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PHT staff predicts the Stanley Cup finals and award winners

Oct 5, 2011, 3:38 PM EDT

Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara Getty Images

It’s time once again for all of us here at PHT to put our butts on the line. To put our money where our mouths are. To come up with another cliché for things.

That’s right, it’s our Stanley Cup predictions. We’ll give you who we think is making the finals and who’s going to take it all. As a bonus, we’ll even tell you who we think will take home the NHL’s biggest awards. As we’re expecting, you’ll make sure to remember all of these predictions by the end of the year and hold them over our heads when we’re wrong. Of course, if we turn out to be right, we’re going to gloat. A lot.

Without further ado, here’s our thoughts on the Stanley Cup finalists and winner. If you think we got it wrong, go ahead and comment here or vote in our poll. And make sure to check out previews for all 30 teams here.

Joe Yerdon says:

Stanley Cup finalists: Los Angeles Kings vs. Washington Capitals

Stanley Cup champions: Washington Capitals

Yeah, I know what you’re saying. “But Joe, you picked the Capitals to make the finals last year. When are you ever going to learn.” To that I say, “Hey… Shut up.” Much like a kid that can’t keep from touching a hot stove, the Capitals offseason addition of Tomas Vokoun as well as their blue collar additions of Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward along with Roman Hamrlik makes me believe they’ve got it figured out. Put me firmly on the Kings’ bandwagon this year as well. They would’ve been heavily in the mix last year if not for Anze Kopitar getting hurt, but such is life. The Kings are for real but the Capitals are ready to get over all the humps to win it all this year.

James O’Brien says:

Stanley Cup finalists: Los Angeles Kings vs. Washington Capitals

Stanley Cup champions: Washington Capitals

I picked the Sharks to win the Pacific, but the Kings sport the West’s best makeup for the playoffs – two impressive goalies, two first line-caliber centers and perhaps the best defense in the NHL (their fragile group of wingers needs to stay healthy, though). They’re a tough matchup for any West team, but Washington will have just enough of everything to steal the Cup away. The Capitals have a more potent offensive attack, a versatile defense and one of the best goalies in the world. It’s now or never for a significant chunk of this Capitals team – coach Bruce Boudreau included – and I’m leaning toward “Now.”

Matt Reitz says:

Stanley Cup Finalists: Vancouver Canucks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Stanley Cup champions: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Canucks were far and away the best team in the West last season. Most of the team returns intact with even more motivation.

The Pens lost the best player on the planet AND a former Hart winner, yet still were able to transform themselves into a defensive team and earn the 4th seed. Crosby and Malkin rejoin and already strong team–no teams’ offseason moves can compare.

source: Getty ImagesAs for our award predictions, here goes nothing.

Joe Yerdon says:

Hart Trophy:  Evgeni Malkin, Penguins
Art Ross Trophy:  Henrik Sedin, Canucks
Rocket Richard Trophy:  Steve Stamkos, Lightning
Vezina Trophy:  Tomas Vokoun, Capitals
Norris Trophy:  Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Calder Trophy:  Adam Larsson, Devils

James O’Brien says:

Hart Trophy:  Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Art Ross Trophy:  Henrik Sedin, Canucks
Rocket Richard Trophy:  Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
source: APVezina Trophy:  Pekka Rinne, Predators
Norris Trophy:  Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
Calder Trophy:  Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche

Matt Reitz says:

Hart Trophy:  Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Art Ross Trophy:  Sidney Crosby, Penguins
Rocket Richard Trophy:  Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Vezina Trophy:  Ryan Miller, Sabres
Norris Trophy:  Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
Calder Trophy:  Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche

  1. skoobyfl - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Buffalo Sabres have more depth than all the teams you guys agreed on, I mean defensively alone we can beat up & score more than anyone. Do you guys actually get paid to dream like this ???

    P.S. LA Kings will probably be the Sabres opponents in the SC finals.

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Predictions are like noses…

  3. abrienza428 - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Pens-Wings III – Pens take it.
    Hart – Malkin
    Art Ross – Malkin
    Rocket Richard – Ovechkin
    Vezina – Halak
    Norris – Doughty
    Calder – Larsson

    • polegojim - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      Now THAT’S funny… only way the Pens beat the Wings IS in your dream prediction.

      • tk1966 - Oct 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        polegojim – Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM
        Now THAT’S funny… only way the Pens beat the Wings IS in your dream prediction.


        … Cause history tells us that the Penguins have never and will never beat the Wings in the finals. Huh…What’s that? Uh, nevermind.

    • polegojim - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

      I’m just tired of hearing about the Caps… every year, every preseason… and every postseason you guys are eating crow by the fist fulls.

      Let them prove something first… other than their excellent ability to take a playoff exit.

      PSSSSTTTTT thud thud thud thud….FLAT.

      • comeonnowguys - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        The Sharks of the East.

  4. sippindasyzurp - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Go JETS Go!

  5. billyhoyle4real - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Terry Pegula’s Buffalo Sabres win the trophy my dog is named after, Lord Stanley.

  6. me6661973 - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Flyer Jagr going score like mad man. Shock of the year. Crybaby done brains are scramble. Milkin will get hurt. Smashville for west.

    • hockeyfan1701 - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM

      me6661973, maybe you try learning english before you type….

  7. chobes68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Sabre’s fans are already out of their minds, and the season hasn’t even started. Apparently they see something different from Ville Leino being a difference making than everyone else does.

  8. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    A bit too early for predictions but hey, why not?

    Penguins vs. Canucks, Pens win (so tempting to go with Tampa but it’s hard to bet against a Pittsburgh team that will have Malkin and potentially Crosby back)

    Hart Trophy: Jonathan Toews
    Art Ross Trophy: Henrik Sedin
    Rocket Richard Trophy: Steve Stamkos
    Vezina Trophy: Ryan Miller
    Norris Trophy: Shea Weber
    Calder Trophy: Gabriel Landeskog

  9. bigbear42 - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    I could see Saad taking the Calder if he stays on the top line with Toews and Sharp. Hell rack up points just feeding off of them.

  10. dcent87 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Lol…the sabers?..dont think so…philly over La in 6

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM

      Philly in the finals, let alone winning it all? Don’t think so

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:25 PM

        That ain’t right.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        Given their team changed so drastically I think it’ll take at least one season for them to gel. I don’t think they’ll be a good enough team to make it to the finals in their first year playing together

  11. trigzter - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    would braydon schenn be elligible when he moves up?

    • Joe Yerdon - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      Provided he plays in enough games, yes. (He very likely will do that)

    • trigzter - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      my bad. for the calder

  12. tommytd - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Hey how about another story about how all these experts did on their predictions last year?

    • Joe Yerdon - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      Suffice to say, James and I didn’t do TOO well last year. We both had Washington in the finals (WRONG) and James had Detroit while I went with Vancouver (HALF WRONG). I had Vancouver winning it all (oops).

      • ossipeepats - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        As a bruins diehard, I’m quite glad you were wrong.

      • tommytd - Oct 6, 2011 at 1:31 AM

        Yikes…maybe you guys want to stay away from predictions! Doesn’t look like you did too well with that.

      • James O'Brien - Oct 6, 2011 at 2:04 AM

        My playoff predictions tend to fare a little better. Perhaps I’m the Capitals of predicting, then: good overall, but I fall apart when it comes to the big games …

  13. trbowman - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Kings are going to be filthy.

  14. savoirlaire - Oct 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Not a lot of love here for the defending champs, huh? To quote the PHT team by team analysis, “They still might not be a sexy choice for the Cup, but they absolutely deserve to be in the conversation.” Don’t see a lot of changes on the team, except maybe Ryder. But Seguin could really emerge (and Kreci could continue his rise) and they wouldn’t miss him.

    So PHT, why aren’t they in the conversation? How friggin’ sick and tired am I of hearing “Pens and Caps” every year…sheeesh!

  15. hatrickswayze - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    As another Bruins fan, I will say, we are in better than any other team who’s won in a long time. We will have 6 mil at the deadline to buy someone big incase we need them, we lost kaberle and ryder and gained corvo and pouliot,. It’s nice to see your team start a new season and all the lines are all pretty much together…Go Bruins

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