On this week’s episode of Wendy’s Week In Hockey, hosts Alex Ferrario and Amy Marxkors were joined by NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose. You can hear their entire conversation here:

(Their conversation begins at the 57:00 mark of the show)

And here are few of highlights from that conversation:

The battle in the Central Division:

“Obviously those teams in the central, you just can’t afford to go into a seven game losing or or anything like that because everyone else seems to be winning and it’s amazing how tight it is. Even Colorado is playing well, they had a big win against Pittsburgh the other night so you know they’re not out of it.

“It’s just going to be a great battle. Obviously five teams, it looks like, are going to come out of the central, a lot like the Metropolitan Division, so obviously the three teams that are left in the Pacific for those top three spots, that’s going to be a great battle also.”

Chris Kerber’s tweet on the condensed schedule possibly causing some of these injuries:https://twitter.com/chriskerber/status/942762856860278784

“It’s a very physical game now, everybody is going so fast they’re all such great skaters. Any time those are collisions that people get hurt in. So yeah it’s all part of it.

“You just can’t play our sport and not expect to get people hurt. The amount of games they play, the intensity. That’s another thing, the games are also important now you can’t take a night off. You don’t have any soft touches. If you take a night off against a team that’s out of the playoffs, they’ll beat you.”

This Olympic fiasco

“I’m not a lover of the Olympics, I love all hockey but you just can’t expect the NHL to stop for two weeks to let your best players go and play. And there’s always injuries at the Olympics.

“There’s been no documented evidence that shows that attendance picks up, more kids start playing hockey, ratings pickup. None of that stuff has ever been proven with the Olympics. That’s all they’re selling, ‘Well, that’s got to be great for hockey because all these games are played.’ And these games are going to played in the middle of the night, you’re going to have to get up in the middle to watch these games.

“I’m not I’m not a big fan I don’t think the N.H.L. gets enough from the Olympics to go through the dog and pony show, get them in there, have them play and then get them back.”

How do Blues start scoring again, without Jaden Schwartz?

“It’s hard, it’s really hard… To replace goals are probably the hardest things, you can replace checkers, you can replace shot blockers and even goaltenders to a certain extent, a lot of teams have two good goaltenders. But to replace your leading goal scorer and the guy who pumps the puck in the net for you the most, is very very hard to overcome.”

Was Mario Lemieux’s five goals, five different ways in a single game the Greatest NHL Moment of All-Time?

“It’s very hard for me not to have (Wayne) Gretzky in the greatest moment of sports, for hockey. All the things he’s done, the 50 goals in 39 games, the night he broke Gordie Howe’s record I was at the game that night I was coaching and that was unbelievable night. That’s only going to happen once, no one is going to pass Gretzky. So really in your lifetime you’re only going to see somebody take over the leadership in points in the NHL wants and that was Gretzky.”

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