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April 16, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Barry Melrose

Buzzmaster
  (3:01 PM)

We've got Barry!

Ed (Queens Village)

Which do you prefer last year playoff format or this year playoff format?

Barry Melrose
  (3:02 PM)

I like the new format. I like the wild card situation. It kept teams in the race for a long time. And it will keep rivalries going. We have St. Louis-Chicago and Philly-Rangers. I like it.

Steven (Reno)

Why has Jonathon Quick become some sort of mythological playoff creature. He and Niemi were statistically the same goalie this year, wherein Niemi was considered to have a down year and Quick a rebound year. I think the media is way overplaying the strength of LA's goaltending and it will show when the Sharks take the series in 6 games.

Barry Melrose
  (3:03 PM)

I disagree. I think the Kings are like the Bruins. They're built for the playoffs. Quick is a great goaltender. He has already won the Cup. Niemi is a good goaltender too. They are both good in net, but I think the Kings are built for the playoffs and win in 6-7 games.

Bill (Toronto)

As a Habs fan, I feel this is the strongest team they have had in years in terms of having the ability to go deep in the playoffs? I actually think they match up well against the Bruins. Is my optimism legitimate?

Barry Melrose
  (3:04 PM)

You have to cheer for your team. They have great goaltender. Excellent defense. They have a great 1-2 punch. They got bigger. I like Montreal too. But I don't think they can beat Boston, they're too big and strong for them.

Brad (Philadelphia)

Great job with the Frozen Four final!! Big debate amongst Flyers Nation regarding how close Gostisbere is to being ready for the NHL. Ghost has ag reat skillset but will his weight keep out of the NHL for at least a few year?

Barry Melrose
  (3:05 PM)

I love doing the Frozen Four. I love meeting the kids. It's a great atmosphere. Gostisbere needs some time in the minors. All of the teams send their guys to the minors. It would do him well to spend some time in the American League.

Dave (SJ)

Hey Barry, whats your predictions on the 2 best series out west. SJ vs LA and CHI vs STL?

Barry Melrose
  (3:06 PM)

I love STL-CHI is a great series. I think Chicago wins. And I think LA wins in 6-7 series. Another great series.

Rich (New Jersey)

Hi Barry - If the Chicago Blackhawks make it past the Saint Louis Blues, will they make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals or does one of the 6 other teams in the Western conference playoffs have a good shot of defeating the Blackhawks ?

Barry Melrose
  (3:07 PM)

I think there are awesome teams in the West. I would not be surprised if any of them make it. But I think Chicago is the best team. They're healthy. They've added some young guys with size. They have great goaltending and the best defense in the NHL.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Half the Bruins have the flu, don't these guys get flu shots?

Barry Melrose
  (3:08 PM)

You just have to try and get them as healthy as possible. They'll all play. The NHL teams have the best doctors in the world working for them. The Bruins will have them all in the lineup and ready to play.

Vincent (NJ)

Which wild card has the best chance of moving on to Round 2?

Barry Melrose
  (3:09 PM)

Probably Detroit. Obviously they were hot going into the playoffs. They have battle tested playoff performers. They have to beat Boston. I don't think they will, but they have a chance. Minnesota too has a chance. They have some veteran guys, they might be able to beat Colorado.

Will (Boston)

Barry what challenges do the Red Wings present for the Bruins?

Barry Melrose
  (3:09 PM)

Experience. Coming in on a hot streak. Guys that have done it before. They will be ready for Boston. They have enough speed. But I just think Boston is so strong in so many areas.

Shawn (Detroit)

Barry, Give me the Bruins, Ducks, and Kings and you get the field...you taken that bet?

Barry Melrose
  (3:10 PM)

Yeah, I would. I think Chicago has a good chance. San Jose is a good team. The Bruins are the team in the East, but I would take that bet.

DaveB (Darien, IL)

Barry, What are the odds of a Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Bruins and Blackhawks?

Barry Melrose
  (3:11 PM)

I think there is a good chance. They are two of the best in the NHL. They're made for the playoffs. The chances of a Chicago repeat are as good as they've been in a long time.

bob nj [via mobile]

hi barry who do u like in the rangers flyers series and why?

Barry Melrose
  (3:12 PM)

I like the Rangers. They seem to have the Flyers' number. They don't let the Flyers get under their skin. They have Lundqvist, one of the best in the game.

Shawn (Detroit)

San Jose fails every spring...why will this year be any different?

Barry Melrose
  (3:13 PM)

Maybe the pressure. They're running out of time. Joe is 34. Marleau is in his 30s. The window is getting smaller. They played LA before and played them tough. That might help them. They have some players that have really matures. But it is hard to believe in the Sharks.

Jean Claude (Vermont)

If Varly can keep up his Save Percentage, what chance do you give the Avs of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals? #Whynotus

Barry Melrose
  (3:14 PM)

It would be tough. The West is so good. They'd have to beat Minnesota. Then the Ducks or Sharks. To come out of the West, it is so tough. But they've been doing things no one thought they could, in finishing ahead of St. Louis and Chicago.

James (St. Petersburg)

Do you think that Bylsma's disdain for playing matchups preferring to play strength against strength is the reason the Pens offensive stars have been stifled in the playoffs in recent years and if so do you see any adjustments?

Barry Melrose
  (3:15 PM)

No, I think the key to Pittsburgh is goaltender. They've gotten poor to average goaltending in the playoffs. Without good play in net, you play tentative. You give up good chances. You can't play like that.

Shawn (Detroit)

You took Tampa to win tonight without Bishop...your thoughts?

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

It will be tough. Bishop was their most valuable players. With him in the lineup they have a chance. Without him, they probably lose to Montreal.

Donell (Bronx, NY)

Hey Barry which series in the East do you like the most.

Barry Melrose
  (3:16 PM)

Rangers-Philly. These two have given us a lot of entertainment over the years. Two good hockey teams. It should be a great series.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

If the Pens don't make a deep run, is it the end for Fleury?

Barry Melrose
  (3:17 PM)

Yes, they've had some stumbles the last couple of years. A lot of pressure on him.

Josh S. (Philly)

How much does momentum matter going into the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (3:18 PM)

Every coach wants to play well going into the playoffs. I've always felt that it's better to play well going into the playoffs rather than finishing high in the standings. I've always wanted my team playing well going into the playoffs.

Mitch (Michigan)

Great call by you and Bucci in the Frozen Four, very entertaining...How important are Game 1's in the playoffs in your opinion?

Barry Melrose
  (3:19 PM)

They are important, especially if you're the road team. You want to go in and take home ice away from them. And get momentum on your side. It's one of the more important games. Game 1 is always an important game.

Shawn (MI)

Being a coach. How important our the assistant coaches? People always point the finger at Bylsma if things don't work out, but maybe it is his assistants. Tony Granato didn't do very well in Colorado while he was the coach.

Barry Melrose
  (3:20 PM)

Well, when you're the head coach, you take that as part of the job that you're the guy that gets the ink. You get a lot of credit when you win and the blame when you lose. I like Pittsburgh's assistants. That's the job as the head coach, you take the heat if you lose.

Ann (Ottawa)

do you think Pittsburgh sweeps Columbus? I really like the jackets, they are a great story, just do not think they can beat the penguins.. Im predicting a sweep. Too much inexperience. your thoughts?

Barry Melrose
  (3:20 PM)

Yeah, if their goaltender is good, they could easily win four straight with their offense. They could sweep Columbus.

Paul (St. Louis)

Do you think how deep the Blues go in the playoffs will be related to their chances of re-signing Miller? Or do you like him heading West?

Barry Melrose
  (3:21 PM)

Yes. That's very important. If they go a long way and he plays well, that could bode well for them re-signing him.

Josh S. (Philly)

Who do you think is the Flyers next most important skater outside of Giroux obviously?

Barry Melrose
  (3:22 PM)

I would probably say Hartnell. He really is the ignition switch of Philadelphia. When he gets playing and running around, he creates some excitement. He's a big part of that team.

Doug (Santa Barbara)

Hey Barry, what are your thoughts on the Ducks as they enter the playoffs?

Barry Melrose
  (3:23 PM)

They're good. The Ducks' biggest issue is who is in net. Anderson's won 20 games. Hiller is there and wants to play. Gibson is there too. They're a heckuva team. Getzlaf and Perry are great. I like the way they're playing.

Finbar (Braintree, MA)

Will Minn pull off the upset? Is their biggest question mark in net or scoring?

Barry Melrose
  (3:23 PM)

In net. That's the question for them. Thats the question mark on that team. They're not going to score a lot, but that's what happens in the playoffs. And they're used to those kinds of games.

Shawn (Detroit)

Who is will have a bigger impact in the Bruins/Wings series...Eriksson or Nyquist?

Barry Melrose
  (3:24 PM)

It better be Nyquist. He was their hottest goal scorer in the second half. They need his goal output and speed. He's a very important part of their success right now.

Greg (Philly)

Put your coaches hat on Barry. What would you do as coach to ensure a Flyers win?

Barry Melrose
  (3:25 PM)

The Flyers can only play one way. They're a physical team, an attacking team. They're going to have to play perfect hockey to advance. They're playing against a team that knows them with a great goaltender.

Adam (London)

who do you like in goal for the Ducks to start game 1?

Barry Melrose
  (3:26 PM)

I think it should be Hiller. He's their No. 1. They need to give him a chance. They need to give him a chance to lead this team.

JDub (San Antonio)

Do you think if Fleury is solid in the net and the Pens make it to the ECF, will the talk finally end on his past playoff performances, or does he have to win ANOTHER CUP for all the non-sense to stop?

Barry Melrose
  (3:27 PM)

If he plays well, I think everything will be OK for him. He needs to prove that he can play well and at a high level in the playoffs. He needs to play well. They have a built in excuse and I don't like to see that on a team. If he has a good players, it will be better for him.

peter (montreal)

without zett. detroit has no chance vs bruins

Barry Melrose
  (3:28 PM)

I'm a big believer in teams doing things they're not supposed to. We've seen that over and over in the playoffs. Detroit has the experience and other good players. I know Boston is taking Detroit very seriously.

Alan (Toronto)

Out of all playoff teams what building will be the most electric?

Barry Melrose
  (3:28 PM)

They're all great. Chicago is unbelieveable. But the Shark Tank in San Jose is rocking. That's the home ice advantage that's the best in the NHL.

Barry Melrose
  (3:29 PM)

We've been waiting for this for a long time. Let's sit back and enjoy this playoff run.