Skip to content

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

Oct 1, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks hoists the Stanley Cup Trophy after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2.
(June 23, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

We didn’t so well with these last season, with not one of us predicting the Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup. We’re going to blame the lockout for that and try again for 2013-14. No excuses this time around. Unless there are injuries. Then there are excuses. We may also think up other excuses.

Jason Brough: Los Angeles Kings over Detroit Red Wings

I look for three major things when I pick a Cup winner. First is goaltending. Second is a Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman that can log big minutes. Third is at least one, preferably two, top centers. The Kings have all these things. I’m a little concerned about their ability to create offense, but if Willie Mitchell can stay healthy, that may allow Drew Doughty to get a bit more involved in that area. Picking a team out of the East was tough because there’s only one that unequivocally meets my criteria, the Bruins, and it’s really hard to put together back-to-back runs to the Stanley Cup Final. Meanwhile, I don’t like the Pens’ goaltending, and the Rangers, Caps, and Flyers don’t have that one great d-man. I ended up taking the Wings, but that back end will have to keep improving, and Stephen Weiss can’t be a free-agent bust.

Mike Halford: Los Angeles Kings over Boston Bruins

After winning it all two years ago and going back to the Western Conference finals last season, the Kings spent the summer tweaking what was already a pretty solid roster. They turned a backup goalie into another backup and arguably their fastest player (Matt Frattin); they added by subtracting Dustin Penner (who was mediocre at best last year) and, perhaps most importantly, got a clean bill of health for Willie Mitchell, the veteran defenseman that was a key cog on the Cup-winning side of ’12. The Kings are talented, deep, experienced and still bitter about getting dumped by Chicago in five games.

Ryan Dadoun: St. Louis Blues over New York Rangers

These are two teams I’ve liked for a couple of years now and it obviously didn’t pan out for me last season. Still, the Blues have what I believe to be the best group of defensemen in the NHL from top to bottom. They also have strong goaltending, especially if Jaroslav Halak can stay healthy during the playoffs. Their offense isn’t comparatively as impressive, but it’s well-rounded. While it includes some rising youngsters like Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, its core has largely matured at this point.

James O’Brien: St. Louis Blues over New York Rangers

With parity reigning supreme in the NHL, depth is increasingly important, and the Blues might be the deepest of them all. Not many teams boast such a variety of scoring options (adding Derek Roy was shrewd), 2-4 top pairing-quality defensemen and 2-3 viable goalies. Each of the Blues and Rangers have the motivation (key contract years, bright coaches) and talent to get it done, but the Blues edge the Rangers. And, no, I’m not just picking them because EA Sports’ supercomputers did, either.

Joe Yerdon: Los Angeles Kings over New York Rangers

The Kings are one of a handful of teams that can hang with Chicago in the West. Their skill, toughness, and goaltending are as good as it gets. The Rangers shake out as a team that seems to have it more put together. If not having Torts in their ears makes the difference, and I think it will, they’ll be right there.

Cam Tucker: Washington Capitals over Chicago Blackhawks

Alex Ovechkin should be extra motivated considering what’s at stake for him personally. I do worry about a potential emotional letdown for No. 8 after the Sochi Olympics, but the Blackhawks didn’t have that problem in 2010 when Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook played for Canada in Vancouver. The Capitals should also enter the season fully adjusted to Adam Oates and his system. At some point, this team has to break through in the playoffs. Washington isn’t perfect, but what team is? Particularly in the East.

So there you have it. PHT has the Kings (thrice), the Blues (twice), and the Caps (once). Sorry about that, those three teams. There’s always next season.

Latest Posts
  1. Oilers GM doesn’t anticipate a trade before training camp

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Edmonton wants to assess Leon Draisaitl, it seems.

  2. Challenging early schedule looms for Sharks

    Sep 1, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi, Marc-Edouard Vlasic AP

    Sixteen of their first 21 games are on the road.

  3. Workhorse goalies, forwards from last season

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Part two of today’s Labor Day posts.

  4. NHL’s hardest working defensemen in 2013-14

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five Getty Images

    Part one of two Labor Day “theme” posts.

  5. Johnston believes Pouliot’s ready for NHL

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Derrick Pouliot Getty Images

    The new Penguins bench boss previously coached the young defenseman.

  6. Hitchcock: Cole has opportunity to be top-six defenseman

    Sep 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Ian Cole Getty Images

    The 25-year-old has been fighting for playing time since he broke into the NHL.

  7. Yeo to split Wild’s first three preseason games among three goalies

    Sep 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom

    He might pick an opening game starter after that, but the battle for the top spot is likely to extend into the season.

  8. Five interesting players still on UFA market

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

    Will they have contracts by the start of the season?

  9. Boudreau thinks Heatley’s a better fit with Perry/Getzlaf than Penner

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Last season’s experiment ended with Penner being traded.

  10. Trotz will still cheer for Preds ‘like crazy’

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz AP

    He continued to follow their summer moves after he was fired.

  11. Lombardi brings Stanley Cup to Snoopy

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Dean Lombardi AP

    The late creator of Peanuts was a big hockey fan.

  12. Columnist: Schultz deal might complicate Avs’ talks with RFA Barrie

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    The Colorado defenseman is still a restricted free agent.

  13. Scioscia wants MLB to adopt NHL-inspired roster expansion rules

    Aug 31, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT

    Mike Scioscia AP

    “I think that would make it a little more equitable for match-ups.”

  14. Hextall: Advanced statistics small, but meaningful part of Kings’ success

    Aug 31, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    He served as an assistant general manager in Los Angeles before coming to Philadelphia.

  15. Gagner looking for fresh start in Arizona

    Aug 31, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Sam Gagner AP

    After matching a career-low in goals during the 2013-14 season, he’s hoping for big things with the Coyotes.

  16. Report: Devils sign Kelly

    Aug 31, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) NewJerseyDevils_logo-thumb-250x243-22093.gif for post 6122

    Add depth to blue line in Albany.

  17. Hayes sees opportunity with Rangers

    Aug 31, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    Hopes to play in the NHL in 2014-15.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2051)
  2. D. Alfredsson (1979)
  3. M. Fleury (1931)
  4. C. Anderson (1795)
  5. J. Schultz (1549)
  1. D. Krejci (1449)
  2. J. Boychuk (1443)
  3. E. Staal (1397)
  4. D. Setoguchi (1378)
  5. R. Lehner (1273)