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2013 Stanley Cup Final: PHT staff picks

Jun 12, 2013, 11:36 AM EST

2013 playoffs

None of the six PHT staffers accurately predicted this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

Everybody — Mike Halford, Jason Brough, Joe Yerdon, James O’Brien, Ryan Dadoun and Cam Tucker — picked the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Eastern Conference finals over the Boston Bruins which, as you may have heard, didn’t happen.

Things were a little better in the Western Conference.

Halford, Brough and Tucker all nailed the ‘Hawks over Kings — though they all had them winning in seven games, not five — bringing the overall postseason totals to…

Halford: 1-1 (4-0 in Round 2, 8-6 overall)
Brough: 1-1 (3-1 in Round 2, 11-3 overall)
Yerdon: 0-2 (3-1 in Round 2, 8-6 overall)
O’Brien: 0-2 (4-0 in Round 2, 10-4 overall)
Dadoun: 0-2 (3-1 in Round 2, 9-5 overall)
Tucker: 1-1 (4-0 in Round 2, 10-4 overall)

As for the commenters?

Buffalomafia, devilsarethebest, jhuck92, govtminion and hockeydon10 all deserve major credit for being the only people to pick the Bruins.

(Of course, nobody picked the B’s in four.)

But hey, that’s the past. Let’s move onto the future and take a look at PHT’s staff picks for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Halford: ‘Hawks in 7

For the record, this pick featured more waffling than the Denny’s breakfast menu. I went with Chicago on PHT Extra, then started talking up the Bruins on NBC Radio, but am now going back to my original choice, Chicago. (I think.) No, definitely Chicago — I like the fact the ‘Hawks have home-ice advantage (9-1 at the United Center this postseason) and some important scorers rounding into form. Patrick Kane in particular — he has five points in his last four games, the same number of points he had over his previous 10 games.

Brough: Bruins in 6

I’m going to do what I should have done the previous two rounds, and that’s pick the Boston Bruins. Everyone knows about their defense and goaltending; that’s been talked to death. But the B’s are scoring, too, with 3.12 goals per game in the playoffs. I also have to wonder if this is going to be the series that Chicago gets exposed for having Michal Handzus as its second-line center. Maybe that’s unfair, since he’s been better than expected since coming over from San Jose. The importance of that second-line center role can’t be understated though, especially with the attention the Bruins will be paying Jonathan Toews.

Yerdon: Bruins in 6

It’s almost impossible to pick one team over the other but when you look at them, it’s the little differences that pile up. Tuukka Rask has been better than Corey Crawford. Patrice Bergeron makes for a slightly better second-line center than Michael Handzus. Brad Marchand is a more effective pest than Andrew Shaw. Throw in Zdeno Chara‘s dominating presence and I think this is made for the Bruins to win. That said, I’ve been pretty bad at predictions in the playoffs so Chicago proving me completely wrong wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

O’Brien: ‘Hawks in 6

Joel Quenneville nailed it when he said this series is “good for hockey.” And not just because it features two big, history-rich markets. In this salary cap era, you won’t find many teams that are as balanced and skilled as the Blackhawks and Bruins. Both boast multiple scoring threats, Norris-quality top blueliners and underrated No. 1 goalies. Boston proved it could take down a star-studded team, yet Chicago didn’t deal with Pittsburgh’s roster instability and uncertainty. It’s a tough call, but the Blackhawks were easily the best team of the 2013 regular season, so they get the nod.

Dadoun: Bruins in 7

Really, you could go with either team and have just as much of a chance of being right. They both have star players with a proven track record of success in clutch situations while still sporting four strong lines. On top of that, nothing they’ve done this year is easily comparable because the condensed schedule has kept the East and West separate until now. That said, I like the Bruins shutdown defense, the consistency they’ve gotten out of David Krejci and Nathan Horton, and the fact that they’ve succeeded thus far without Tyler Seguin breaking out. He’s the best player on either team due for a hot streak.

Tucker: Bruins in 7

Last round, the Bruins once again demonstrated a naturally ability to shut down and frustrate the big guns — in that case, it was Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Look for the Bruins to do the same to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as this Stanley Cup series progresses. They’ve also shown an ability to wear down the opposition with that physical style and they’ll do the same thing in this series. Tuukka Rask has been exceptional in net, as has Corey Crawford. If Rask continues his form and outplays Crawford, the Blackhawks will run out of answers.

  1. jpelle82 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    nice shout out to the commenters too. way to show credit where credit is due!

  2. garyleee - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Boston Bruins will win in 6!!!!! Tough D

  3. Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    After round 2:

    Halford 4-6 (Picking Hawks)
    Brough 8-2 (Bruins)
    Yerdon 5-5 (Bruins)
    O’Brien 6-4 (Hawks)
    Dadoun 6-4 (Bruins)
    Tucker 6-4 (Bruins)

    Four to two in favor of the Bruins. Toss out Halford’s “losing” record and Yerdon’s .500 standing and the total becomes 3-1 Bruins.

    I’m disregarding the commenters (Buffalomafia, devilsarethebest, jhuck92, govtminion and hockeydon10) who picked the Bruins over the Pens, despite making the “experts” look bad, simply because they could be fans of the Bruins and/or haters of the Pens (which is just about everyone outside Pittsburgh). Their choice may have been as much wishful thinking as insightful punditry, although I’m quite willing to also believe they were unbiased and saw the Bruins’ superiority that many others missed. I do hope they grant us the wisdom of their finals choice on this thread (include number of games, please). Kudos for getting a shout-out in an article on here.

    What does it all mean? Not a damn thing, which is why they play the games.

    • jhuck92 - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      I obviously can’t speak for the others, but I even said “for sake of argument” when I picked Boston over Pitt because everybody and the PHT guys chose Pitt. I didn’t see an answer from Pitt to the tough physical play from the B’s. The only reason why I’m picking the ‘Hawks in 7 is because they already survived a very physical Detroit team in 7 games. That, and I don’t think they’ll go soft mentally, coming all this way after a season like they had for just the western conference trophy.

  4. blackhawkslove - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    These are the same commentators who wrote off the blackhawks to lose in the second round. Not like I’ll take their opinion for this.

    Hawks over Bruins in 7.

  5. winefool - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I wonder what all the pundits who are saying Rask will shut down the Hawks were doing during the Kings series (you know, when the Hawks dismantled the best goalie in hockey) because they must not have been paying too much attention. The two best teams in these playoffs have been the Hawks and Wings and the Hawks already won that series. It’s not going to be as close as everyone says… Hawks win it at home in game 5.

    • bruins18 - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Quick played bad during that series dude he even admitted it himself. Task is playing the best he’s ever played and if he keeps that up which I think he will, he can and will shut the hawks down along with the help of their defense. Love the hawks too but I think the bruins take it in 6

  6. betrayedbylife - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    your picks are irrelevant

    • dtrojan15richie - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      your kcoc is irrelevant, that’s why ur old lady is on mines……..

  7. grillmarks - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Hawks in 7!!

  8. LampyB - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Yeah and the Hawks came damn close to losing in the second round. Kings played poorly in third, not a difficult series to win. Hawks are outmatched with the Bruins system and in goaltending. Bruins in 7, maybe even 6.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Let me get this straight:

      Kings: played poorly.
      Penguins: outplayed and outmatched by Boston’s system.

      Sounds legit. Or not.

    • adambballn - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Hawks played poorly in the 2nd round… they were down 3-1 and won 3 consecutive games to take the series, they played poorly for 3 games then turned on the heat when they needed too… and Boston was down by 3 goals to Toronto in a game 7 and had to come back… sounds like they both faced some adversity in the playoffs and came back from it.

  9. spitfisher - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Bruins in 6

  10. papajack1259 - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    If they take the first one it’s a sweep for the Bs if not they win in 6 to much TEAM they will get under the feathers of the hawks and aggravate, antagonize, and suck their spirit from them.

  11. crusty14 - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Hey winefool, I wouldn’t really call out scoring a team 14-11 over 5 games a ” dismantling of the best goalie”! Throw in the fact that quick let in a few softies, which usually isn’t part of his game, and that was a closer series than it turned out

    • dtrojan15richie - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      the fool should stick to soccer or street hockey, he said Det. was top team in league.

      • winefool - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        No, read carefully. I said the Wings were a top team in the PLAYOFFS…

    • winefool - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      14 goals is a lot for the best goalie in hockey to give up in 5 games. Pressuring the goalie so he gives up the occasional ‘softie’ is part of the game. Quick didn’t do that against anyone else…

      • Anoesis - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        He gave St. Louis the first two games in that series. Even last year he gave up a blue-line shot against Phoenix.

  12. crusty14 - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Anyway, looks like a great series between to eve,y matched squads! I’m picking the Bruins in six , with at least two games going to OT.

  13. buffalomafia - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    This series is going to 7 games!

    If Boston wins in 7 Lucic gets game winner!

    If Chicago wins in 7 Kane gets game winner again!

    Let the slugfest begin!!!!!

  14. buffalomafia - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    By the way…. What do you think Cynthia Crosby is doing since the Pens got swept?

    I bet she is playing with her make me cry doll?!?! Lol!

    • jaybaileys - Jun 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Really dude has Buffalo ever won anything? You got no room to take shots at Crosby.

  15. jimw81 - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    boston in 7. Chara is the factor in this series.

  16. barkar942 - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    PITTSBURGH IN 4! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry, Just had to do this after the Pittsburgh Hockey Talk comments a couple of days ago.

    Actually, I’ll take Da Bears in 5.

  17. tommybrady - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Bruins in 5. The bruins are playing some great shut down hockey. I just cant see them losig 4 games the way that they play. They keep it tight and if it goes to OT they find a way. All games will be close. But i dont see chi town getting more than 1 or 2.

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