The great debate: Who will win the Stanley Cup?

The NHL playoffs are finally down to two teams. If this situation seems familiar it’s because the Red Wings and Penguins faced each other in last year’s Stanley Cup finals.

Our hockey experts, Ari Baum-Cohen and Dustin Nielson, go toe-to-toe in this rematch and give reasons why their pick will hoist one of sports’ most fabled trophies when it’s all said and done.

(Baum-Cohen) - Three reasons why the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup:

Two teams, one season

On February 16, the Pens were 27-25-5 and had just gotten blown out by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Farewell Michel Therrien, hello Dan Bylsma. Under Bylsma, the former coach of Pittsburgh’s AHL team, the Pens finished the season on an 18-3-4 run. The return of Sergei Gonchar around this time can also not be underestimated. The Pens improved their play in each playoff series and looked unstoppable in their sweep of the Canes.

The brightest stars

Detroit has plenty of stars and on well-balanced team, but it can’t top the combination of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The two have combined for 56 points and are tied atop the playoff scoring leaderboard (28 apiece). After disappearing at times during last year’s postseason run and briefly during the Washington series, Malkin is back. His backhand goal late in Game 2 vs. Carolina was probably the best of the playoffs. Together, the formidable duo averaged two points a game each during the East finals.

Health and experience

As crazy as it sounds, the Red Wings might have been better off losing Game 5 to the Hawks. Because both conference finals finished so quickly, the NHL bumped the Cup finals from June 5 (next Friday) to May 30. Now Detroit has to play back-to-back games this weekend. Will Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom be ready for Saturday and if so, how will they perform on consecutive days?

There is no discounting the Red Wings’ experience, but the Penguins have last season loss in the Cup finals to draw upon. Pittsburgh is playoff tested and the addition of Bill Guerin has given the club an additional veteran presence. The Pens have been in this situation before and they have learned from their mistakes.

(Nielson) - Three reasons why the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup:

The crease crashers

Marc-Andre Fleury is going to have a hard time seeing the puck with the likes of Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen parked in his crease unless he has X-ray vision. Fleury is still a relatively young goaltender and at times tends to have trouble dealing with traffic at the top of his crease. Holmstrom , Franzen and Dan Cleary, do a great job of screening the net while the Wings’ pepper shots from the point.

Pittsburgh’s defe

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Posted by lookingtowin
5 years ago

Like i said in another thread name me another Pittsburgh Penguin other than Malkin or Crosby. Detroit has way to much depth and talent. Wings in 5 or 6. Watch Hossa step up his game. He is going to want to show he made the right choice joining the Wings from the Pens in the off season. Go Wings. 9tim9 they truly are a DYNASTY.
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Posted by cleetus
5 years ago

amen 9tim9 amen!!!!!!!!
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Posted by 9tim9
5 years ago

Crosby isn't even the best player on his team. Even if he was, the Penguins still would not have a chance. You people that think Datsyuk's and Lidstrom's injuries are going to help your team win? The injuries aren't even that significant and if anything the injuries helped rest them up. Wings will roll in this series, 5 games maximum. The Poster Boy of the NHL will have to leave Pittsburgh in order to have a legitimate chance to win a championship, just like all of the former Pirates since the early 90's. KICK BACK AND ENJOY THE DYNASTY!!
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Posted by cleetus
5 years ago

wings all day on this one!!! i dont kno how long the series will go but they will win!! the wings have way too much depth and even with their stars being only 80% they still have a clear shot of taking the series in 6 or 7 but you never kno-games 1 and 2 are no big deal being played back to back-the series clincher will be who really shows up for the tired and way too quick game 3!! the nhl is giving an advantage to the pens due to the advertising and picture they are trying to paint with sid the kid but the wings are way too smart for him-plus malkin and crosby are great but overall the wings have them smashed!! either way i cant wait!! DREAD THE RED BABY!!! THE BEARD IS BACK!!
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Posted by bullocks
5 years ago

Detroit is a better team top to bottom then the Pens are. The key here is the injuries. It's huge for Detroit that Lidstrom will be back for game 1. Ericsson might be. When will Datsyuk be back? Still, the Wings can cope without Datsyuk for c ouple games. Wings in 6 or 7. Let's remember folks. It wasn't as close as a 6 game series would indicate last year.
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Posted by PHILSinFIVE
5 years ago

the redwings are the champs, they have home ice, they had a better regular season, theyve played tougher teams in the west, carolina rolled over for the pens, and obviously no two players on the redwings have the offensive ability that malkin and crosby posses, but its a team sport, and with the deeper bench, the MUCH better defense and the experience of already winning the cup (and beating pittsburgh last year) the redwings are the clear cut favorite, and for that reason alone I will have action on them to win every game in the series.
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Posted by Gee_Gee
5 years ago

please give up on the not touching the cup karma thing.. its so pkayed out.. crosby didnt touch it last year and they lost, alfie didnt touch it and they lost, and guess what lemieux touched it both times in the 90's and they won.. it means nothing get over it
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Posted by Tigermike1975
5 years ago

To Faceoff: While Crosby has been great in these playoffs and very good for the league, he isn't Wayne Gretzky. He isn't even the clear cut best player in the league right now. Detroit is still the better team. Wings in 7 with Hossa scores the game winning goal in OT.
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Posted by sean2114
5 years ago

GAME 1 - DET WINS GAME 2 - PIT WINS GAME 3 - PIT WINS GAME 4 - DET WINS GAME 5 - DET WINS GAME 6 - PIT WINS GAME 7 - PIT WINS
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Posted by TSteps
5 years ago

Detroit is too beat up and now they have to play a back to back this weekend..I think Pens will get the split then go home and win both where they have been so good lately. And I'm sure they don't need a reminder about last year.. Check out the Crosby commercial from the beginning of the season, if you haven't seen it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_tpmQ9AAok Pens in 6.
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Posted by jimmyknowitall
5 years ago

Sorry about grammar, "reasons wings win" and "karma",
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Posted by jimmyknowitall
5 years ago

Two reasons Wings the Stanley Cup, one, Crosby touched the Prince of Wales Cup, and two, to ad to bad carma, Hosso swiched teams, showing lack of faith , and Murphy's Law will apply....just kidding, but same fate as last year, Wings in six!
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Posted by isles19404ever
5 years ago

Hey Nugz, hope that hangover is gone, I should be in THAT state tommorow morning. Pens had to go thru last years defeat (to the Wings, no less) as a learning curve and a taste of playing for Lord Stanley's hardware. The Cup winning team of the early 90's had more talent IMO, but this year's team has come together with the coaching change and the addition of B. Guerin, R. Fedetenko, and M. Satan (all ex-Isles). Pens attack is balanced and Sid now has a 1-2 punch with Malkin, just like Mario and Jagr. Also, Fleury in between the pipes has experienced the above mentioned also, as goaltending is a huge element in the run for the Cup. He will have to come up big as the the Wings are no push over. IMO, that will be the big surprise of the series, Fleury will come up big, steal a game or two, and the rest on the hands of the 1-2 punch, AND let's not forget the D, as they have been dressing 7 defenseman, having more balanced ice time across the board for fresher legs. I like and will be pulling for B. Guerin and the Pens, in 6, and it would not surprise me one bit if THEY swept the Wings, as Ozzy should see a wave of black biscuits. Good luck bro and to Leek, and GO PENS! Faceoff: NOT even close, what Gretzky did for Hockey will never be duplicated AGAIN, on his personal numbers, 92 goals and over 200 points in a season will never be seen again, and he also put the Kings on the map, even with Marcel Dionne and the triple crown line, there wasn't the excitement and ticket sales in the Forum until he arrived. same in St. Louis and even in Manhattan, as he retired a Ranger (YUK). Sid and Mario saved the Pens from a sure relocation, and now they will be in a brand new spanking building in Pittsburg.
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Posted by faceoff
5 years ago

I can't figure out who I want to bet money on yet... Win or lose, Crosby will stand out, not only as the leader of the Pens, but the pied piper of Hockey..... Since he came on the scene, the 22 year old has been nothing less than sensational...Alway's remaining a class act off the ice..... He probably has done as much for Hockey (almost) as the Great One did back in the 90's...
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Posted by isles19404ever
5 years ago

Hey Fugettaboutit, what is the reason or reason(s) that you feel the Wings will walk all over the Pens. Just curious pal, hope you can shed some light on the "sweep"...
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Posted by 1to3fo5
5 years ago

Game 1 @ DET - DET WIN Game 2 @ DET - DET WIN Game 3 @ PIT - PIT WIN Game 4 @ PIT - DET WIN Game 5 @ DET - DET WIN DETROIT IN 5 /end thread
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Posted by 1to3fo5
5 years ago

osgood has proved that he does NOT suck ..... Detroit definetly taking it ... the pens are still no match for Detroit, pens can't keep up with the skill od Detroit
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Posted by Joker25
5 years ago

Pens in 6 or 7
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Posted by fab14
5 years ago

Pens in 6 games...Sid the kid wins MVP of the playoffs
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Posted by LeeK3
5 years ago

PENGUINS in 6 games. They raise the Stanley Cup at home in Pittsburgh in the final year at The Igloo!
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Top Response

Posted by LeeK3
5 years ago

"PENGUINS in 6 games. They raise the Stanley Cup at home in Pittsburgh in the final year at The Igloo!"