Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Preview and Prediction

The Stanley Cup Finals are set as the Detroit Red Wings get set to open the Finals at home against the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins. This looks to be one of the most entertaining Finals in recent memory as two of the most talented teams in the NHL go head to head for hockey's ultimate prize.

Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

Breakdown: This should be one heck of a series to watch. Both teams can really skate. Both teams can shut you down on defense. Both teams have goalies who are on top of their game right now. At the end of the day I give the slight edge to the Pens. I think they are a little bit deeper, a little bit more talented, a little bit younger, a little bit hungrier, a little bit better on defense, and a little bit better in goal. All in all that adds up to a Stanley Cup for Pittsburgh in my book. The Penguins are clicking on all cylinders and have been more impressive against better competition this post-season than Detroit. The Pens are battle tested and ready to finish the job. That, however, is not to say it is going to be easy for Pittsburgh .This should be the toughest series yet for the Penguins and Detroit could very easily hoist the cup when all is said and done as well.

This is a great Stanley cup for hockey fans in the U.S. Nobody in the states cares to watch the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs, or any other canadian teams in the finals really. I think the NHL and its fans could not have asked for a more entertaining matchup and I think ratings in the states will show it. When you combine "Hockeytown, USA" with Crosby and Mahlkin you've got yourself some entertaining hockey and I think the states can really get into this series a lot more than, say, last year's Ottawa vs. Anaheim final.

Player to Watch: Marian Hossa (PIT) - Make no mistake, Hossa has had a tremendous post-season thus far, and this is why the Pens went out and got him at the trade deadline. Everyone always wants to talk about Crosby and Mahlkin, but I think you can expect Hossa to continue to perform and both ends of the rink and finish off some of Sidney Crosby's passes. This is what needs to happen if the Penguins are going to complete their amazing post-season with a victory over the Red Wings. As Crosby and Mahlkin draw doubles and get banged around Hossa could be that one extra weapon that gives Pittsburgh the edge in the Finals.

Prediction: Like I said I like the Penguins to win this one and i foresee it happening in 6 games. This will be a hard-fought and physical series, however, so don't be surprised if this one stretches out to 7.


Jaison Biagini said...

i agree totally. i only wish NBC would carry the whole series. this is a final that could bring the NHL a much needed influx of new fans. i still don't understand why people don't love hockey like they love baseball or basketball. the NFL in king in the USA. hockey is the closest to football. hits, low number of scores but excitement all the time. dare i say far more than an NFL game.

s it because the NHL players don't make enough headlines off the ice? youth in america seem to value the bad boy over the upstanding. look at all the vick, chad johnson and TO shirts out there. the worst news story i've seen involving the nhl over the past year? the staal brothers being arrested for underage drinking after a bachelor party. and two baby pens being arrest. both being drunk, one daring the other to streak down a main street in wilks-barre. not exactly on the level of the NFL or NBA.

i live in pittsburgh so i don't know if all teams do this but i doubt it happens in any other sport. young sidney crosby has lived with the lemuiex's since coming to the nhl during the regular season. malkin has lived with the gonchar's for his first 2 NHL seasons, and until he was traded, mark recci's house was jordan staal's home.

this seems like a great idea. this young players get a role model to teach they, show them a great family life instead of spending their time and money doing other thing.

even look at marketing. we have sidney here in the burgh. he has 2 major ads, both barely run. i bet it's the same in every other market. i love my pens, the do tons of community work, the delivered season tickets to the longest standing ticket holders in person. laroque, know for his fists one the ice is a great man off the ice. he runs as many youth camps as he possibly can. he brings hockey to many disadvantaged youths. i hope we keep him.
i ranted for 3 paragraphs, i see the cup coming to pittsburgh in 6 also. split in detroit, win both in pittsburgh, a gutsy detroit stays alive at home in game 5 but fall in the burgh in game 6.

Ed The Sports Fan said...

After the way the Penguins dismantled my Flyers, I'll go Pens in 7.


Neil Joshi said...

This is a Stanley Cup Finals matchup I can really sink my teeth into. The NHL could not have hoped for a better matchup. I just think Pittsburgh's youth will outlast the gritty experience of the Detroit Red Wings. I'm really looking forward to the start of this series on Saturday.

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