Stanely Cup Predictions

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[Continually updated]

Even without the Wings' injuries, this series looked to be tilting in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins given the exceptional level play of Crosby and Malkin. But with the Wings banged up and missing key ingredients (or having key ingredients not at their best), the Penguins are suddenly the clear-cut favorites to win their first Cup since 1992. Penguins in six. (Burnside)
For Pittsburgh to win: Crosby and Malkin have to hijack this series the way they did Round 3. If this becomes a battle of third- and fourth-lines, Detroit wins. If the Penguins' two big stars dictate the game, while keeping the puck away from the many Red Wings weapons, Pittsburgh may win this Stanley Cup rematch.

For Detroit to win: They don't have to shut down both Crosby and Malkin, but with Detroit's depth, if they can control one of the Dynamic Duo it might be enough to win. Detroit is the best team in hockey, and is far deeper in talent than Pittsburgh. By the fourth round, depth usually beats high-end scoring.

Series prediction: Detroit in six.
Fantasy Hockey...
Statistically, the Hurricanes barely belong in this final four grouping of teams. But the Cardiac Canes keep telling us never to count them out. I’d predicted them to lose in both the first and second rounds, but then again I was wrong on three of four of my second-round predictions (I was right about Pittsburgh in 7, and I deliberately took a stand with Anaheim). Although Ward has never lost a playoff series (6-0 lifetime), the Penguins have scored an average of one more goal per game than the Hurricanes in this year’s playoffs. As well, the Canes’ anemic 10.4% power play (only St. Louis and Montreal are worse among playoff teams) will soon catch up to them. The Cardiac Canes have been impossible to kill in this year’s playoffs, but a certain Sid the Kid is making a name for himself as one of the league’s top clutch performers. He will do so once again. Prediction: Penguins in 6.
NHL Digest...
When the smoke clears I see Pittsburgh winning in 6. I see Shades of the mid-80’s, as the young Oilers fell once to the mighty Islanders, then faced them again the next year and beat them to win their first cup. The rest is history, as we all know the Oilers went on to become the last true hockey dynasty. I believe the stars are aligned for the Penguins to climb the mountain and establish themselves as the league’s best team. (Kyle)
The Hockey News...
There are some parallels between this series and 1984, when the Edmonton Oilers faced the New York Islanders in the final for the second straight spring and won the Stanley Cup. The only difference – and it’s a major one - is the Islanders were a dynasty in demise and the Red Wings are a dynasty that is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, they’re getting better. The reality is this is a pick ‘em series and we’re picking the champs to repeat. In the end, experience, poise and home ice advantage will be the deciding factors in the series. Detroit in seven.

Smilin' like a Butcher's Dog...
Experience, Drive, Leadership. The Pens have all of these elements that were not there last year. A new coach and new system along with the right kinds of leaders with and without letters. 75% of this year Pens know what is like to lose the finals, and that memory is too recent for most of them. Penguins in 5.

The X Factor...
Prediction: With so many unknown factors going into this, its tough to say either way. If the Wings are healthy and Osgood doesn't have a meltdown, they'll take this series in 5 games. If they're not healthy, this will be a 6 or 7 games series and I think if it gets to that point, the Pens may have more in the tank to win it in the end, but really its a toss up. My official prediction is the Wings will get healthy and win back to back Cups.

Midwest Sports Fans...

Think of the Red Wings as the New York Islanders of 25 years ago – a strong dynasty ready to pass the torch to a team it beat the year before. The Penguins are the Edmonton Oilers – a young team that learned from the previous year’s mistakes and that rides two all-world stars to glory. The Wings are banged up and the Penguins have been the best team in puck betting for three months. It’s their time.

Stanley Cup Final odds pick: Penguins in six

Bleacher Report...
My Take: I say the series will go six games again, this year, however, the Penguins will be able to win the Cup on home ice.
SNY Rangers Blog...

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, doing their best Gretzky-Messier impersonation, have been dominant in the playoffs while Johan Franzen has been what he was last year — a goal scoring machine.

Another solid matchup — Bill Guerin VS. Henrik Zetterberg.

Should be a lot of fun.


Red Wings in 7.

Philly Daily News...

[Ed Barkowitz]

Penguins in 6: A funny thing happened as Pittsburgh celebrated its sweep of Carolina last round. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby eschewed superstition and passed the Prince of Wales Trophy out among the teammates.

[Chuck Bausma]

Detroit in 6: The Wings won the final two games of the semifinals against Chicago without two of the best players in the world, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk. It will be a bit dicier to win an entire series against the Penguins if those two miss games, but the Wings are the NHL's deepest team. Unless either team's goaltending blows up, Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg is the key to the series. He needs to be a defensive force against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He will be.

Not yet, Penguins, not yet.

[Ed Moran]

Detroit in 7: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been spectacular and Marc-Andre Fleury is playing championship hockey and the three of them are surrounded by a team ready to avenge their loss last year to Detroit. And considering the injuries to Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, the odds have to be in Pittsburgh's favor to win. But Detroit is a deep and disciplined team with a roster that goes far beyond two injured players. All but two, Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin, have Stanley Cup rings. Both played for Pittsburgh last year and both should get their rings this time.

Florida Panthers.com...
[Dave Joseph.]

The Penguins had to have learned a ton in last year’s finals when losing to these Wings. Crosby and Malkin and Fleury are more mature, and the acquisitions of Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz during the season has been a huge help. It also doesn’t hurt that the Penguins are 30-8-4 since Dan Bylsma took over behind the bench.

The Wings? They’re a little beat up, and the schedule has them playing three games in four nights right out of the box.

Penguins in six.

CSN Philly...

[Anthony J. SanFilippo]

The Penguins’ time has come. They're certainly flawed, but they're not playing that way right now. (Reminds me a lot of the Phillies last October). They're brimming with confidence and a lot of times, that's all you need to win a series against a team who is undoubtedly better than you.

Or maybe I'm just so hell-bent on beating Panotch right now that I can't even think straight.

Either way, make it the Penguins in six.

[Tim Panaccio]

Detroit lacks Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but Pittsburgh lacks Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, who has been superb these playoffs, and Johan Franzen. It pains me to write this because I’d like to see the Cup return to the Eastern Conference. But I don’t. Red Wings in six.

Hockey God Online...
The Pens will take this series because they are healthier and ready to make the major step of knocking off the Cup winning Wings this time around and it will be Crosby & Malkin’s true coming out party so to speak as Stanley Cup Champions being added the their already impressive resume.
Fourth and Fifty...

We’re sold on the American Dream… Or, at least, we’re sold on the survival of America. The prophets in Washing DC have told us that the key to turning around the economy lays in Detroit and needs to be stuck into the ignition of a Ford, Chevy, Chrysler vehicle. Ford and Saturn have already said they will cover my car payment for a number of months if I lose my job (which is a game I’ve already played once this year). It’s time to return the favor…Detroit Red Wings in Seven Games.

Ted's Take...
As usual, it will mostly come down to who has the best goaltending. But from firsthand experience I can tell you that the Penguins - right now - I believe are the best team in hockey and I believe they will win the Stanley Cup.

Defending Big D...
So why would I pick the Penguins to win the series if there is such a big question mark still hanging up in the air? For one I can never, ever root for the Red Wings to win another Stanley Cup. I am just too much of a Dallas Stars fan to do that. But besides having to follow my fandom heart, I legitimately think that Pittsburgh has a great chance to make this a long series. And if they can take the Red Wings to seven games, anything can happen at that point. The team that lost in the Finals last season is one year older, more experienced and has gone through a much more challenging season than last year. I just feel that it's about time for someone else to win one.

Sports Talk Cleveland...
In the end, my prediction for the Finals matches my preseason pick: Wings in six and Chris Osgood for Conn Smythe Trophy. My playoff record thus far is a tasty 11-3, so if anyone is tempted to dismiss the pick as homerism, think again. To be the man, you've got to beat the man, so bring it on, Pittsburgh!


Anonymous said...

Surprise surprise, Barry Melrose didn't pick the Penguins. Guy don't know shit. He's always teetering back and forth on whoever is going good.

Anonymous said...

He picked Washington to win the cup LOLZ

Damian Romano said...

Melrose is on ESPN, he's kind of a "yes" guy. I'll be interested to see how he reacts if the Pens do win. Though, he did say that Crosby is the best player in the world.

I think if Washington had beaten the Penguins they'd be in the Cup with Detroit. Would they win? I don't think so.

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