Thursday, May 27, 2010

The experts predict the Stanley Cup Final

It already feels like it's been an eternity since the Flyers eliminated the Canadiens but we are still a few days away from the start of the Stanley Cup Finals. While we continue the excruciating wait, several NHL "experts" are weighing in with who they think will win the Cup. Here is just a sampling of predictions from around the internet:

Pierre LeBrun, ESPN: Chicago in 6
No upset here, but perhaps a longer series than some would like to think.

Barry Melrose, ESPN: Chicago in 6

The Hockey News: Chicago in 6
Had you said in October that Chicago and Philadelphia would be the two teams playing for the Stanley Cup, that would have sounded reasonable. Now it seems almost preposterous, but the Flyers are clearly beginning to play to their potential. But the way we see it, the Flyers, like the Predators, Canucks and Sharks, will be no match for the Blackhawks lethal combination of speed and skill.

Kevin Allen, USA Today: Chicago in 6
The Blackhawks have the NHL's longest active Stanley Cup drought of 49 years and that will end in a couple of weeks.

Wes Goldstein, CBS Sports: Chicago in 7
On paper, this reads like a mismatch between a No. 2 seed in Chicago and a No. 7 seed with Philadelphia, both with good special teams and led by heart-and-soul type captains in Richards and Toews. Either might very well end up as the playoff MVP if their team wins.

Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo Sports: Chicago in 7
Great, gritty battle between two teams loaded with big names and quality grunts. The Hossa Hex ends, much to our chagrin.

Every other Yahoo Sports Expert: Chicago in 6

As you can tell, there seems to be a consensus that the Blackhawks are the heavy favorites to win the Cup. In fact, I had to search far and wide to find any experts from the national media that were picking the Flyers and I only came up with two: John Buccigross and Scott Burnside of ESPN. Good thing they don't award the Cup before you actually play the games.

As for my prediction, check back Friday for my complete breakdown of the Stanley Cup Finals.

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