With the Penguins ready to roll into the Stanley Cup Finals we thought it was time we came together here at PenguinPoop and put down our predictions of who we think is going to win and maybe just a few reasons why.
Stanley Cup Finals Predictions:
Dr. Hook: The Red Wings rolled over Chicago about the same as the Penguins rolled over Carolina. Detroit’s defense almost completely neutralized Toews and Kane and all-and-all the Hawks had nothing to bring to the table but decent goaltending. As we already knew about Hossa… he showed that he really can step-it-up in the playoffs. But so can the Penguins and this Penguin team is one much better and more experienced than the glossy eyed kids last season. The difference maker in my humble opinion will be Fleury and constant pressure. The game between Detroit and Chicago looked in slow-motion to me. I believe the Penguins are really that dominant… line after line. That’s why I took the Penguins in 4. Then again, if I really could project the future I’d be at the dog track…
Reg Dunlop: Last year I think the Pens did everything they could to keep up with the Red Wings. The Wings were clearly a better team. This year I think it is a completely different scenario. This year, I think the Red Wings are doing everything they can to stay at a level they achieved last year. The Penguins, on the other hand, have come a long way in the development of their game. The Pens, to me, are a team on the rise and the Red Wings are on the way down. With that said, I don’t think this will be an easy series. I think the Pens have come a long way in their ability to control the puck. That is the biggest strength of Detroit. If Pittsburgh can keep the puck away from Detroit, they will win. The Red Wings still have a ton of talent and are one of the best coached teams I can remember. There is a big variable with the injuries to Lidstrom and Datsyuk. Will these guys play and if so, how much will they contribute. My gut feeling is the Pens will win this one in six games.
STH35: The Penguins are better equipped to beat the Red Wings this year. The Red Wings are still the better team on paper. This series however, will be decided on the ice. In trying to analyze the areas of a team that would lead them to win hockey games, the Red Wings appear to have an edge in just about every area. Since the Pens are going to win in six games, rather than talk about the Red Wings’ advantages, I’m going to tell you how the Penguins will be the winners. Crosby and Malkin will not be denied. Youthful exhuberance will take over. Osgood is finally not going to be on the top of his game — it’s his turn to be broken by the Penguins. Fleury has something to prove to the hockey world by winning the cup, so he will be at his best. The main area that the Red Wings have struggled with in the playoffs is penalty killing. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Penguin powerplay is going to get on a roll and carry them to the cup. The Pens have clinched every playoff series this year on the road and the fans have not witnessed the handshakes. The cup will be won at the Mellon Arena and the fans will get to see the big celebration for the first time on their home ice.
Phil Krundle: The Penguins are a completely different team than last year, Dan Bylsma has them playing a new all out attack system instead of a defensive shell and he has all of his players believing in it. Bylsma may have never been to the Stanley Cup finals, but he did win the AHL Calder Cup Championship last year and he knows how to win the big games. The Penguins are healthier, faster and more rugged than last year. The scrappers the Penguins lost from last season were replaced with more complete hockey players. Detroit’s big weakness is that Chris Osgood is not a very good goaltender, he just has good defensemen in front of him, defensemen that haven’t seen an all out attack like what the Penguins are about to throw at them. The Red Wings will not know what hit them. Penguins in 5.