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 3:15 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (3:17 PM)
I'm sure Bruins and Flyers fans are going to have a sleepless night getting ready for tomorrow night.
Barry, with the sharks making it to the western confrence finals, how do you think they match up with Chicago?
Barry Melrose (3:18 PM)
I think they matchup well. I love the way they played against Detroit. They have the best team they've ever had. Both the Sharks and the Blackhawks are the two most talented teams left in the playoffs.
Richard (Point Pleasant)
Chicago - San Jose, will it go 7 games, if not how many? And does the winner of this series go on to win the Stanley Cup?
Barry Melrose (3:20 PM)
I think six or seven in a great series. They are very evenly matched, both can win on the road and a series like this usually ends on which goaltender plays better. I picked Chicago to win the Cup early in the year and I'm sticking with them.
Cameron (Muncie Indiana)
Sharks vs. Hawks who do you have and is this really the "championship" seeing the higher seeds being bounced in the East?
Barry Melrose (3:21 PM)
Montreal has already beat Washington and Pittsburgh and I won't say for sure that they can't beat whoever comes out the West. I like Chicago but by no means is it that whoever wins the West wins the Cup.
El Guapo (Monson, MA)
Barry, Was that Bill Guerin's last game, and is he a Hall of Famer?
Barry Melrose (3:22 PM)
I'm not sure if that was his last game but I do think he has the numbers to get into the Hall of Fame.
Barry, is there any chance Scott Niedermayer decides to play one more year in NJ to end his career where he started it? I would have to believe that Lou would love to have him back for one last run...
Barry Melrose (3:23 PM)
I don't think so. I think he has fallen in love with the west coast. From what I hear, if he plays one more season, it will be with the Ducks.
What are the keys to victory in the SJ CHI series?
Barry Melrose (3:24 PM)
Special teams. Whichever team gets their power play rolling and whichever team has the best goalie. The stars on each team have to get the job done in order for their team to win.
Are the Bruins going to be part of history or will they pull it off?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
Unfortunately, I think they will be apart of history. Injuries have caught up with them and they are having trouble scoring again. The Flyers are playing their best right now and home ice really doesn't matter.
Brian (Charlotte, NC)
Who has better hair? You or Mel Kiper?
Barry Melrose (3:26 PM)
Me of course. Mel is a distant second.
What would you be telling the Bruins and Flyers if you were there coach to get them focused for game 7?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
I don't think either team will have a problem being focused. Boston has to create some offense somehow. They need to score and score first because the team that scores first will have the advantage.
Who do you think Montreal would matchup better with in the next round?
Barry Melrose (3:28 PM)
When you have a goalie like Halak, it doesn't matter who they play.
Do the Bruins have anything left in the tank? They look finished, and on the other side have given Philly lots of new life.
Barry Melrose (3:30 PM)
They do, they have to get out there and find some energy. The team that scores first usually goes on the win and if Boston can come out and score first, things look good for them.
So no Detroit-Pittsburgh final again this year... what gives?
Barry Melrose (3:31 PM)
They both had their chances. At least Detroit played good in there last game but got beat by a great team. Montreal didn't have to play great to beat Pittsburgh.
Stevo (Pottstown, PA)
How about a little love for the Philly/Boston Game 7 yet to be played. When's the last time that a 6/7 seed went on to have home ice for the conference finals?
Barry Melrose (3:32 PM)
We were talking about that the other day and couldn't remember the last time that happen. It's been a great playoff. You have the top two teams in the West and maybe the bottom two teams in the East.
When are the Rangers going to fire Glen Sather? Can you write to the Dolan's that they need a real GM.
Barry Melrose (3:34 PM)
I think the plan is that Messier will take over eventually. When that happens, I'm sure Sather will be kicked upstairs as President. He'll be a part of the Rangers for years to come.
Should I actually root against Montreal so the entire city doesn't get burned down?
Barry Melrose (3:35 PM)
They're a good team to cheer for. A team from nowhere that people didn't think would make it this far. They almost didn't make the playoffs and it's good to see the underdog win. It's good for our sport.
Out of all the young teams that have had successful seasons, who do you think has the best chance to be the next dynasty team?
Barry Melrose (3:36 PM)
I think Chicago does. They have the ownership, talent and they play in a great city. They have a chance to win every year.
What are your thoughts of that the Islanders may move to Queens? should they stay on the Island?
Barry Melrose (3:37 PM)
If they get the new building then yes they should stay on the Island. They can't stay in a building that has 14,000 seats. Playing in Queens with the Mets isn't a bad idea but I think their fans want them to stay on the Island.
Do you think Crosby was just not into it after winning the Gold for Canada?
Barry Melrose (3:38 PM)
That question will be asked for a long time. We've become used to him playing great in big games but he just didn't show up. I think everyone in the hockey world is shocked that he didn't play well in Game 7.
Rob (New York)
How key is it that Markov comes back for the Habs in the next series? He is arguably their best player, no?
Barry Melrose (3:40 PM)
He is their best player. They had a couple of their keys guys out and they still beat Pittsburgh. Markov coming back is unbelievable for the Habs.
Barry - does Pit even consider moving Malkin for wing &/or blueline help?
Barry Melrose (3:41 PM)
No, I don't think so. This team has been to the Cup twice so there is no need to panic. This team is built around Malkin and Crosby and whatever needs to happen with happen around those two guys.
shawn (San Jose)
What is with the time off for the western teams. This Lay off is stupid. They should have had their first game last night
Barry Melrose (3:43 PM)
The NHL doesn't start one series before the other series is over. I'm not sure I agree with it, but the NHL has never done that.
hmm regarding the islanders...they cant even get 14,000 people to come watch them.
Barry Melrose (3:44 PM)
They are getting better. They are getting another high pick this year. If they get a new building on the Island, I think you will see a big difference in attendance.
Barry Melrose (3:45 PM)
It's been whacky crazy playoffs so far and I don't see a reason why the finals won't be ass good.
Buzzmaster (3:49 PM)
Thanks Barry ... Check back next Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET for another 30 minutes of Melrose!