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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:29 PM

NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: East will be a battle, Hawks are rallying

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins have been two of the best teams in the NHL for the last few years, but we haven't seen them meet in the postseason since 1992. These are two great teams that don't really know each other, and it's going to make for some great hockey.

I love this matchup for the fact that they're completely different. The only thing they have in common is that they both wear black jerseys.

Boston is a team that's built on defense. The Bruins have the best defensive defenseman in the world in Zdeno Chara. He'll be playing against the best offensive forward in the world in Sidney Crosby. A top-notch penalty killing teams in Boston will be facing the best power play unit in the playoffs in Pittsburgh. One team's philosophy is built on puck control and defense, the other is the best quick-strike offense in the League. It's just a great matchup of opposites.

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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: My take on the second round so far

With at least two games played in each of the four second-round series in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the hunt for the conference finals is really in full swing. These are the things I've seen and that I'll keep watching for in each matchup.

RAINING ON OTTAWA'S PARADE

After the Penguins took the first two games of this series in relatively easy fashion at home, Ottawa made things interesting not just by winning Sunday night's double-overtime thriller, but by bringing Jason Spezza back in the lineup. Spezza certainly had an impact and as of Monday he says he feels good, but unless he really makes a huge difference on the ice, I can't see the Senators winning both games at home. They might if Craig Anderson stays hot in net, but Pittsburgh just has so many weapons. Sidney Crosby was so good in Game 2 and Evgeni Malkin hasn't even hit his stride offensively yet. It's really hard for me to look at these two teams against one another and think Ottawa will win both of its games at home.

The Sens are hard to discount. They played very well in the first round against Montreal and very well in Game 3, but I think Game 3 will be the best game they play all series. Ottawa's penalty kill made a big impact in Game 3 Sunday night, but they'll have to maintain that to tie this series up. Pittsburgh's power play was dominant in the first two games of the series and while the Sens handled it well in Game 3, the Penguins are so talented and so deep. I just don't see Ottawa getting back to Pittsburgh at two games apiece.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.14.2013 / 3:07 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: What went wrong with the Leafs

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Posted On Monday, 05.13.2013 / 2:02 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Top storylines from conference quarters

Another week of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs is in the books and it's almost time to start Round 2. With the first round set to wrap up Monday night with Game 7s between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, here are some things that have stuck out to me from the conference quarterfinals.

ISLE BE SEEING YOU SOON

The New York Islanders might be done after losing in Game 6, but they leave looking far different from how they did six months ago or even three weeks ago. This is a good hockey team. I think it showed at the end of the season when they finished strong, and then the way they played the Pittsburgh Penguins. You could easily argue New York was the better team in this series and the Penguins are lucky to have won. This team has definitely grown by leaps and bounds the last three or four weeks, and if you're an Islanders fan, it's got to be the best you've felt about this team in 20 years.

John Tavares
Center - NYI
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 5
SOG: 21 | +/-: -4
I think this postseason was a sign of things to come for New York. If you look at the Islanders, they're all young, they've got some good veterans like Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky, and I don't see any reason to think the young guys aren't just going to get better. They've found out there are a lot of great kids in their feeder system, like Brock Nelson, who came up and played very well. Finally, of course, they have John Tavares. This guy is for real and there's no doubt that he'll do next year what he did this year as long as he's healthy. Are they going to fight for first overall next year? I don't think so, but the Islanders are certainly a team that will be fighting for a playoff spot next year.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 2:35 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose on the Canucks

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose on changing goalies

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 4:16 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose on moving forward

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 4:13 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose on Norris trophy candidates

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Top storylines from first week of playoffs

We're just about a week into the postseason and already we've got several exciting series, a number of interesting storylines and many hints for what's to come. Here are some of the things I've noticed so far from the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

ARE THE ISLANDERS CREATING THE BLUEPRINT?

In Game 3 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, the Isles jumped out to a quick lead and suddenly the Penguins took over. Now, the Islanders came right back before the Pens eventually won in overtime, but there were a few things worth noticing.

First, that quick Pittsburgh rally just shows that team's skill level and how few chances they need to score. The Islanders have had the better chances and more shots, but Pittsburgh gets a chance and it goes in. Douglas Murray gets a chance and he scores. Pascal Dupuis gets a chance and it's in. They're just so talented, and that's the difference. Everybody on that team can score and the Islanders don't have that luxury. Almost nobody does. Only a few teams in the NHL have that kind of luxury and Pittsburgh is by far the best in that area.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

First-round Stanley Cup Playoffs predictions

All right, folks. After 720 regular season games, it's finally time for what we've all been waiting for -- the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were some surprises as for who made it to the postseason this year, but the one thing that won't surprise me is how much fun the next two months are going to be. There are some tremendous first-round matchups this spring, and as the playoffs move forward it's sure to only get better.

In the Eastern Conference we've got some great physical matchups like the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs and some exciting rematches like the New York Rangers against the Washington Capitals, and the Western Conference has some doozies as well. I won't waste any of your time here, though. Let's get to what you're all waiting for.

Here are my picks for the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday