TV. You have two teams that don't like each other. The coaches don't like each other. It's been a very interesting series. Entertaining.

Jeff (Sacramento)

On the one hand, I'm glad the Sharks swept into the 2nd round, but, on the other, I wonder if instills a false confidence that SJ doesn't need to make any significant changes to stay competitive. Do you think their window is still fairly open?

Barry Melrose
  (2:16 PM)

Very much so. They're a young team now. Even Thornton and Marleau are still in their prime. They've got some young defensemen. No team has blown more playoffs than the Sharks, so they have nothing to be overconfident about. They'll be ready in the next round, just like they were in the first round.

Ice Ace (Alabama)

How about Getzlaf? He has been great. If most people do not know him already, they need to get ready.

Barry Melrose
  (2:17 PM)

Getzlaf is a great player. He's already won a Cup. He's big, strong, mean. He skates. He shoots. He's a leader. If Ryan Getzlaf is in New York or Chicago, he's one of the most famous players in the NHL, no doubt about that.

Devin (PA)

Are the Rangers struggles scoring this year a byproduct of the players or the system that Torts has put into place?

Barry Melrose
  (2:18 PM)

Probably a combination of both. He's a defense first coach and when the Rangers play like that, you're not going to score as much as a team that plays more wide open. John has had to improvise a lot. They have Lundqvist in net and they know they don't need a lot of goals to win.

James (St. Pete, FL)

Do you think the goalie change will spark the Pens Defense to step up tonight?

Barry Melrose
  (2:19 PM)

Vokun has to play well. If he comes in and plays well, he'll give confidence to everyone. It's hard to play well in front of a guy who's giving up goals.

Mike (DC)

Whose taking the Caps-Rangers series? Both goalies have been impressive.

Barry Melrose
  (2:20 PM)

I said from the start the Caps win. The Rangers power play is going well right now. I still think the Caps win this series.

Matt (Houston)

Barry, all that could go wrong with the Wild, seems to have so far. If Backstrom hadn't got hurt, do you think that would've changed the outcome of game 4? Would we be looking at 2-2 instead of 3-1?

Barry Melrose
  (2:21 PM)

Yeah, maybe. But the other guys played well. They gave up a soft goal in Game 4 which hurt. But they weren't playing well going into the playoffs. But injuries are a part of the game too.

Eric (Pacifica)

Who are your top 3 MVP candidates of the playoffs so far?

Barry Melrose
  (2:22 PM)

Ooohhh. You have to go with David Krejci of Boston. Craig Anderson. Ryan Getzlaf.

Jason (NJ)

Why have the Canadians been such a dissapontment this playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (2:23 PM)

I don't think they've been a disappointment. They're playing a good hockey team. They've overcome a lot of obstacles, which means they have a lot of character. Montreal was one of the top 3-4 teams in the East, but they didn't play well down the stretch.

Ed (Queens Village)

If Pens lose 1st Round? Would Coach Bylsma be on hot seat or fired for third straight 1st round loss.

Barry Melrose
  (2:24 PM)

No. I don't think so. The regular season success they've had is pretty awesome. I think Dan's OK. I don't think he's on the hot seat.

Frank (Chi)

Still picking the Penguins to beat the Hawks for the cup?

Barry Melrose
  (2:25 PM)

Yeah, so far, but it's not quite as strong a pick as the start of the playoffs. Chicago's OK, but Pittsburgh's been dicey.

Nick (Chicago)

If Montreal and Pittsburg are both eliminated who becomes the favorite in the East?

Barry Melrose
  (2:26 PM)

I think you have to look at Boston and the way they're playing. At times they look very good. They're getting their checking down. Their defense down. You have to look at them as the best in the East at that point.

Ken (PSU)

I'm not advocating for this to occur, but given the parameters surrounding both players, what are your thoughts about a Fluery/Luongo swap?

Barry Melrose
  (2:27 PM)

I think Luongo makes too much money. I don't think Pittsburgh wants to take on a 10-year deal. And frankly, he hasn't played well. I don't think Pittsburgh wants him. He'll be tough to move.

Ross (Vegas)

Barry: Who ends up beong the best defenseman long term for the kings: Voynov or Doughty?

Barry Melrose
  (2:27 PM)

I think Doughty. I think he does more things. He's more of a complete player. Voynov's been great. But Doughty plays a lot of minutes. I think he has more upside.

Henry (Los Angeles)

Same question as Nick, but in the West: if the Blackhawks go down (not likely this round, but maybe next) then who do you like?

Barry Melrose
  (2:28 PM)

I think a lot depends on LA. If LA beats St. Louis, then you have to look at them pretty seriously. If the Ducks win, they've looked good. There are a number of very good teams out west. But I think you start with LA.

Barry Melrose
  (2:29 PM)

We've got some great games tonight. I'll be focusing on the Pittsburgh-Islanders game to see how Vokun is doing.