Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose will drop by to take your questions about the NHL season.
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 Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET!
Hawks - Canucks, who ya got?
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
I like the Hawks. I've liked them since day one. I liked the way they finished the series against Nashville. I think the Hawks will win this series.
Barry, do you think the Coyotes will build off the success they had this year?
Barry Melrose (3:33 PM)
Yes, they have a very good young team. Hopefully the ownership will be straightened out quickly. They've showed they are one of the 5 or six best teams in the Western Conference.
Todd (San Jose)
Barry, any thoughts on San Jose vs Detroit for the 2nd round playoffs?
Barry Melrose (3:34 PM)
I think it's going to be a great series. A very tough series. I really liked the way Detroit played Game 7 against Phoenix and I think they will win this one in six or seven games.
Ken (New Jersey)
Barry, why should I get tickets for game 3 in Philly? I need some convincing.
Barry Melrose (3:35 PM)
You didn't think they were going to get out the first round but they beat a very good team in New Jersey. The way the playoffs have been going, you can't be surprised by anything. If I were you, I would get my tickets for Game 3.
Matt (Scranton, PA) [via mobile]
Hey Barry, do you see Halat continuing to play at this rate into and throughout the Pens series?
Barry Melrose (3:37 PM)
It would be tough for him to continue his play. I think Pittsburgh will give him a lot more problems then Washington did. I do expect to to play very well against Pittsburgh.
barry, what do the sabres need to do in the offseason to take the next step? Roy and Connolly have to be gone, right?
Barry Melrose (3:38 PM)
I think they need to get bigger. Boston went at them physically and it played off. Buffalo has a lot of small forwards that can't get to the net and that's trouble come playoff time.
John (Bedford, Mass.)
Flyers-Bruins - Burnside says Flyers in seven. Melrose says....?
Barry Melrose (3:39 PM)
I think the Bruins. Flyers have lost three key players. The Bruins are getting better while the Flyers are losing players so I'll say the Bruins in six.
boston or philly?
Barry Melrose (3:40 PM)
I like Boston. I think the injuries that Philly has will catch up to them in Round 2.
Barry, Can Montreal pull it off again?
Barry Melrose (3:41 PM)
I can't believe they can. Pittsburgh is a better team than Washington. Pittsburgh will give Montreal a lot more problems then Pittsburgh did. I see Crosby leading his team to victory.
Barry, do you think pittsburg wins the east again?
Barry Melrose (3:42 PM)
Yes I do. they been there before and they know what it takes. With Crosby leadership and Fleury's goaltending I think they will find a way to win the East.
Bill (Washington, DC)
True of False: Jimmy Howard will outplay Evgeni Nabokov in Round 2?
Barry Melrose (3:43 PM)
I think goalteding is even on this series. It's a pretty even matchup between San Jose and Detroit.
Camden (coeur d' alene) [via mobile]
what are the chances that san jose beats detroit givin the fact that san joses first line hasent produced?
Barry Melrose (3:45 PM)
I think Detroit will win in a tough series. If you're looking for good new, San Jose was able to win without Thornton scoring a goal but I do think Detroit will win this series.
Joe P. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Greetings from Thailand where I am keeping up with my Blackhawks. Vancouver said they were more battle-tested this year because of what they learned in last years playoffs. Do you believe that and do you think my Hawks will have trouble with them?
Barry Melrose (3:46 PM)
I think the Hawks will have a lot of trouble with Vancouver but the Hawks are a deeper team. I if Chicago comes to play, they win this series.
Where do the devils go from here? They brought in kovalchuk, and that didn't work. Now with no coach is it time to rebuild?
Barry Melrose (3:48 PM)
I don't think Kovalchuk will sign with New Jersey. I think they need some defensemen. The Devils has lost three series in a row and they need to improve somewhere.
I personally find it funny that the 4, 6, 7, and 8 seeds are all in the semifinals. What are your thoughts?
Barry Melrose (3:49 PM)
It' very surprising but that's what hockey playoffs are about. Home games mean nothing and it is very surprising that the top three teams are out.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
Barry, do you think the Sharks have finally shed their curse? Also are they the favorites now that Washington is eliminated?
Barry Melrose (3:50 PM)
No they aren't the favorite. I say Detroit and Pittsburgh are a head of them. San Jose has let us down so many times that it is hard to believe in them.
Is Alex Ovechkin considered the Phil Mickelson or David Duval of hockey, in comparison to Sidney Crosby? He can't really be considered great until he wins a championship (of any sort)?
Barry Melrose (3:51 PM)
What you don't what in your headstone is "the greatest player to never win a Stanley Cup" It's hard to compare him to players who have lead their teams to a championship season.
Ed T. (Philly)
Remind me why they bother with a regular season? Super excited that the 14th, 18th, and 19th best teams in hockey get to play for the semis.
Barry Melrose (3:53 PM)
I disagree. When you play a seven game series, the better team wins. If you win a seven game series, you are better than the team you played as far as I'm concerned.
Rob (San Antonio)
Het Barry, what do you think of Fleury's game this post season? He seems to be at shaky at times and could be the weakest link.
Barry Melrose (3:54 PM)
He didn't play well in Game 1 but I thought he settled down after that. To win, he needs to play better. He has proven that he can win big games.
Barry Melrose (3:54 PM)
I hope that the next round is as good as the fight round. Enjoy tonight's game!