Chat with Barry Melrose
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (2:02 PM)
Tough start for New Jersey fans. Very rarely do the Rangers look like a more controlled team than the Devils.
Steven (San Diego)
Barry, whats wront w/ Neimi? While the defense can be blamed for some of the goals he hasnt looked sharp.
Barry Melrose (2:03 PM)
He's a lot like the whole team. I don't think anybody is playing well and he's part of that group. I still think they'll get things straightened out and will be one of the best teams in the West.
Hi Barry. Misplaced Wild fan living in Atlanta. Is Todd Richards on the hot seat. Team seems to lack speed. Do they have the wrong type of players for Richards system?
Barry Melrose (2:04 PM)
I don't think he's on the hot seat; it's only his second year. Unless they completely fall apart, he'll still be there. Atlanta has been very inconsistent so far this season.
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
With all the negativity about violent hits in the NHL & NFL, isn't it finally time to ban fighting in the NHL? I don't think that more than a handful of 'fans' go to NHL games primarily to see fights. Your thoughts?
Barry Melrose (2:06 PM)
I disagree. It's the old saying "you never see anyone get up and leave during a fight." Fighting is a part of the history of the game. It's there for a reason. And I've never seen a good reason why fighting should be taken out of our sport.
Amazing how fast things can go from panic mode to stable in a few days, Now that the Rangers have reeled off a few wins in a row, whats the outlook going forward knowing Gaborik, Prospal, and Drury will likely join them in the next couple of months
Barry Melrose (2:08 PM)
You're exactly right; the Rangers seem to be very stable now. I think those injuries were actually good for them because it made the young guys step up into more important roles. It's forced the Rangers to make their game simpler and they've been better defensively in front of Lundqvist. So the injuries have made them a better team.
The most overrated and underrated players in the NHL this year are?
Barry Melrose (2:10 PM)
Good question. The most underrated I would have to go with the two goaltenders for the Nashville Predators, Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback. Overrated I would have to go with Kovalchuk.
Bryant (Los Angeles)
What do you think about stopping and reviewing hits to the head to make sure contact was made and that a game misconduct is warranted?
Barry Melrose (2:12 PM)
The league looks at every hit and determines with the refs made the right or wrong call. We saw Dustin Brown's hit declared good by the league. But I personally would have no problem reviewing a hit right after it happens, the same way we look at if goals are good or not.
Jerry Kid (Bucci Town Indiana PA)
Zbynek Michalek comes back soon for my Pens. Who do you keep up, Lovejoy or Engelland? Lovejoy seems like the better hockey player, but Engelland has earned alot of respect for his ability to fight and play physical. Also, if you keep Engelland, does that make Eric Goddard completely expendable?
Barry Melrose (2:13 PM)
I would keep up Engelland because he's tougher. Pittsburgh doesn't have a real tough club anyways and Engelland would be more of a deterrent.
Jason (Asheville, NC )
Barry, with an average age of around 26, can my Hurricanes seriously contend for a playoff spot? Or will the long season take its toll on the younsters eventually and we fade? Thanks.
Barry Melrose (2:14 PM)
Yeah, I like the way they are playing. They seem to be getting better with each game. I think they will be a team fighting for a playoff spot come April.
Scary what happened to the kid from Miami OH taking the skate to the throat, Images of Zednik come flashing back.. Do you think the players should wear neck guards? it seems that simple piece of equipment could potentially save lives, or prevent serious injury
Barry Melrose (2:16 PM)
No. The wear neck guards as kids. This type of incident is so rare and a neck guard only protects a small part of your neck. IF you try to protect every part of your body, you're going to ne a knight out there on skates with no mobility. I think the equipment in the NHL is just fine.
Rob (New York)
The Habs PP is dead last in the league. Is Andrei Markov really that important to what they do with the man advantage?
Barry Melrose (2:18 PM)
Yes but in the pest couple of years Montreal has had one of the best PP in the league. It is a surprise that they are that bad this year. Markov will make a big difference when he comes back but even without him they shouldn't be dead last.
Nick (Long Beach, NY)
Hey Barry-Big Islander fan. The way Scott Gordon has this team playing right now, do you see them overachieving significantly, or do they have a good shot at a playoff spot with the eventual return of Streit, Okposo, and Bailey arguably three of their most talented players.
Barry Melrose (2:19 PM)
If they keep playing the way the are playing right now, they have a shot a the playoffs. They might be the biggest surprise in the NHL. To do what they've been doing with the injuries they have has been pretty amazing.
When will the avs return to greatness? im thinking 2 yrs with some good pics in the draft.
Barry Melrose (2:20 PM)
I think they are a good team now. They have some injuries but they have a great group of young kids. I think they will be in the hunt for a playoff spot. They are doing a lot of things right.
Barry, I dont go just to see fights at all, i love the game, but i also love a good fight.. its great. Anyways, why cant the devils get going? Is this a personnel problem (or lack of personnel) or could it be John MacClean?
Barry Melrose (2:22 PM)
I think that's the $100 questions right now in the NHL. When you're sitting your star player out for whatever reason, that's not good. But it's the whole team playing bad. If they don't get things striaghtend out, John MacClean will be the guy paying the price.
Jake (Mullet, AR)
Barry, what happened to you coaching? I miss it like Kenny Powers misses your hair.
Barry Melrose (2:23 PM)
It did not work out and I realized what a great job I had working for ESPN. I happy to be back!
With the Bruins current cap issues, who do you see them moving? before the season I thought Thomas was a sure bet to be traded.... boy am I glad that didn't happen. Chiarelli seems to know what he's doing and from hear out i'll trust him like I do with Theo Epstein
Barry Melrose (2:25 PM)
They don't have to do anything until the Savard situation is handled. Everything will be determined by who's playing well and not playing well at the time. It usually works out that the guy you want to trade, nobody else wants.
Todd(PA) [via mobile]
Wht do u make of the early struggles of the Flyers. Do they miss Gagne or will it take some time with some if these new players?
Barry Melrose (2:27 PM)
I think the Flyers are a solid team. Richards, Carter and other haven't been scoring yet and Gagne's scoring need to be replaced. Like many other teams in the NHL, the Flyers have been very inconsistent.
Hey barry, i know its early in the season but look into your crystal ball, who are the 3 Vezina Trophy finalists at seasons end?
Barry Melrose (2:28 PM)
I will go with Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick and Pekka Rinne.
Barry Melrose (2:29 PM)
I'm watching Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay tonight. It's the most interesting game to me. Hope that you have a game in mind to watch. Take Care.