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Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? Here are PHT’s picks…

Jan 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

Dustin Brown Getty Images

Following are PHT’s staff picks to win the Stanley Cup. Feel free to make your own picks in the comments section. Or, failing that, mercilessly rip other people’s picks, as if those people had never watched a hockey game in their entire lives.

Jason Brough: Boston Bruins

No Tim Thomas, no problem. Well, unless Tuukka Rask‘s groin acts up, in which case there’s a serious problem. But Tyler Seguin is the main reason I like the B’s this year. He was a bit player in 2011 when they won it all; now he’s a legitimate star that keeps getting better. It’s just really hard to find a weakness on this team. Solid down the middle. Zdeno Chara on defense. Tough. Experienced. Deep. Could maybe use an offensive defenseman to feed Chara on the power-play, but that’s about it. (Dougie Hamilton?)

And if it’s not the Bruins, it’ll be the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mike Halford: St. Louis Blues

The last time the NHL had a shortened season, the Devils clawed and trapped their way to a Stanley Cup. This time? It’ll be the Blues, who earned praise from GM Doug Armstrong last season for making the neutral zone “like seaweed.” But it’s not just the checking. The Blues have scoring depth (nine double-digit goalscorers last year), veteran experience (Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald have both won Cups), solid goaltending, a Norris-caliber defenseman (Alex Pietrangelo) and the reigning coach of the year in Ken Hitchcock, who’s also a former Cup winner.

And if it’s not the Blues, it’ll be the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If you’d like to see Mike and Jason discuss their picks in more depth, you can do so in the PHT Extra below:

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James O’Brien: New York Rangers

Combine the league’s easiest travel schedule with the best Rangers team that’s ever been assembled in front of Henrik Lundqvist and you have a compelling pick for a championship on Broadway. John Tortorella’s shot-blocking bunch has overachieved for years, but now that it has the Brad Richards-Rick Nash-Marian Gaborik trio, New York gets my vote.

And if it’s not the Rangers, it’ll be the Los Angeles Kings.

Ryan Dadoun: New York Rangers

This team has everything I look for in a Stanley Cup champion. The Rangers have almost unmatched top-end talent, young up-and-coming players in complimentary roles, a couple of forwards that are both tough and moderate offensive threats, and a varied defensive cast that ranges from the offensively gifted to all-around contributors. And then there’s their greatest asset: Henrik Lundqvist.

And if it’s not the Rangers, it’ll be the St. Louis Blues.

Joe Yerdon: New York Rangers

With Rick Nash to go along with Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan – plus a stout top-four on defense and the other-worldly Henrik Lundqvist – this almost feels like a no-brainer pick. This time around, King Henrik gets a bigger crown to wear than just the Vezina Trophy.

And if it’s not the Rangers, it’ll be the Boston Bruins.

Related: Stanley Cup odds: Penguins 8/1 favorites, Blue Jackets 100/1 dogs

  1. steelers88 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    I think the Pens win the CUP!

    • benzoids - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      I’m a Pens fan for life, but I honestly do not know why people are so high on them this season. They are coming off a pathetic playoff appearance where their biggest rival shot holes throughout their defense during a six game series. Pens have LOTS of work to do before I think they can be considered a true contender.

      • ravenscaps48 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        Because they have the two best players in the world, and they got a 1a-1b goaltending combo in Fluery and Vokoun. That being said, as the major homer that I am, if you want a darkhorse in this, look no further than Washington. At 25-1 Odds, they get back a healthy Nicklas Backstrom, a healthy Mike Green, and an offensive system tailor made for Alex Ovechkin. While being defensively responsible, this team will have the look of the 2009-10 Caps that led the league in goals scored by a mile. I’m not saying they will win, I’m just saying that 25-1 odds are enough to drop money on em, and there’s a decent chance it could pay off come June. LETS GO CAPS!!!

      • stratomaticfan - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Still wondering people are high on the Pens. Their defense is weak, which makes Fleury less of a threat. Sure they can score, but they’ll give up a lot of goals…just like last yrs playoffs.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        I also don’t think the Pens are going to win the Cup, and it’s not because I’m a Flyers fan. Like others have mentioned their D is too thin. Yes, they have a bunch of solid prospects on the backend but it usually takes a few years for young Dmen to hit their stride. And if Letang misses any time that’s a huge hole. On top of that they have to contend with the Rangers and Bruins out of the east. The Bruins are so solid and Dougie Hamilton can be that puck-moving defenseman they need. As for the Rangers, they’re stacked as well. Lundqvist is the best goalie in the league, IMO (sorry JQuick). Plus, on the Pens front, the Flyers seem to be their cryptonite, so I’d expect another knockdown dragout series if they meet in the playoffs. The Flyers may not win the series, but the Pens would probably be so drained that they flop in the next round. Similar to what happened to us against NJ.

      • stakex - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        You know benzoids, thats the best assesment I’ve heard of the Pens situation yet. They are a weak all around team with two very dangerous players. That might make them fun to watch, but it doesn’t make them cup material. Malkin and Crosby can’t keep pucks out of their own net, and as we saw last year can’t score enough to cover up just how bad the Pens are on the back end. Throw in the loss of Staal and the Pens shouldn’t even be in the conversation right now.

        And ravenscaps48… Fluery is borderline backup quality. If he didn’t have such a high powered offense in front of him all these years he would be second fiddle to someone else by now. Hell, I think its even money that Vokoun is the started by the mid point of the season…. which might actually give the Pens a bit better chance.

    • iceman91321 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      I just dropped $20 on the Caps to win it all @25-1. Go Ovechkin!!!

      • stakex - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Not a terrible bet. I think the Rangers are going to romp through the East… but $20 on the Caps are 25-1 isn’t a bad bet at all.

      • tbd3 - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        People giving thumbs down on this comment don’t understand betting odds.

  2. mj1818 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    Lets go Pens!

  3. tackledummy1505 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    No love for the man gracing the NHL 13 cover. Flyers have a devastating offense and in a shorten year, offense maybe what wins it this year. Defenses take time to adjust and sink in with each other

    • benzoids - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      I think what you meant to say was, “No love for the man gracing the NHL 13 cover? Flyers have a devastating offense and in a shortened year, offense may be what wins it this year. Defenses take time to adjust and sink in with each other.”

      • islesjb - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        thanks man, I had ZERO idea what he was trying to say before you corrected it

      • benzoids - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

        Just messing with you.

      • comeonnowguys - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Nobody wins in a thermogrammatical war. THINK OF THE KIDS!

      • jwcamp - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        I think you meant “…Defenses take time to adjust and synch in with each other.”

      • tbd3 - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        I think YOU meant “…Defenses take time to adjust and sync in with each other.”

  4. augsburg12 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Come on Everyone knows the Leaf nation will win it all this year.
    Want to buy a bridge to Detroit anyone.

  5. pftbillsfan - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko the new Evgeni Malkin!!!!

  6. armstrongsmissingball - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    Blue jackets win the Cup over the Rangers. Please hockey gods make this right.

    • supercoop8 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      You can’t just ask the hockey gods; you have to make a sacrifice.

      • stevedurbano - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        In Columbus making a sacrifice means paying more than $20 for a seat.

      • supercoop8 - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        $100 makes you part owner

      • 950003cups - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        $75 you can play Left Wing

  7. taylorgang24 - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Evgeni Malkin… Best player in the league but 2nd best on his team. God I hate the pens… But they’re the best.

  8. pariseinminnesotabichez - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    It’s our year SHARKS!

  9. lordfletcher - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    seeing as I put $100 down on my Wild on a 75/1 bet, I sure would like to see them win…. All of that said, NYR on paper is the best team. Anything can happen, I will wait till summer to see who wins

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Where were you able to get 75-1 odds on the Wild? Was this pre-free agency? I’d throw some coin down on that too.

      • therealjr - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        Those were the original odds released in June. So good speculation on that one!

  10. nygdriveforfive - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Alfie retires as Stanley Cup champion!

  11. sampulls - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    And they lost Staal!

    • cantstopme1006 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Staal was going to cost them too much to resign, he would have wanted #1 money but was #3 on the team. We all knew Staal would be gone at some point.

      • jwcamp - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        The Pens matched Carolina’s offer but Staal left to play with his brother. He stated himself that he would liked to have stayed on the Pens but they wanted too long of a deal and he knew this was probably his only chance to play with his brother.

  12. jtrain1966 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Let me start off by saying : I’m a Blues fan, & as much as i would like them to win the Stanley Cup, i don’t think they will . I’m born, & raised in a state that has a motto : The Show-Me state, with that being said ; until they show me they can win it all, i won’t believe they can win it all !

  13. bardown66 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    I’ll admit I’m a pens fan. IMO in a shortened season, an offensive blitz might win it given it takes time for defense to adapt. I don’t get the blues. Supposedly a tough and rock solid team got smoked by the kings. Not trying to be condescending but I’m not sold on st.louis

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      The blues have a very deep forward group, two excellent dmen (Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk), and a solid Goaltending duo. Throw in Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz and the Blues have an excellent roster. Plus they play a tough defensive system that is hard to beat in the playoffs where one goal can be the difference. Nobody was gonna beat the Kings last season, the hockey gods had already decided. St Louis probably finishes second or third in the West then who knows what can happen.

  14. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I’m picking the Rangers to win the cup this year. They had the ingredients last year, and the changes they made since then only improved the team. As much as Torts refuses to admit it, the boys ran out of gas last year. This year’s shortened season plays well in the hands of the very demanding Torts. Will Torts be able to manage the resources effectively enough over the first 10 to 15 games to avoid injuries?

  15. sergeikremlin - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    The Carolina Hurricanes bounce back huge this year, led by Eric & Jordan Staal, the skill of Skinner & Semin, their fantastic bottom 6 checkers, and their soon-to-be all-star young d-man, Justin Faulk. But most of all, it’s Cam Ward who gets hot in the playoffs like he did in 2006, and leads the Canes back to the cup.

  16. hockeysox161 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    The best team on paper RARELY wins the cup. Sorry Rangers, it’s not your time. Think about it, the Kings were a #8 seed last year and they won. Boston didn’t rank too high on paper the year before. I’d pick someone you wouldn’t expect, like St. Louis or Washington. Let’s Go Caps.

    • bardown66 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      A lot of people are picking the blues along with the penguins. Those 3 have been getting the most love

      • cardsandbluesforever - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        as good of a chance as i think my blues have i actually do not want them to win the cup this year. i dont want any bs about the short season clouding our first stanley cup win. i wont complain one bit if we do win, but i dont want hear any crap about ” oh there should be an asterisk next to them because…”

  17. skarfacci - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Shortened season says to me someone unexpected will win the Cup. How about Phoenix? They went far, the goaltending was solid and Doan hits a ton. They have Torres who scares everyone. I like their chances. Just bc it’s a short season.

    • bearcountry17 - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Torres isn’t that tough. More of a cheapshot artist who is only going to be playing half the shortened season this year. I know one guy who for sure isnt afraid of him.

  18. bleed4philly - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Bleep you all

  19. osutilldeath - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Why did nobody pick the BlueJackets? My money is on RJ and the gang.

  20. cameltoews - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    NYR

  21. bagoballs - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    KIngs will repeat come on nobody picked waht a joke.

    • nomorekidsinbcn - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      that’s what I thought as well … I mean I am a Bruins fan, but come on

  22. magicrat13 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    picking the rangers, but there is a LOT of bias in that pick…

    have a feeling something strange will come out of the shortened season…either unusual rash of injuries or one team just “getting hot” at the right time, etc…

    if there was a full season i would feel more confident with my pick, but i guess we’ll see starting in two days…

  23. gotstamkos - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Love the “no love” for the Lightning. Stevie Y just bolstered our defense and goaltending (the 2 problem areas we had last year) in the offseason. Couple those with the forwards we already have and I think we’ll be a force to be reckoned with! But, I didn’t say anything….under the radar and liking a cup run this (shortened) year!! Go Bolts!

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      If it can’t be the Redwings, count me in on the Bolt’s bandwagon.

    • tbbolts91 - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      hell yeah!

    • matthewmacisaac - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      As a Flyers fan I would agree about the Bolts but StevieY undid all the good he was doing by picking up Carle. I hope you like turnovers, forwards blowing by him like he’s a hologram, and just generally being clueless in the defensive end (always a great feature for a defenseman). After one game I’ll bet Lindback wants to go back to being a backup the way that Carle lets forwards crash the crease. From this Flyers fan, Thank You TB and I feel your pain.

  24. themagicfanguy - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Bolts!

  25. ron05342 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    O’Brien got it only half-right, and the rest of the morons got it wrong as usual.

    Kings will repeat.

  26. relicwingnut - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Red Wings all he way!!

  27. kitshky - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Pretty much the only thing guaranteed, is that fans of teams that don’t win it all …will conveniently and suddenly feel that it’s not a legitimate Cup because of the shortened season.

    • gotstamkos - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Some might, but as far as i know ALL teams will play the same length season so….may the cup go to the last one standing. So what if it is a short season (does suck!, but can’t change the past) we have hockey come Saturday and that is FRIGGIN COOL!

      • mb65dod - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        They should not. The playoff part will be same.

    • therealjr - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      If my team wins the Cup, and it would be their first, I will be ecstatic, but the “irregular” season does put a bit of an asterisk on it for me. I wouldn’t be completely satisfied.

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      The playoffs will be the same length as a full year, it is still legitimate.

  28. buffalomafia - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    With the every other day schedule the team with the freshest legs & less injuries will win the cup!

    Buffalo, Edmonton or the Islanders! These are the youngest teams!

  29. houseof666 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    It won’t be the rangers, it won’t be the bruins or blues, it’s gonna be some b.s. teams in the final like last year. The NHL is so wonky you can’t predict a thing. Some b.s. Cinderella story team is gonna win and it will give me yet again another reason to enjoy nfl football over the NHL.

    P.s. go bruins.

    • kitshky - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I realize by the overwhelming response this post doesn’t really require a response, but I am curious, so the fact that the NHL is so balanced that every team has the ability to win the Championship …is a reason to not watch hockey.

      Honestly, please just go watch football and leave hockey alone then.

  30. surfoside4life - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    i dont think anyone picked the kings last year so predictions dont mean s*!t

  31. markcycy - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I think anyone can win. this season is going to be crazy. I don’t think we are going to be able to predict what is what. Everyone is going to beat each other. i think it is fair to say this will be a wild ride. Let’s go Flyers/ (can someone send us some D)

  32. bcisleman - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Probably depends on who gets the best playoff goaltending. Truth is, assuming the Isles do not make the playoffs, that I do not care as long as it is not the Rangers!!!

  33. nomorekidsinbcn - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Maybe a KHL team this year packed with non-willing home comers

  34. loinstache - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    It should go to whoever’s fans can boo Bettman the loudest

  35. govtminion - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Not sure about whether the Bruins can pull it off- as the article said, depends on Rask’s health- but I’d sure love to see it happen.

  36. therealjr - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Of all the top contenders, the Canucks are being largely overlooked so I would take a flyer on them.

  37. caps4cup - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Caps are going to win it

  38. ferrantej - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Anyone but the Blues – the last thing we need is another trapping revolution like we had after the last lockout. I’m a lifelong Pens fan and I’d rather see the Flyers win the Cup than the Blues.

    • stevedurbano - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      Yeah, I hate that successful defensive hockey too. So much better to let the other team score.

      • ferrantej - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM

        I don’t have a problem with good defensive hockey – the Rangers play good defensive hockey but don’t trap. Anyone who doesn’t know the difference between the two is an idiot.

  39. phillyphannn83 - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Lmao @ all the Pens picks. Every year the “experts” pick them and every year the Flyers knock them out! Hahahah it takes more than 2 guys to win in the playoffs. How did Malkin do in the playoffs again?

    • ferrantej - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      How did the Flyers do after the Pens series again?

      • phillyphannn83 - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        How did the Pens? Oh that’s right, they were OUT of the playoffs and playing golf while the Flyers were still playing.

  40. greenmtnboy31 - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Jason, bro, I don’t think many people really care about the NHL or the Stanley Cup anymore. I’ve been an avid fan since the 60′s and I won’t be watching any hockey this season and certainly won’t be wasting my time watching the playoffs, which will be a joke after a 48 game season. I was recently offered a couple of tickets to an upcoming game, at no cost to me and I politely declined and let them know that I won’t be attending any games this season and will spend absolutely zero pennies on anything NHL related.

  41. trollingthisbridge - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Phuk the NHL, they’ve shown once again that they really don’t care about their fans, so I’m going to show them that I really don’t care about them. I started by cancelling my season’s tickets.

    • whatthepuck2012 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Whahhhhhh the NHL doesn’t loooooove me……

  42. mattyo99 - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Penguins have no defense, minus Letang

  43. LoyalFan34yrsGoKings - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Los Angeles should keep the cup. Even if we don’t I really feel we will carry the cup AT LEAST 2 maybe 3 more times before the end of the 2017 season. It’s in the air! We want it.

  44. whodat21625 - Jan 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Rangers all The way

  45. mrhyperpants - Jan 19, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    It’s a short season and the cup is up for any of the teams. Gonna be a team that you wouldn’t expect. It will be one of those teams that comes hot at the start of a full season and then start to lose pace half way though the league. which they end up scraping to make the play offs or miss out. A team like the avs or oilers

  46. ethanmacleod1685 - Jan 20, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Sharks

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