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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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Posted On Monday, 04.15.2013 / 1:31 PM

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

Melrose: Caps a contender with Ovi's re-emergence

It was only a few years ago that we were looking at Alex Ovechkin being one of the biggest stars in the world, and then by the beginning of this season it looked as if he was the highest-paid grinder in the NHL.

Well, after writing the poor guy off at the start of the year, it's no secret that Ovi's back.

Ovechkin had been written off by just about everybody, but now he's leading the League in goals after one of the most impressive offensive stretches we've seen in years, and the Washington Capitals, who struggled throughout the first half of the season, are reaping the benefits. It certainly looks like the Caps are going to win the Southeast Division unless they completely fall apart, and even when they've had obstacles lately -- like Saturday night when they nearly blew a 5-1 lead -- the Capitals have managed to stay afloat.

Washington's 6-5 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday was a wake-up call. The Caps tried to win without playing the third period, and I think it was a good lesson for them, but the biggest news out of that game might have been that Ovechkin scored yet again. At the start of this season Ovi was hitting everything that moves and making a number of hard checks, but he wasn't scoring at all. That's completely changed now. He's scoring highlight-reel goals, his wrist shot is happening again, he's confident and he's still continuing to hit and play aggressively.

He's back to being Alex.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 10:28 AM

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

Melrose Matchup: Blues at Wild

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 4:42 PM

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

Melrose Team Speech: We're still in it!

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Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators