Every year the Columbus Blue Jackets television and radio broadcasters breakdown the playoffs and give you a feel for what to look for when the puck drops in the postseason. After the first three rounds, Danny Gare leads with 11-of-14 correct, while George Matthews has picked 10-of-14 series correctly, Jeff Rimer has 9-of-14 and Bill Davidge 8-of-14.
The Stanley Cup is up for grabs and our broadcasters thoughts about the finals and picks are below and on Blue Jackets TV. George Matthews and Danny Gare will breakdown the final series on paper (or computer) and Jeff Rimer and Bill Davidge give the video version of a preview.
STANLEY CUP FINALS
No. 1 Detroit Red Wings vs. No. 2 Pittsburgh Penguins
Danny: Detroit in 6 games
George: Pittsburgh in 7 games
Detroit… Detroit has the experience with 10 players on the roster who have won a Stanley Cup in their careers - Pittsburgh has two. The home ice advantage will also be a factor in this series as Detroit has lost only once at home and Pittsburgh is perfect in their own building for the 2008 postseason. Detroit is stronger on defense and that strength will make the difference in the series.
Pittsburgh... Pittsburgh's offense is slightly better than Detroit's attack. The Penguins remind me of a young Edmonton Oilers team - fast, youthful, excited - and the Red Wings the experienced, New York Islanders team.
It should be a great final.
Detroit… Detroit was the Presidents' Trophy winner this year and could be the first to win that award and take home the Cup in a few years. If they do win it, Nicklas Lidstrom will become the first European to captain a team to the Stanley Cup in the history of the National Hockey League. The Red Wings have good primary scoring, but limited secondary scoring, and their strengths are overall team play and defense. The Detroit defense is more talented and deeper than Pittsburgh's group. Goaltender Chris Osgood has played well, but always seems to be a question mark.
Pittsburgh... Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby could become the youngest NHL player to captain a Cup winner in the history of the league. The Penguins finished second in the Eastern Conference to Montreal only because Crosby was injured for an extended period of time. The team is 4-2 on the road in the playoffs and undefeated at home. They have the youth, tenacity and never quit approach, which are all positives to go along with terrific goal-scoring from Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Hossa, Jordan Staal, Petr Sykora Ryan Malone. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery will either love or hate the pressure of the final. The other concern has to be the Penguins' blueliners, who don't compare to Detroit's group. Sergei Gonchar will have to step up and match Lidstrom.
It should be one of the most entertaining Stanley Cup Finals in the last 20 years - make the call for this toss up of a series.