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. Update: NHL wants to see fine system in action before publicizing diving

    Sep 16, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    Bill Daly

    “Fines are meaningful. And I think it has to do with essentially being called out.”

  2. Veteran d-man Clark joins Avs’ staff

    Sep 16, 2014, 3:21 PM EDT

    Clark_Brett

    He’ll be part of the player development department.

  3. Richards: I gave Lombardi ‘my word’ I’d work harder in the offseason

    Sep 16, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Kings forward “didn’t want to become a free agent and leave” L.A.

  4. Blues bringing BizNasty to camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Coyotes Blues Hockey AP

    That’s him getting tossed around by Ryan Reaves.

  5. Daly, Holmgren honored with Lester Patrick Trophy

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    billdalygetty Getty Images

    For “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”

  6. After trip to neurologist, Clowe on track for training camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 24: Ryane Clowe #29 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the second period against the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center on January 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images

    Veteran power forward is trying to return from another concussion.

  7. Hitchcock’s advice to Mueller on making Blues: just play

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mathias Seger, Peter Mueller AP

    The recently signed forward hopes to stick with “powerhouse” team.

  8. PHT Morning Skate: When ugly can be a good thing

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    victorgreen

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  9. B’s Lucic admits his wrist isn’t fully healed

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    “It’s turned the corner for the better as far as rehab has gone.”

  10. Video: Teravainen’s beautiful pass leaves Blackhawks fans beaming

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    It’s tremendous even if it was in a prospects game.

  11. Red Wings’ tryout invite Robinson is fully conscious after being hospitalized

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

    redwingslogo

    The team says he has “full movement” following a boarding hit.

  12. Habs’ Price expects to be 100 percent to start 2014-15

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Carey Price AP

    Some optimism about how his knee is feeling.

  13. No deal yet for Handzus, who hopes to continue NHL career

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s reportedly talking to several teams.

  14. With camp looming, DeKeyser’s anxious to reach deal with Detroit

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Danny DeKeyser, Matt Bartkowski AP

    “I still think something will get done before camp.”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (1309)
  2. S. Bennett (1285)
  3. D. Kuemper (1273)
  4. P. Rinne (1255)
  5. K. Timonen (1210)