Five of the Puck Daddy staff prognosticators correctly predicted that this series would go the distance. Three picked Pittsburgh and two chose Detroit to win in seven. Those who end up looking good after tonight's game will receive a lucky Yahoo! T-shirt with "Hey Wysh, You Stink!" embroidered on the back. (If they existed.)
With the final hockey game of the season hours away, we decided to ask some of our friends their thoughts and predictions on what hopefully won't be a dud like Penguins-Capitals turned out to be.
After the jump, their predictions with a brief analysis.
The Two-Line Pass, What We Learned: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Well I suppose I have to pick the Penguins, considering I said "Penguins in seven, I guess, but it'll be ridiculously close and a bit of an offensive slugfest" at the beginning of the series. And now six games later, I was right. Obviously. So gimme the Pens tonight, 4-2 with an empty netter. Geno Malkin will get the game-winner because he said he would.
And the Pens got that burrito power going, too.
This one's going to overtime, kids. Babcock and Bylsma will roll the big boys shift after shift for the first 10 minutes of the extra frame, and then be forced to add a few Edzo-patented "energy guys" into the rotation so as not to kill their stars. So with 5:47 left in overtime, Mikael Samuelsson(notes) will slap home the winner from the slot. Seeing that Samuelsson is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the month, he'll sign a 4-year, 24.5 million dollar contract with the Islanders July 1.
James Mirtle, From the Rink: Detroit 4, Pittsburgh 2
The Red Wings have just been too good at home in this series, outscoring the Pens 11-2 in three games, and that's with a few of their stars (like Marian Hossa(notes)) failing to really show up in this series. They're too composed to fall apart, regardless of who scores first, and I think that the fact Mike Babcock gets all the matchups he wants pays off in a winner take all game.
Chris Botta, Islanders Point Blank: Pittsburgh 3, Detroit 2
I picked the Pens to win in 7, so I'm sticking with that. As far as I'm concerned, Sidney Crosby(notes) and Evgeni Malkin(notes) are still the two best hockey players on the ice in this series, and I think that they can carry.
Neil Best, Newsday's Watch Dog: Pittsburgh 5, Detroit 4
Syosset, L.I., Rob Scuderi(notes) will top his heroics from the end of Game 6 by grabbing the stick from the goaltender's hands in the final 10 seconds and making four game-saving saves himself to clinch the Cup.
Jason Brough, Orland Kurtenblog: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 2
I picked the Red Wings in seven, so why am I so nervous? It's probably Detroit's penalty killing, which has been questionable all season. If the Penguins are going to win at the Joe, it's likely going to be with a power-play goal or two. Of course, Detroit is arguably the most disciplined team in the league (unlike, oh-gee-i-dunno, the Vancouver Canucks), so the Red Wings have that going for them. Prediction: Detroit wins, 3-2 in regulation. Bonus prediction: Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) lets in a stinker.
Mike Halford, Orland Kurtenblog: Pittsburgh 3, Detroit 2
In keeping with my prediction of Pittsburgh winning in seven, it's the Pens in an upset special. Why? I like the never-say-die attitude the team has shown under Dan Bylsma. Pittsburgh was out of the playoff picture as late as February, left for dead down 0-2 to Washington and virtually toe-tagged after losing the first two to Detroit. Yet like Tony Manero, the Pens kept staying alive. It's that type of disco-dancing determination that'll lift Pittsburgh to an improbable victory on Joe Louis ice.
Now, it's your turn for give us a prediction for tonight. And ... go.