Chat with Barry Melrose
Melrose re-joined ESPN after coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first part of the 2008-09 season. He first started with ESPN after coaching the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals and was a commentator on ESPN and ABC since 1995. Melrose made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets in 1979. A defenseman, he played for the Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings before retiring after the 1986 season.
Send your questions now and join Barry in chat Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
Barry will be here soon!
Barry Melrose (3:02 PM)
Ducks played very well last night as did Vancouver, a lot of great games last night and I am sure tonight it will be the same.
Anthony Rhode Island
Beware of those Mighty Ducks. I'm looking at you San Jose and Detroit.
Barry Melrose (3:03 PM)
I agree, it certainly looks like SJ will get the top spot and it will not be much of a reward if they have to face the ducks. Like I said on SC, I think every team in the West hope the Ducks do not make the playoffs.
Jason: (hackettstown, nj) [via mobile]
Guerin has fit in nicely with the penguins. Do you see the penguins keeping him after the season ends?
Barry Melrose (3:04 PM)
Yeah, if the price is not too high. He is the type of player the Pens want, a big, gritty forward. But yes, I think he is the type of vet they'd like to keep.
Gary ( Huntersville, NC)
What are the chances of St. Louis getting into the playoffs and then causing some damage if they get in?
Barry Melrose (3:05 PM)
I do not think you worry about the second part until you get the first part. The chances are not great with all the road games they have to play. But they are playing very well right now. I would judt have to think that they have the toughest schedule of any of the teams they are going up against for playoff spots. But once your in, you can make a run. But you have to be in it to win it.
Chris: (college park,md)
who do you think is the best matchup for the caps in the first round?
Barry Melrose (3:07 PM)
Probably Montreal, I think a lot of teams would like to play them because they have questions marks, but they are playing the best they have in weeks. But I see Montreal as the team with the most holes coming into the playoffs in the East.
Bryan (Pullman, WA)
Hey Barry, this season has kind of turned into a disaster for the Wild, do you see the team making some major changes this offseason?
Barry Melrose (3:08 PM)
Well yes, because they will probably lose Gaborik and that will be a huge hole. They seem to lose a big name every year. They will have some tough choices this season. You cannot lose home-grown talent every year, but they are still in the playoff hunt despite it all, and that's not bad.
Dan (Bowling Green, OH)
Are the jackets a legit threat to go deep into the playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:09 PM)
Sure, they are playing well and getting great goaltending out of Mason and they have been playing playoff hockey for weeks. Looks like they will get Vancouver and Calgary and in past years we have seen plenty of upsets. The Jackets are playing as well as anyone.
Earlier this year you picked Washington and Detroit to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Do you think the finals will still be between these two teams?
Barry Melrose (3:10 PM)
I still think they are the best two teams in the conferences. Washington does have questions marks, but they are so talented. And I still think Detroit is the best team in the NHL until someone beats them.
Matt - Palm Beach, FL
Help me out Barry. My buddy from St Louie and I are in a heated debate. I say Claude Julien is coach of the year; he is all about Andy Murray. I don't even think it is close. Your thoughts? There is no greater hockey authority than the man I saw get inducted into the Mullet Hall of Fame in Manchester, NH!!!
Barry Melrose (3:12 PM)
Both have done great jobs, but my vote would be Julien. The way he has handled that team with the injuries they have had, I think he has done a great job. I think Murray has done a great job in the second half. But Julien has a team that is not the most talented fighting it out for the top spot.
Should Buffalo Sabres fans pack their things and start looking forward to next year? Inconsistency has plagued them, and maybe its a sign they need to send Afinogenov packing and look for stability in the line-up.
Barry Melrose (3:14 PM)
Not sure where overseas is, but I don't see them making the postseason, especially with Florida and Montreal playing well. I think Afinogenov is gone and I think they need to get bigger and stronger this offseason.
Do you feel a suspension is in order for Alex Burrows for the hair pulling incident with Duncan Keith this week?
Barry Melrose (3:15 PM)
I don't think so. But they probably will give him one.
Boston about to clinch East -- power play is back -- they've won 4 straight -- has this team got it all together at just the right time?
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
They played well all year and only had one bad period. They are a great story, they keep winning despite the injuries and it is great for hockey to see one of the original six back in it, and hopefully they will play Montreal, which will really get things back to normal.
Dan (Long Island, New York)
Do you see the Rangers making the playoffs? If so, how far are they going, in your opinion?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
They will make it, the game against the Devils was a solid game for them. As with any team in the East, they can go all the way. I really mean this, if you get in the East you can make a run. I think the rangers have as good a chance to win the East as anyone.
Richard (Charlottesville, VA)
The Hurricanes are on fire! Do you think they can stay hot into the playoffs? How do you think they'll do? Go Canes.
Barry Melrose (3:19 PM)
I think they look great. They are playing better than anyone in the East. They are playing great at home and have some home games left. Like I said, the East is wide open.
Pat (hoboken NJ
Should I worry about my Devils? Seems like the team stopped showing up
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
Well they will make the playoffs, but they do not look like the Devils. They played their butts off until Marty got the record. They need to turn things around before the playoffs, or they will not last long.
Andrew (Rockville, MD)
Hey Barry. Who wins the MVP race Ovechkin or Malkin? GO CAPS
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
I think Ovechkin gets it. Malkin has had a great year and gets penalized a bit playing with Crosby. I am not saying either one is my choice, I think it should go to a defenseman of goaltender every year, but I think the choice this year will be Alex.
Mad Mike (Houston)
Barry: Big week fro Anaheim in that they play the Canucks and then a home and home with the Sharkies. It would be make or break for the Ducks wouldn't you think. And the Sharkies can keep them from a first round match up. Thanks......MM
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
Exactly right. It will be interesting. I don't think the Sharks want to play them in the first round, but with all the injuries they have they may want to rest guys. Not sure what direction they want to take and it will be interesting to see what they do. But the Ducks have to win every game now to make it. It will be very exciting finish with all the teams involved.
Joe (Boston, MA)
Are Chara/Thomas teh clear cut favorites to take home the Norris and Vezina trophies this year??? How about Julien for COY?
Barry Melrose (3:25 PM)
Chara is my pick for the Norris, and Thomas is there but you have to look at Steve Mason who is right there too. It will be a great battle for the Vezina and I agree with the Julien pick.
Tyler Detroit, MI
What do you see happening for the Canadiens in the offseason? What are the chances of Patrick Roy being the next coach? Is Kovalev finished being in Montreal?
Barry Melrose (3:27 PM)
They have a lot of FA. There is a very small field of coaches in Montreal, because you need to speak French. I think Kovalev would like to stay, but he has not had a great year and he makes a lot of money, so it comes down to the playoffs. If they miss the playoffs or lose out early, there could be a huge shakeup.
Stinger (Nationwide Arena)
Barry-Attendence last night at the CBJ vs. Preds game was only 14k. Please explain to me why the CBJ fans would not come out for such a huge game?
Barry Melrose (3:29 PM)
That surprises me too, because they have been so loyal for so long and it finally looks like a team will make the playoffs. That surprises me, and even a Preds player said how great the crowd was and how loud it was, so that surprises me.
Justin (chicago, IL
Hey Barry, i am a die hard hawks fan, what is going on with their slump right before the playoffs, the can't beat anyone!
Barry Melrose (3:30 PM)
They are a lot like Jersey. They have a spot locked up and have not played well. They have some injuries, but they seem to have lost that fire and they are playing teams that are fighting for playoff spots. But this is a very similar situation to the one you have in Jersey. They need that fire back.
After leading the league in wins this year, will Kiprusoff have enough left in the tank for the 2nd season?
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
Well nobody in Calgary is using up much now. Calgary is not playing very well at all. The whole team needs to pick it up quite a bit, so they do not lose home ice advantage. They are not playing well and he is included.
Barry Melrose (3:33 PM)
Have a great night. I hope all your teams make the playoffs...although that is impossible.