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June 14, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Buzzmaster
  (1:31 PM)

We've got Barry!

Cory (Elkton, Maryland)

Barry, Do you think Rask was playing over his head against Pittsburgh and is now coming down to earth in the finals?

Barry Melrose
  (1:32 PM)

I think Rask played very well in Game 1. If you look at the goals, there was a deflection into the net and the winning goal was a double bang. I don't think they have anything to worry about.

Chris (Des Plaines) [via mobile]

Will Shaw have an impact on how Chara plays throughout the series, like he did in Game 1?

Barry Melrose
  (1:33 PM)

Shaw is going to be Shaw. He's an agitator. He finishes a check. He goes to the net. That's how he plays. Very similar to Marchand with the Bruins.

Keith (Boston)

Do you think Chicago will keep any momentum from the overtime win or will there be a let down or fatigue factor due to their last two games being extended. And will it matter later in the series?

Barry Melrose
  (1:33 PM)

I don't think there will be any problem with fatigue. There are extra days off. They looked good in practice. As far as momentum goes, this is a new game. Boston knows they need to win and they have to play the best they can to beat the Blackhawks.

Ben (IL)

Will the 2 day break benifit the Blackhawks or the Bruins?

Barry Melrose
  (1:34 PM)

The Bruins. No. 1, the extra day may allow Horton to play in Game 2. That's huge. And I've always thought that when you win you want to play right away. When you lose, you need some extra time to look at things and figure out what you did wrong.

Alex (Anaheim)

Who was the MVP of Game 1?

Barry Melrose
  (1:35 PM)

Ohhh....I would have to say Shaw. He had a goal and assist. The first one he was involved with turned the game around and the second won the game.

Mike Poll (Chicago)

I think coach Q should keep Toews and Kane on that number one line with Bickell. And he definitely should put Stahlberg back in the rotation

Barry Melrose
  (1:36 PM)

I don't think that will happen. Stahlberg is out of the lineup. Kane and Toews will stay on separate lines. I think he'll use a lot of similar lines from Game 1.

Sam (Milwaukee)

Hey Barry, thanks for the great job getting ESPN to cover hockey. Krejci was a monster and played like a Conn Smythe winner in game 1. If Boston wins I think the trophy is his. How can my Hawks stifle him and throw him off his game in round 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:36 PM)

They might play Keith and Seabrook against him. Krejci was great in Game 1. If Chicago can't stop that line, it will be tough to win the Cup.

Ben (NY)

Do you think Horton plays in Game2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:37 PM)

I will be surprised if he doesn't, but will he be effective? There is something obviously wrong with him. Chicago will attack him physically if he does play. I'll be surprised if he doesn't play, but I'll be surprised if he's effective.

Gary Norris Gray (El Cerrito, Calif. )

Will Ray Emery get a chance to play in the finals with the hot Cory Crawford in net ?

Barry Melrose
  (1:38 PM)

None. No chance. The only way he gets in is if there is an injury.

John Bopp (Vincennes, IN)

In giving up 4 goals, which would you say had the greater movement, Rask's confidence going down, or the Blackhawks confidence going up

Barry Melrose
  (1:38 PM)

Blackhawks goes up. Obviously, scoring four goals, you should win in the NHL. The Blackhawks played well and their confidence should be at an all time high.

Eric (Chicago)

Barry, when this series shifts to Boston, how do you see the line changes impacting the game? We know Q wants to take Toews away from Bergeron so do you think Julien will want his top line against the Toews line?

Barry Melrose
  (1:40 PM)

The thing is Kane and Toews didn't score, so the checking is working. They got goals from the other guys, so you can't change your checking to focus on those guys. I don't think they'll make a lot of changes. They don't want Kane and Toews to beat them. The Bruins want Chara out there against Chicago's best players.

Kevin (Indianapolis)

If the Hawks take game 2, what do you think Boston's chances are to salvage the series?

Barry Melrose
  (1:40 PM)

I think this is pretty well a must win for Boston. You don't fall down 2 games to nothing and come back to win in the NHL very often. The numbers are overwhelmingly stacked against you. They're handling this as a must win.

Andy (Atlanta)

Going into the series the Hawks were talked about as more a speed / finesse team with the Bruins having the advantage in toughness. Based on game 1, it sure seems like the Hawks decided to get physical with many big time hits. Can they keep this up or will this style of play eventually wear them down?

Barry Melrose
  (1:42 PM)

No, I thought Chicago did exactly what they had to do. I think Boston caught them by surprise by how good they were. But as the game went on, the speed of the game caught on. Chicago is every bit as physical as Boston. It was a very good, solid win for Chicago, how they scored, who scored, the style of play.

Max (MI) [via mobile]

What is the biggest reason Chicago won game 1?

Barry Melrose
  (1:42 PM)

Crawford was great. That was a big factor. When it was 3-1, he made a couple of saves to keep it 3-1. When you're getting the play you got from the third and fourth line, that's impressive.

Mike (Chicago)

If Dave Bolland plays as well as he did in game 1 do you see anyway the Blackhawks lose the series?

Barry Melrose
  (1:43 PM)

If all of your players are playing the best they've played all year, that's a very tough thing to defeat. But that game could have gone either way. I don't think Coach Q is thinking they greatly outplayed Boston. They're a team that any time they needed a big game, they've gotten it and they need that in Game 2.

Mike (Naperville)

Barry, I would argue that Marian Hossa has been the Hawks best and most consistent player throughout the playoffs. He seems to be everywhere and even if not scoring goals, he is helping to put the team in a position to do so (or stop the opponent from scoring). Your thoughts?

Barry Melrose
  (1:45 PM)

He's been great. Chicago is in the Stanley Cup finals. You wouldn't be there without your players playing great. The team can't win without those top guys scoring the rest of the series. They need those guys to chip in, not just play well.

Mike (IL.)

Do you think with Boston losing that first game. That was their one chance to steal a game from the Hawks and take home ice. T

Barry Melrose
  (1:45 PM)

It was a tough loss. They had a lead. They're usually money when they have a lead. But now they need to do the same thing in Game 2. They need to take home ice advantage away.

Rich (DC)

Do you think Seguin is a good fill in for Horton? Considering how he has been playing?

Barry Melrose
  (1:46 PM)

He's the one that makes the most sense. He can play the right wing and talented enough to play with the other two guys. He could be a good fill in for Horton.

Aaron (Indianapolis) [via mobile]

Blackhawks seemed faster than the Bruins after the first period, but their forechecking seemed a bit off. Did the Bruins shut them down, or can the Hawks improve on that in Game 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:47 PM)

As the game went on, the Blackhawks looked like the best team for a while and then they switched. Both teams had their moments. Boston is a tough team to forecheck. They're very hard to check. They're both in the finals for a reason, they're very good.

Jim (Chicago)

I think the Hawks were underprepared for the krecji line in terms of how they move the puck and open up the slot area. What can the hawks do to be ready for them in game 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:48 PM)

They won't be caught by surprise. They know how good that line is. Krecji has been unbelieveable in just about every game. Chicago will be mentally and physicall prepared for them.

mike [via mobile]

How scary is the fact that no top tier players scored for the hawks to Boston?

Barry Melrose
  (1:49 PM)

Obviously if Bolland and Shaw are scoring and then the stars start scoring, they're unbelieveable. But if they all are scoring then Boston's not doing their job. It's amazing when your stars aren't scoring and yet you still win.

Tori Krug (Boston)

I am sorry Boston fans I gave the Hawks life with my blunder. Hey coach Melrose do you keep me in for game 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:50 PM)

He made the one mistake on the Bolland goal. As a goal, you'd hope to give him another chance. You talk to him and tell him that a game like that, you don't go up the middle. There are rumors that he comes out and one of their other young defenseman goes into the lineup.

Edgar L (Oak Lawn)

So who do you have winning Game 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:51 PM)

A lot comes down to the Horton injury and how that impacts the lineup. Boston played well in Game 1 and they know they have to play better in Game 2. Boston has a must win, so I think they win Game 2.

Kyle (CA)

Barry, Do you think if it comes down to it we could see Kaner double shifting a lot this series? Q was pretty big on the double shift during the regular season.

Barry Melrose
  (1:52 PM)

I think he'll determine if they're getting scoring chances. I think as long as you're getting scoring chances, he'll be OK with what they're doing. It will be hard to double shift in Boston. It will be easier for them to line match.

Keith (Washington, DC)

After how close game 1 was, what do you believe will be the difference between Boston or Chicago winning the Cup?

Barry Melrose
  (1:53 PM)

What we saw in Game 1. Good goaltending, they both have it. So fluky goals, bouncing goals. Something small. It won't be won by gimmicks. It will be something small. Lucky.

Hawks Win (Wisconsin)

Do u think its just a matter of time before the Hawks power play dials in, or is there something else going on there?

Barry Melrose
  (1:53 PM)

I think they both have great penalty killing. When you have a chance to go over tape, you know what the other team is going to do. I don't forsee either team scoring many powerplay goals.

Andrew (GA)

Niemi was stellar during the Hawks last run at the cup. As great as he was, I think Crawford has actually been better. What say you?

Barry Melrose
  (1:54 PM)

Niemi won, so you've got that in your back pocket. It's hard to compare Crawford until he wins. His numbers are great. I don't think Chicago can question their goaltending at all.

Jeff (Chicago) [via mobile]

Do you think that Kane and Toews will figure out the checking and be more effective in game 2?

Barry Melrose
  (1:55 PM)

They're playing these great defensive players. It will be tough for either one to break free. Boston has a great defensive team. I don't see either one breaking out and scoring a ton of goals.

Mike (Chicago)

Barry, who has the better the top line?

Barry Melrose
  (1:56 PM)

Oh, I love them both. But the Krecji line has been the best in the NHL. They're great offensively and defensively. I would say that's been the best line so far in the playoffs.

Rob ((Wood Dale))

3 games going into OT. Over or Under?

Barry Melrose
  (1:56 PM)

Ahhh, 3 is a good number. I would say over. I think they'll all be close games. I don't see a lot of goals being scored. I wouldn't be surprised to see more than 3 in OT.

Barry Melrose
  (1:57 PM)

I hope everyone is enjoying this great playoffs. Hopefully every game will be as good as Game 1.