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Stanley Cup Pick: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

By May 28, 2009

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2009 Stanley Cup Final
Pittsburgh Penguins
versus
Detroit Red Wings
(Series begins Saturday)

The popular theory is that the Penguins are older, smarter and more resilient than last year, when they were outclassed by a far superior Detroit team.

Meanwhile, Detroit is hurting. Lidstrom and Datsyuk missed the end of the Chicago series, and Marian Hossa limped away from the last game.

In spite of their troubles, the Red Wings looked better than ever in dispatching the Blackhawks. This is one deep team.

There's more to the Penguins then Crosby and Malkin, but not that much more. Detroit doesn't rely on anyone the way Pittsburgh relies on its top two.

Stopping Sid and Geno - as the fans and broadcasting sycophants know them - is unlikely.

But if you can at least limit those two, Pittsburgh turns into a fairly ordinary team.

The Red Wings are tailor-made for the challenge.

Detroit's team defense is far superior to Pittsburgh's, even if Lidstrom and Datsyuk aren't available. Crosby and Malkin will break through at times, but won't get enough help to do serious damage.

When the stars rest and the game is handed off to second and third lines, the Red Wings will have a clear advantage.

There were times this season when Detroit looked vulnerable. No more. The Wings are playing close to their best, and that's much better than any other team can muster.

Crosby and Malkin will get their points, and the Pittsburgh power play will have its moments.

But it looks like Marian Hossa made the right choice by swapping Penguin blue for Red Wing red last summer.

Red Wings in Six

2009 Playoff Prediction Record: 12-2

  • Stanley Cup Game Schedule and TV Listings
  • Guide to the Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • Stanley Cup History

    (Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • Comments

    May 29, 2009 at 7:07 am
    (1) Carl J. says:

    Here in Detroit, all we’re hearing from Bettman the NHL League Office is “Sidney Crosby Superstar” and “Evgeni Malkin Superstar”. If Bettman tries to pull a phony NBA-style superstar officiating fiasco where you can’t touch the Penquins without being sent to the box, I’ll never watch hockey again.

    May 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm
    (2) KC says:

    Wow Carl, you should just quit watching right now. You sound like a big whiner that makes excuses every time your team loses. It must have been the officiating, or it was the ice conditions, or injuries, or whatever. I’m sure YOU’LL ‘see’ a lot of things on the ice, some of them might even be real.

    May 30, 2009 at 7:53 pm
    (3) Bud Next Door says:

    Pro Ice Hockey has done well in playoff predictions,this year…. but for the big kahuna(the finals) he is wrong! Marion Hosa will look like a jerk as he finds he has switched to the losing team….Hah!!
    Penguins in 7.

    June 5, 2009 at 5:08 am
    (4) Debbie R. says:

    What will happen when the Stanley Cup gets full of names? Will they start another copy of the cup? I thought my 13 year old son had a valid question when he brought this up. Worth asking.

    June 14, 2009 at 9:01 am
    (5) KC says:

    WOW. I guess you had it all figured out. The Red Wings win and those whining kids who are not older and wiser, with a goalie who cannot win the big game are going to lose again. NOT!!!!!!!!

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