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 4 p.m. ET!
Barry Melrose (4:02 PM)
I hope everybody is ready to enjoy a great Game 7 tonight.
Jay (Paw Paw, MI )
Barry, I can't get anything done today at work. Should I leave early to go prepare for tonight's game? Go Wings!-J.
Barry Melrose (4:02 PM)
I can't believe you are still working now. I'd be out of there!
What do you make of tonights game 7 between my beloved Wings and those pesky Sharks? Who do think will be the difference maker tonight?
Barry Melrose (4:03 PM)
Pavel Datsyuk. He's been the difference maker in the past couple of games. He's been the best player on either team. If San Jose can't find a way to shut him down, the Detroit will win Game 7.
Jeremy (Akron Ohio)
If Atlanta moves west to Winnipeg, is it a done deal that the Detroit Redwings would move to the Eastern Conference, or is it important fo the league to keep at least two original six teams in the West?
Barry Melrose (4:04 PM)
I think it's pretty well a done deal that Detroit would move to the East where they should be.
3 teams in 2 years have now forced a game 7 after being down 0-3. I don't remember this happening much over the last 20 years since I started watching hockey. Is this a function of the salary cap and will we see this more often in the future?
Barry Melrose (4:06 PM)
I certainly think partiy has something to do with it. But there has been a number of teams that have forced a Game 7, it just happens to be that only three teams have won a Game 7.
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Amazing that no matter what Sean Avery does or says it always seems to be scrutinized. As a Rangers fan, I know he doesn't always do the right thing, but his support for gay marriage definitely shows a lot for him. Thoughts?
Barry Melrose (4:07 PM)
He has the right to say his beliefs. This is American and people have died for that right. I don't think anyone has a problem with Sean saying what he believes in.
Barry-5 on 5, the Bruins will kill the Lightning. But the trend this playoffs has been a very strict interpretation of the rules. Do the Bruins have a shot in this series if there are ten penalties a game?
Barry Melrose (4:08 PM)
This is going to be a good series. It's very even. Obviously the injury to Bergeron is very important. I think this series could come down to goaltending.
Jay (Clemson, SC)
Which team (Detroit or San Jose) has a better chance at knocking off Vancouver?
Barry Melrose (4:09 PM)
Good question. Ii would probably say San Jose. They are bigger, younger and healthier. Detroit has a lot of players beat up right now.
I've noticed that the refs have been consistently strict on obstruction/hooking/tripping calls. Do they keep it up this round and ignore the whole 'playoff rules'?
Barry Melrose (4:10 PM)
No, they should keep it up. I think the NHL has made a commitment to calling obstruction, so i think they will stay the same throughout the next two rounds.
Matt (Bloomington, IN)
Aside from the fact they've only made the playoffs once in eleven years, what can Columbus do to be a viable franchise going forward? More $1 hot dog nights?
Barry Melrose (4:12 PM)
Funny. More good defensive forwards. Columbus is not a good franchise right now. They have not drafted very well and when they spend money on free agency, it doesn't work very well. Obviously they have to do all those things better in the near future.
GB (rochester, mn)
Barry,If the players love playing in the south so much why don't all the players in those cities start taking pay cuts to cover losses instead of whining about possibly moving up north (Winnipeg). There are plenty of people that don't have work that would love to be in their situation plus more fans you get in the seats overall the better thier paychecks would get.
Barry Melrose (4:13 PM)
Players will never take a pay cut. I've played in Winnipeg and it was a great place to play.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Barry, do the Flyers need to trade Jeff Carter to get a #1 goaltender?
Barry Melrose (4:14 PM)
Actually they could have gotten Tim Thomas for Cater last summer but they didn't want to do that. I don't know who they need to trade but they need to get a solid proven NHL goaltender.
Marc (Malden, MA)
How many games can the Bruins be without Bergeron, and still win the series?
Barry Melrose (4:16 PM)
It's going to be tough without Bergeron. He's there No. 1 ceterman, he takes all the draws and I don't think Boston can be Tampa without Bergeron in the lineup.
How is it even possible to get fired after only twelve games? That has got to be some kind of record for a new coach.
Barry Melrose (4:16 PM)
I don't know.
If the Sharks play like game five the win if they play like game six they lose. Your thoughts
Barry Melrose (4:18 PM)
Well they played a lot better in Game 5 without a doubt. But there is not sense in playing good a losing. They have to play good and win.
Tiffany (San Jose, CA)
Bigger meltdown, the Caps mailing it in against the Lightining, or the Sharks if they lose to the Wings tonight?
Barry Melrose (4:19 PM)
Well you have to say the Sharks because they were up 3-0 and that's only happened three other times in the history of the NHL. This is a big deal in the NHL.
Big Daddy Shitz (NYC, NY)
Do you think the time in between series' helps the Capitals more than the Bruins? Or vice versa
Barry Melrose (4:20 PM)
It helps the Bruins because they are trying to get Bergeron healthy. Each day off, they are closer to getting him back in the lineup.
Arnold (Chantilly, VA)
Will there be wholesale changes in San Jose if the Sharks blow this series tonight?
Barry Melrose (4:21 PM)
No, I don't think so. It's very hard to do that in today's NHL with the salary cap and long term contracts.
What did you think of Thornton's play at the end of Game 6? Hitting Zetterberg from behind and then taking a two-handed swing at this ankle was pretty lame...
Barry Melrose (4:22 PM)
Well he's very frustrated as all the Sharks are. They need to take their frustrations out on the Wings during Game 7 and not after.
Inside the NHL, and no coverage of Wings vs. Sharks?? Whats up??
Barry Melrose (4:23 PM)
Don't know. We can only cover what's on ESPN. We have no control what's on other shows.
Bill(Pasadena,Ca) [via mobile]
Hi Barry, who u taking tonight and why?
Barry Melrose (4:24 PM)
I'm picking Detroit because they have all the momentum in the world with how they played Game 6. Right now, Detroit stars are out player San Jose stars.
Barry Melrose (4:25 PM)
I hope its a great Game 7 and I would love to see overtime. Talk to you again tomorrow. Same time, same place.