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PHT staff picks: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup?

Apr 16, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

Stanley Cup Getty Images

Once again, your beloved PHT writers — me (Mike Halford), Jason Brough, Joe Yerdon, James O’Brien, Ryan Dadoun and Cam Tucker — have submitted their picks for who’ll win the 2014 Stanley Cup.

We encourage you all to post your picks in the comments below. It’ll be nice to see that section used for some quality analysis rather than what it’s traditionally hosted: Penguins vs. Flyers turf wars, Elvis videos and a space for that one guy to keep calling me Hack Halford.

Heeeeere we go…

Jason Brough: Los Angeles Kings

I picked these guys before the season started, and I don’t see any reason to change my prediction. The Kings have a great two-way center, a stud on the blue line, and a proven goalie that performs when the pressure’s on. They’re excellent five-on-five and allowed the fewest goals in the league during the regular season. They’re also big, tough, and deep. Yet having said all that, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if they lost in the first round. The NHL!

Joe Yerdon: Los Angeles Kings

I know the Bruins are the hot (and probably right) pick for most everyone, but I can’t stop looking at what the Kings have going for them and not think of their Cup run in 2012. They underachieved, by their standards, most of the season and struggled to score goals. They made a savvy trade with Columbus to acquire an offensive spark plug that helped pick up the offense. Instead of Jeff Carter being the guy, it’s Marian Gaborik this time around. He’s not the dynamic guy he once was, but he’s been enough to give the Kings a lift in the one area it needed it most. Jonathan Quick is looking as strong as ever and has shown the ability to lift his game in the playoffs and, let’s face it, Darryl Sutter’s brand of hockey is meant for the postseason.I’m going out on a limb here since they could easily get beaten in the first round by the Sharks, but if they do that, I like the Kings to take their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

James O’Brien: Boston Bruins

Making predictions is rarely a comfortable thing, but this postseason replaces the comfort of gut feelings with the terror of blindness. With so many contenders limping into the playoffs thanks to worrisome injuries, the B’s stand out by being the best team that’s also largely intact. It doesn’t hurt that the East provides fewer obstacles than the power-packed West, either. The Bruins boast an even more dangerous top scoring line with Jarome Iginla instead of Nathan Horton, phenomenal two-way center Patrice Bergeron, maybe the game-changing defenseman in Zdeno Chara and a fantastic goalie in Tuukka Rask. The Red Wings are better than a typical eighth seed, however, so this prediction could look dumb/dumber than usual in mere weeks. It’s just that kind of year.

Ryan Dadoun: Anaheim Ducks

This is a pick I’m making more with my heart than mind, but I feel justified in doing so given how tight the competition is this year.  No team is without its flaws and I’d be lying if I said Jonas Hiller made me comfortable, especially given how he finished.  At the same time, the Ducks have one of the best offensive duos in the league in Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, veteran leadership, depth, and one of the greatest to ever step onto the ice getting ready for his last hurrah.  We saw what Teemu Selanne could do for a battered Finnish squad facing giants in the Olympics.  He doesn’t need to be the playoff MVP, but if he steps up in the postseason, he could be the guy that pushes them over the top.

Cam Tucker: Boston Bruins

The Bruins were the best team in the regular season and just continued to gather strength down the stretch. Not to mention the fact this team has been there before, whether it’s a Stanley Cup win three years ago or an appearance in the final last season. This team has proven it wins, in many different ways, and it has the advantage in goaltending with Tuukka Rask, who was sensational this season with his 2.04 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. Jarome Iginla has found his scoring touch over the last few months and his motivation for a first career Stanley Cup at the age of 36 should be extremely high. The Bruins are too big, too fast, and too skilled.

Mike Halford: Chicago Blackhawks

Picking a repeat champion is risky business, if only because of the history — three recent Cup winners  (Pittsburgh ’09, Chicago ’10, Boston ’11) all lost in either the first or second round the following postseason. But last year, things started to turn as L.A., the defending Cup champ, made it all the way to the Western Conference finals before losing to — guess who? — the Chicago Blackhawks. Look, for all this talk about Chicago possibly being complacent and worn down from playing so much hockey, consider this: 1) At 32, Patrick Sharp had arguably the best season of his life, leading the team with a career-high 78 points, 2) At 35, Marian Hossa scored 30 goals for the first time in five years. Yeah, all these guys have played a lot. But Chicago is still hungry.

(Did I mention I took Chicago last year too? Because I took Chicago last year too.)

  1. Martin Ericsson - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    St. Louis Blues has become the Boston Bruins of the west and the two will meet in the finals where Blues take it home in game seven.

    • ron05342 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Unfortunately for the Blues, the reality is that they are really banged up, they have lost their confidence, and their goalie has become a normal human being. I don’t really see them getting past Chicago, sorry.

    • skr213 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      I’m sorry, but Ryan Miller is just never going to wear a ring. .903 SV% and 2.47 GAA since joining the Blues.

  2. terrier92 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I too see kings as coming out of West. Hope to see a Bruins Kings finals but a lot of hockey to be played before that could happen. Really looking forward to Western playoffs despite sleep loss. First round is always a toss up. Go Bruins

  3. sjsharks66 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Replace ducks with Pens and it’s the same picks EVERY YEAR.

  4. thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Here is how the 2014 NHL Playoffs will progress.

    Boston, Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York
    Colorado, Chicago, Anaheim, San Jose

    Montreal – New York
    Chicago – Anaheim

    Montreal – Anaheim

    MONTREAL!!

    You know I know, because I am, The Great Morpheos.

    • montrealbbr - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      I like this guy!

      • laxnhockey - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Me too, but I’m not convinced the NYR are going to beat Philly and Boston had better be ready for Detroit.

        I think the ECF will come down to Montreal and the winner of the Philly/NYR series. In the West, I also agree on Anaheim in the WCF and either Chicago or STL.

  5. blomfeld - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    BROUGH & YERDON = NOBEL PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM !!!! :)

    What a fantastic article eh ? Fully a third (33%) of PHT’s very own ‘esteemed’ editorial team predict that ‘our’ glorious LA Kings will reclaim ‘that’ which is ours ! Can you believe that ? You just gotta love it man ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

    • machosasquatcho - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Go back to the sewer you crawled out of, blomfeld. No one likes you.

    • hawksin5 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      blom ill say it again. if the kings play the hawks, the ducks, or the blues. they are done.

    • sully7184 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      I always wanted to meet the King’s one fan…

  6. pirovash88 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Notice how nobody ever makes the mistake of picking the Sharks? Lol.

    • hockeydon10 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Ever or this year?

    • skr213 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      The “experts” always pick them at the beginning of the season, and never pick them when the playoffs begin.

  7. tridecagon - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    How many of these picks would have been the St. Louis Blues 2 weeks ago? Good God, this is what Cubs fans must feel like.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Picking the Lovable Losers to win it all with 2 weeks left in the season??? That’d be great, but no. We Cubs fans are used to our season being over about 3 weeks in….

      105 years and counting……

      • hawksin5 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        yup

  8. stepanup - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I would not exactly call the Bruins fast, Cam.

  9. patthehockeyfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Since Dadoun admitted that he picked the Ducks with his heart, I predict the Avs with my wallet.

    My heart says LA Kings, though.

    • wtfkwp - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      My wallet goes to the Bruins, but my heart is in the same place as yours.

  10. laxnhockey - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    It is somewhat comforting to know I can always count on Hack Halford for a good laugh, but he’s outdone himself on this one – “the game-changing defenseman in Zdeno Chara”.

    He’s a game changer alright. I remember how he changed games last spring by being on the ice every time Chicago scored. I remember how he changed games when Chicago announced they were targeting Chara, because he’s so slow, and then they literally went right through him to win it. That’s a pretty bold statement for any team and then the proved it and Boston was helpless to do anything about it.

    I remember Toews passing the puck through Chara’s wickets, while he was floundering around the crease. Similarly, I remember the ball going through Bill Buckne’s legs back in ’86. Boston must be getting sick of that play. Chara is the new Buckner!

    • hawksin5 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      THANK YOUUUUUU. MOST OVERRATED PLAYER IN THE NHL.

      • mackattack29 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        YES! TOTALLY AGREE. So happy people are finally realizing this.

  11. toiletclown - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Yea the Bruins really showed how they can take a whoopin last year in the 4th round. I can’t believe people actually think they are going to make it to the ECF let alone win the Cup.

    • savoirlaire - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Yes, very hard to believe that the Bruins are going to do well when they won the President’s Trophy this year and made the finals last year…I can’t believe what an ass-clown you make of yourself!

      • ibieiniid - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        not to mention, he’s a Pens fan…. we all know why he hates the Bruins.

        SWEEP!

      • mackattack29 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        Don’t disagree with you but usually winning the president’s trophy is not a good sign… Most teams that do don’t go far in the playoffs surprisingly.

  12. montrealbbr - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I cant believe everyone is overlooking Montreal. I think Price is better than Rask and I dont think anyone in the East can match them when it comes to speed. I think the only team that will give them any trouble is Pittsburgh because they like to goon it up.

    • c9castine - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Price is not better than Rask, and there are more teams than just Pittsburgh that would give Montreal trouble, like all 7 of them.

    • laxnhockey - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Meh, as a Montreal fan, Price has not been better than Rask this year. Rask has carried that team and Price hasn’t carried his team. Head to head, Montreal has definitely been better than Boston this year as evidenced by their record. Speed definitely works in Montreal’s favor, particularly against the sloth-like Bruins. If not Montreal, look for one of the teams from the Philly/NYR series to emerge during the playoffs, but don’t ever count out the Red Wings.

      • joey4id - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Price has been the best goalie in the NHL since Jan. The Habs have issues, but between the pipes is not one of them. The Habs won’t have a deep run, but that will not be on Price. He’s right now their best player heading into the playoffs.

      • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        It’s difficult for Price to be the best when he hasn’t even been the best goalie in his division. He didn’t even play for three weeks following the Olympics, so he wasn’t the best. He didn’t rack up as many wins as Rask, Lundqvist and others, and since January he’s lost twice as many games as Rask.

        While The Great Morpheos knows any goalie typically needs to be a team’s best player heading into the playoffs, unless a team is stacked, Pacioretty is the Habs best player at this point.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Montreal is the team I would fear the most in the East for exactly those reasons. Even when they were sitting people they gave teams all they could stand.

      • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        The Great Morpheos agrees.

  13. tattooedb4u - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Anaheim vs Bruins for the cup. Anaheim takes it home!

    Hiller will get it back together, drink a cup of confidence and look like he did weeks ago. Between that, the powerhouse duo of Getzlaf/Perry, and Teemu making his final push…it has to be the Ducks!

    I will admit, I am writing this while 1) wearing my best thinking cap I own…my Ducks, throwback Mighty Ducks all black hat. 2) Custom Stadium series jersey, yes the Stadium Series was amazing live and we can only hope that becomes a tradition every year. 3) my toes and fingers are crossed, have been crossed, and will most likely remain crossed until the Ducks Win.

    Knowing that, maybe my opinion seems biased or emotionally driven. But, considering the year of hockey we are in…sounds like as good a bet as any!

    Go Ducks! Lets quack all the way home with the CUP! Stanley Cup Champs 2014!!!!

    • hawksin5 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      that was very cute. but the ducks can’t hang with the hawks, and have had a lot of trouble with the sharks and even the stars. first round upset?

  14. killerpgh - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Penguins over Sharks in 6 game.
    MAF wins the Conn Smythe while posting 6 shutouts in the 16 game with a GAA of 1.97.

    Shock the World!!!!!!

    • barkar942 - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      You forgot to take your meds today, killer. lol
      More like Fleury injured in opening minute of playoffs after allowing two goals in under a minute. Vokoun takes over and has a 0.00 GAA in 16 straight victories for the Pens.
      Now that scenario has a better chance of happening than yours.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Convenient that you pick one of the few teams in the West that could beat the Penguins in a deep playoff series.

  15. tved12 - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Go Wild!

  16. gpk68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Wow, picking the picking the Blackhawks last year was really far fetched, what a Cinderella story they were. Am I supposed to be impressed you picked one of the best teams in the league to win and they did?

    • Mike Halford - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Does this mean you’re not impressed?

  17. thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    As long as we’re talking about predictions.

    The Great Morpheos would like predictions on my IT Director’s reaction to The Great Morpheos streaming the Pens/Jackets game via NBCSports.com this afternoon. Thumbs up if you think he’s cool with it, thumbs down if he no like.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      What’s the option for “Sitting next to you watching it?”

      • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Send me your picture and bra size and I’ll let you know.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        With all due respect, I was referring to your IT Director.

  18. muckleflugga - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    if wings win either of games one or two, bruins will join penguins as not so shocking first round casualties

    bruins are tough and disciplined but you can’t hit and grind what you can’t catch

    penguins are as usual, overrated even as crosby is overrated as a player of consequence when it matters … columbus are going to choke an otherwise ordinary team into submission … crosby will be strangled for room and mario’s red phone to the league office will burn white hot

    to no avail because the nhl needs success in columbus like nowhere else short of florida and phoenix

    wings will win through to the cup final simply because nothing in the east is capable of coping with their speed, complemented as it is by skilled finishers … wings are poised to establish an all-time playoff record for breakaway goals … and then there’s babcock … and then there’s babcock unleashing his nhl-ready arsenal from grand rapids, some of who toyed with hardened blues sunday past

    if bruins can put wings back by two, they’ll make make it warm for either of hawks or sharks in the final … outside detroit, boston’s expected competition are not as fleet, and bruins are a hockey machine dominating in any milieu not including wings

    montréal will be blessed by league favour because that’s just the way it is kids … last canadian team and beer lockers stocked to overflowing canada-wide: look cross-eyed at any of the habs player you’re gone … only bruins and wings can break that spell

    the west is easier

    healthy hawks in a walk … sharks otherwise, their time is at hand

    both have speed and skill to over-match kings superb coaching, made vulnerable by quick’s well-hidden injury … kings are poster boys for underachieving skill made so by sutter’s insistence on defensive play … their vulnerability to yielding scrambled play around their own net will undo quick’s groin … how you say sayonara hin henglish

    blues left it all in the sheets during the regular season as do all superbly coached hitchcock teams, extracting every ounce every night … they’ll battle but to no avail

    the wildcard in all this is the wild … like jackets, they’re a franchise in need of an extended run … were they to catch a run by scoring first or winning road games in every series, they could rock everyone’s world

    coin flip between hawks and sharks

    hawks want bruins in final and sharks want wings

    detroit wants a sunny warm day for the parade

    • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      The Great Morpheos says, if you want to write a book, find a publisher.

    • blomfeld - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      “kings are poster boys for underachieving skill made so by sutter’s insistence on defensive play” …

      *** earlier today on the 405 Freeway in LA County during a roadside traffic stop ***

      LAPD Officer Blomfeld: your license and registration please ?

      Flugga: here ya go … say, what’s the problem here eh ?

      LAPD Officer Brown: word is that you’ve been talking crap about the LA Kings ?

      Flugga: oh no, I didn’t say anything man ! … and even if I did, I was just kidding around eh ?

      LAPD Officer Blomfeld: it says here you’re from Calgary or some damn place ?

      Flugga: yes sir ! … I’m down here visiting from the great OPEC province of Alberta eh !

      Dispatch: Unit 32, you’ve got a ‘crazy’ there ! … proceed to ‘neutralize’ asap !

      LAPD Officer Brown: put your hands on the wheel ‘right now’ and don’t move !

      Flugga: wait a minute, what the hell’s going on here eh ?

      LAPD Officer Blomfeld: shut up and do as directed right now !

      Flugga: okay, take it easy man … my knees are kind of sore eh ?

      LAPD Officer Brown: is that a fact ? … KAPOW !! .. KABOOM !! .. KAZAAM !!

  19. vbcaps - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I’m picking the Washington capitals to come out of the east and win it all…hopefully in the next 10 years

  20. henrik4dawin - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Halford is learning from Joey– making sure to tell the world that he got it right last year!! he called it!! (jk), but Joey, watch the quoting from the past throne

    • skr213 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      On June 29, 2012 at 3:27am, Joey predicted you would say this. Don’t you feel foolish now?

  21. muckleflugga - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    thegreatmorpheos

    look dick … see wings beat bruins … look jane … see hawks beat sharks

    look tom … see thegreatmorpheos take it up the chimney from twitter-bound twats with attention span of gnats and the relative intellect of lower order mollusks

    see thegreatmorpheos pander for thumbs-up gratification where a turgid and throbbing member normally resides

    • machosasquatcho - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Shut up, blomfeld. You disgust me.

    • thegreatmorpheos - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Someone is a little thin skinned and sensitive. Stand up, get the knot out of your panties and try to focus on hockey.

  22. lordfletcher - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    I see the Wild beating the AVS without Matt D in the lineup if he misses any time. MN is playing at top form at the best time. Can they then beat the Hawks, LA and Bruins (ish)………… Er…

    West wins this year in 6

  23. buffalo65 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Sharks over the Habs in 5.

  24. themagicfanguy - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    I don’t care what anybody says, Bolts are going to win it all!

  25. savior72 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    I’m going Blues over Detriot in 6. Just so I can say I called if nothing else. Plus after all those years of playing them in the West, beating them for them Cup would make it all that more sweeter.

  26. phillysports1 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Lets GO FLYERS !!!!!

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